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U-M Regents approve designs for new Dance Building

Plans for the School of Music, Theatre & Dance’s new Dance Building continue to move forward after the U-M Board of Regents approved schematic designs for the building at their May 16 meeting. The $19 million, 24,000-square-foot space will be the first dedicated facility for the Department of Dance in its storied 110-year history. In addition, the new building’s location adjacent to the Brehm Pavilion at the Earl V. Moore Building will bring most of SMTD’s creative community together on North Campus.

This artist’s rendering of the new dance building on North Campus is a view looking southeast. (Drawing courtesy of Architecture, Engineering and Construction)

“The new facility will invigorate and highlight dance at Michigan,” SMTD Dean David Gier said. “We expect this new space will bring our creative community together and unleash some really exciting cross-disciplinary activity.”

The University of Michigan’s Department of Dance serves 76 SMTD majors and more than 800 non-majors in its studios each year.  The new building will double the size of the department’s existing spaces. It features four large, flexible studio-classrooms, including a performance venue with seating for more than 100, and will accommodate 21st-century experiential and academic work. The facility will also provide ample room for modern locker rooms, cross-training and treatment areas, faculty offices, and administrative spaces.

The new Dance Building will propel the department to preeminence in the study of dance at the college level. It will provide a state-of-the-art teaching environment, complete with technology that has become standard in the teaching and choreographing of dance, such as computers, video cameras, and monitors. “The new building will provide significant enhancements with its larger and better-equipped studios,” enthused dance building committee member and professor of dance Jessica Fogel.

The building will provide the University with an accessible and welcoming front door to dance, exclusively dedicated to the art form while joining the department with the many other creative disciplines on North Campus, fostering more innovation and collaborations with music, theatre, the visual arts, architecture, and engineering.

Lecturer Sean Hoskins serves as the technology coordinator for the Department of Dance and envisions the new building as a space where students from across campus can explore new creative directions. “Interdisciplinary performance projects and exciting visiting guest artist opportunities are bursting the seams of the current facility. I see the new building as being a critical hub for  interdisciplinary activity,” he said.

The project will be funded by SMTD gifts and resources, and investment proceeds. Construction on the new building will begin in late summer/early fall 2019 and is expected to be completed by spring 2021.

This aerial view looking east shows the planned location of the new dance building south of the Moore Music Building and Brehm Pavilion on North Campus. (Drawing courtesy of Architecture, Engineering and Construction)