BA Contemporary Dance: Stage Dance/Performance/Pedagogy

An artistic and highly physical full-time study

The BA program aims to educate well-informed, critical, and passionate artists and consists of the three fields: Stage Dance, Performance, and Contemporary Dance Education.

It thus corresponds to a professional profile of contemporary dancers who, in addition to stage and performance, also work as mentors and educators in their careers.

The main artistic subjects (MAS) contemporary dance and ballet are taught daily. Taking into account individual needs and abilities, these dance techniques are taught through intensive training and somatically supported learning. The goal is to enable the students to develop their artistic, virtuosic and expressive skills.

The central artistic subjects are consecutive and closely linked to the course Repertoire; choreographic processes and rehearsals form a large part of this course.

Through regular showings and performances taking place each semester, students present works developed or rehearsed by an international team of teachers and guest choreographers.

Duration: 8 semesters / 240 ECTS
Language of instruction: English
Academic Degree: Bachelor of Arts (BA)


Requirements for this degree program are a significant talent for movement, good previous knowledge and a high aptitude for contemporary dance as well as a solid knowledge of ballet. An openness to diverse artistic approaches is expected.

In addition to courses that take place during specific semesters and are taught in a structured schedule, the curriculum also provides students with opportunities to customize their studies by choosing content, intensity and timing.

There are three main areas for individual choices:

Topics in Dance Studies are offered regularly in six different courses, of which four must be taken and completed.

A wide variety of electives are offered each academic year. Up to three electives may be taken each semester, allowing students to decide the content and design of their semesters. A total of 16 Electives must be completed.

24 electives, varying annually,  cover a wide range of topics related to contemporary dance. Electives delve into areas such as Movement Research, Physical Theatre, Choreography or Scores, and offer Project Coaching as well as fitness offerings or support in specific dance techniques.

Interdisciplinary electives also facilitate collaborations with other ABPU departments and external institutions, such as Linz University of the Arts.

For the institute, the electives offer an opportunity to integrate guests and workshops as an enriching part of the studies and to create space for creativity and experimentation.

The fourth year is characterized by the completion of the degree program and the transition into the professional dance world.

The curriculum is arranged so that all courses can be completed by the end of the 7th semester. The 8th semester offers students the opportunity to gain experience in professional practice outside the university; at the same time, participation in the Institute's training remains open to them, and, if necessary, they can complete exams or courses that are still unfinished.

Such an open structure supports students in their flexibility and creates room for individual paths.

Final exams may be taken at various dates during the fourth year of study, or later if the studies are extended.

The two-part Final Artistic Performance and Exam Teaching Methodology represent the three fields of this contemporary dance degree: stage dance, performance, and pedagogy. 

The final artistic performance exam includes work with a guest choreographer and a performance created by the student themself.

The Bachelor thesis, as a written scientific discourse, completes the final exams.