News Releases
California State University, Sacramento

Posted: November 22, 1999

Two to Tango: Dance and Theatre Form Artful Merger

The first leap in forming the University's new School of the Arts is the newly created department of theatre and dance.

The University's dance concentration will move from the health and physical education department in the College of Health and Human Services to the theatre arts department in the College of Arts and Letters in January.

A dedication for the new department of theatre and dance will be held during the School of the Arts debut at the ninth annual Festival of the Arts, to be held Sunday, April 2 through Sunday, April 9, 2000. New department courses are scheduled to begin in the fall of 2000.

President Donald R. Gerth announced the formation of the School of the Arts at the beginning of this semester, bringing a newfound cohesiveness to CSUS art programs.

"I think the addition of dance in theatre arts will generate a new energy within our arts programs," says Nancy Tooker, associate dean for the College of Arts and Letters. "Now we will have theatre, dance, art and music all working more closely together."

Dance program offices are scheduled to move from Solano Hall to Shasta Hall during the summer. The dance program's main performance stage, Dancespace, will remain in Solano Hall 1010.

Dance professor Dale Scholl is eager to see the dance program become more involved in CSUS theatre productions. Scholl says the new arrangement will give dance students more opportunities to learn about the behind-the-scenes aspects of performing.

"I will miss everyone in the health and physical education department," says Scholl, who has taught dance at CSUS for 22 years. "We've reached a place in dance that is strong in physical education. Now dance needs to reach another level."

All dance concentration classes will leave the health and physical education department and will move to the newly combined department. New department of theatre and dance courses required of dance students are expected to include drama, theatre history and stage production. Dance students will no longer be required to take as many science courses. They will, however, continue taking kinesiology, the study of muscle movements. At the same time, theatre students will be exposed to more dance courses.

Physical education dance classes and electives such as ballroom dance, folk dancing and country-line dancing will stay in the health and physical education department.

Theatre arts chair Roberto Pomo expects the number of theatre and dance majors to increase because the new arrangement will strengthen both programs. For example, he says, the number of musical collaborations will likely increase.

"Dance is a natural fit here in the theatre arts department. So much of what we do in acting requires movement and so much of what is done in dance requires characterization," Pomo says.

The dance program and the theatre arts department have worked together in the past, says Scholl, but not in the capacity of being part of the same department. "The collaboration will show how united we all are under the School of the Arts," Scholl says.


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