Bachelor in Contemporary Dance

180 ECTS
Thomas Hauert - Gabriel Schenker
Formation HES
180 ECTS Thomas Hauert - Gabriel Schenker
Formation HES

Switzerland’s first higher education course in contemporary dance, focused on the dancer’s creativity and autonomy.

The Bachelor in Contemporary Dance offered by La Manufacture in Lausanne, in collaboration with Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK), is the first university-level program in contemporary dance in Switzerland. 

Oriented towards practice, and nourished by theoretical reflection, this training allows students to become familiar with many choreographic languages, to meet recognized personalities of the teaching and the professional environment, and to develop their own artistic creativity.

The program taught at the ZHdK in Zurich is centered on providing integrated training in a range of dance skills, whereas at La Manufacture it is focused on the creation of artistic processes. It seeks to coach versatile and independent dancers who are able to contribute to the choreographic process and manage their own training.

Practical Information

Full time
3 years
180 ECTS
French and English
High school diploma
500 CHF per semester
Richard AfonsoCoordinator of studies

Course objectives

  • To master one’s own body at the highest physical, technical and artistic level
  • To develop one’s own dancing personality
  • To be able to interpret different styles and repertories of the contemporary dance with a fresh and creative outlook
  • To know how to use some choreographic and composition methods
  • To be able to renew one’s own movement and gestural language
  • To be capable of evaluating critically any artistic proposition

Course content

The full-time programme alternates between basic regular classes devoted to practice and theory, and thematic workshops supervised by well-known professional artists. It favours experimentation in a holistic approach to the body and the world.

The training rather explores the body’s infinite possibilities of movement and its ability to learn, develop and integrate new capacities, more than teaches historical dance styles and techniques or artistic trends. It seeks to coach creative, versatile and independent dancers, with a reflexive approach, able to contribute to the choreographic process.

The programme is built around three main axes : the training, working towards autonomy in the development and upkeep of the physical abilities, the artistic practice, aiming at developing both a conscious and intuitive creativity, and the reflexive approach, where the theoretical input allows to put the artistic practice critically and constructively into perspective.

It encompasses eight complementary modules:

  • Technical coaching: practice of traditional and contemporary dance techniques and other forms of movement
  • Creative development: exploration of notions of composition, repertoire and improvisation
  • Theory: theory and history of dance, philosophy of art, sociology, cultural excursions and critical approaches
  • Anatomical studies: applied anatomy and physiology, analysis of movement, sport
  • Artistic practice: creative processes, productions, solo and group work
  • Interdisciplinarity: music, song, drama, visual arts
  • Study-work transition: project management, understanding the professional environment, basic legal, social and financial knowledge of an artistic career, meetings
  • Bachelor studies: methodology, tutoring, creative work, presentation and critical documentation of a proposed stage presentation.

Language requirements
La Manufacture is located in the french speaking region of Switzerland (Romandie), therefore the language of everyday life is French. Teaching languages are French and English. Students are not required to be bilingual upon admission, but they are expected to acquire a very good level of understanding of the other language over the course of their first year of studies.

Bachelor in Contemporary Dance