Fei Tian College, a private college located in Cuddebackville, New York, recently became the first and perhaps only institution of higher education in the United States to offer a Masters program in classical Chinese dance, according to representatives from the school.
The college was founded in 2011. The two degree programs it was recently authorized to offer, after an exacting evaluation process, are: Master of Fine Arts in Classical Chinese Dance and Master of Music in Performance. The Master of Fine Arts represents a terminal degree in dance.
Fei Tian College’s MFA curriculum in Classical Chinese dance involves training in advanced and highly difficult dance techniques, an expanded repertoire of dances, classical Chinese dance choreography, pedagogy, history, and theory of this dance form, associated cultural knowledge and research methodologies, art management, and exposure to other forms of dance, including ballet, according to college representatives.
The school provides instruction primarily in English, but expects students to gain proficiency in both the Chinese language and culture also. Its website says it is “committed to the preservation, development, and propagation of traditional arts and cultures.”
Its mission statement describes the goal of its education being “to preserve and revive the precious artistic and cultural traditions of humanity. The College seeks to nurture in its students the intellectual and moral virtues that will allow them to lead successful lives of integrity, compassion, and fortitude.”
The two Masters degrees add to the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Classical Chinese dance, and Bachelor of Music in Performance that the college is already authorized to provide.
The establishment of the graduate program was marked with an opening ceremony, a video of part of which was published on YouTube, showing Fei Tian students performing the complex movements of classical Chinese dance.