- Research Theme -

Future Prospects of Dance in Japanese Universities

- Introduction -

I started out with a research project on the lives of freelance dancers in Japan. Through my initial investigation interviewing many freelance dancers, I came across many issues in the Japanese dance scene. I conjecture that Dance (education, research, performance, etc.) in universities will play a paramount role in resolving these issues and bringing the Japanese dance scene to a higher level. From these premises and thoughts, I chose to look further into the state and role of Dance in Japanese universities.

- Research Overview -

From long-standing traditional performing arts such as kabuki-buyo, kamigata-mai, and noh, and folk dance (nenbutsu-odori, furyuu-odori, kagura, etc.), to imported genres, such as ballet, modern dance, tap dance, social dance, folk dance, Spanish dance, Indian dance, jazz dance, aerobic dance, and disco dance, gJapan is truly an one of a kind treasure box of danceh (Kataoka, 2002).

Japanfs concert dance scene (aside from traditional and folk dance), is generally classified into four categories: Classical Ballet, Modern Dance, Buto, and Contemporary Dance (Japan Foundation, 2008). In this research paper, the I will focus on Japanfs conert dance scene, and gDanceh will refer to dance broadly in these four categories.

Though Dance in Japan, in all four categories has gained prominent international recognition throughout the last few decades and continues to advance and progress today, Japanfs dance scene carries many internal issues, such as

1. Lack of professionalism
2. Lack of interest among the general public
3. Positioning of Dance in physical education and not art education
4. Minor role of Dance in universities

In a generation in which technology and telecommunications progressively monopolizes peoplefs lives in Japan, Dance and Dance Education is expected to play an increasing important role in Japanese society in the coming years.

The author hypothesizes that Dance (dance education, dance research, etc.) in Japanese universities will play a crucial role in both reforming Japanfs dance scene and making Dance more accessible in mass society. Howerver, research on university Dance programs and the state of Dance in Japanese universities is limited. From research so far and from personal observations, the number of university Dance programs is limited, and is in need of reform in general.

The objective of this Masters thesis is to survey the current state and future prospects of Dance (dance education, dance theory, dance research, etc.) in Japanese universities, and propose a future/potential model for the Dance in Japanese universities.

I will look at Dance in Japanese universities in three separate categories:

1. Long-Established Dance Programs (Japan Womenfs College of Physical Education, Ochanomizu University, Nihon University, Osaka University for the Arts, Tsukuba University)

2. Newly Established Dance & Bodily/Performing Arts Programs (Tamagawa University, J. F. Oberlin University, Kobe College, Kyoto University of Art and Design, Tokyo University of the Arts)

3. Dance in Traditionally gTop Tierh Academic Research Universities (Keio University, Waseda University, Tokyo University)

Data collection of each of the universities above will consist of

1. General Information and Overview {School Type (Junior, 4-Year, Grad), Gender-Type (Womenfs, Co-ed), Private/National, Student Body Size, School Mission, School History, Tuition, Scholarships/Financial Aid, Admissions Statistics, Application/Audition Process, Program Name, Program Position, Number of Students, Age-Range, Male-Female Ratio, Overseas Students, Accreditation, Program Description, Program Mission, Program History, Program Curriculum and Courses, Graduation Requirements, Sample Student Schedules, Performance Opportunities, Student Choreography Opportunities, Research Opportunities, Management/Production Opportunities, Study-Abroad Opportunities, Exposure to Professionalism, Outreach Opportunities, Opportunities During Breaks, Freedom, Kobe Dance Competition Participation, Qualifications/Licences, Level of Students, Current Faculty (Full-Time, Part-Time), Past Faculty, Faculty Profiles, Faculty Research, Faculty Activities, Facilities and Environment, Class Size and Individual Attention, Life After Graduation, Alumni Profiles, Notable Alumni, etc.}

2. Issues and Obstacles

3. Future Plans

This paper will serve significant to Japanese education, the Japanese dance scene, and overseas arts-related organizations and institutions.