Orkan Dann

Working as a Ballet Master at the State Operetta Dresden  and as a guest dance teacher and choreographer at the Palucca University of Dance Dresden

Artistic Master Class 2020

“The Artistic Master Class, which I successfully completed with the Master Class examination, provided a very special enrichment in knowledge. As individual as this course of study can be, my Master Class exams were composed of my written thesis “Choreografie in der professionellen Tanzsausbildung“ (Choreography in the Education of Professional Dancers), my guideline “Der Guide” (The Guide), and my choreography “Portrait” for University students.

For the written thesis, I selected relevant topics related to choreography, dance teaching and dance medicine, and also held interviews with the rectorate, teaching staff and répétiteurs. Furthermore, based on my research, I developed a set of recommendations for choreographers in German and English with information concerning working choreographically with young dancers between the ages of 12 and 16. The idea for “Der Guide”, which evolved during my own choreographic work with young dancers here at the University, is aimed at providing guidance to guests. The practical part (of my exam) encompassed a choreography for pupils aged 15 and 16, which was presented in the University’s dance film “DisTanz” by members of class 4 of the Young Talents Programme.

The motivation for thematic discussions in the course of my studies in the Artistic Master Class Programme was targeted at the relevance of choreographic work for students and how this is connected with the respective choreographer’s work.  As a consequence, step-by-step, I brought out the importance (of the necessary preparation of young dancers for their future work environment) with the necessary pedagogical “know-how”. During my entire studies, I had the opportunity to sit in in all the disciplines taught here at the University (theory and practice), as well as to act as a teacher, coach, even as choreographer in the secondary school classes, the BA Dance Programme, and in the Apprentice Programme.

Furthermore, the role of mentor for students in the BA Dance Programme and the MA Dance Teacher Programme were included in my area of responsibilities, as was participating in the appointments commission and the board of examiners. And also, during the Artistic Master Class Programme, my entire endeavor was generously supported by the Saxon State Scholarship for Graduates and Master Students.

The Master Class Programme, accompanied by the supportive guidance from mentor Prof. Katharina Christl (Head of MA Choreography Programme), rector Prof. Jason Beechey, and Prof. Rita Aozane Bilibio, Head of the Artistic Masterclass Programme, was exceptionally insightful and fortifying for my future endeavors as a dance teacher and choreographer. The theoretical findings that I have reflected on and analysed during these two years have changed my way of working. The knowledge that I have gained in the Artistic Master Class Programme as well as the immense amount of information from my research have led to a more aware and focused way of working with not only students but also in my choreographic work with and classical training of professional dancers who have completed their formal education.

To sum it all up

As soon as one has a university degree, one can deepen the knowledge one has already gained through the opportunities provided by the Palucca University of Dance Dresden’s Artistic Master Class Programme.  With the guidance of a mentor of choice, your study programme can be structured individually. Each is free to choose how deeply he or she wants to delve into their topic.

When designing the study programme, three points should be taken into consideration: a practical project, a written thesis (in the English or German language), and a paper/contribution for the PHfT (Philosophischer Fakultätentag). The great advantage remains that those studying in the Artistic Master Class Programme can apply for a scholarship.

Therefore, for anyone who is interested in deepening their knowledge and practical experience, I can recommend this individually customisable study programme."

Orkan Dann


Website: www.orkandann.com