BFA in Performance

The BFA in Performance is a 60-credit major with a curriculum that balances skill based courses, along with involvement in professionally directed, project-based work and self-generated performance projects designed to aid students’ personal and professional development. It offers a vibrant alternative approach to contemporary live performing arts. 

Rooted in traditional contemplative teachings, integrating dance/movement and acting/text, students develop performance skills and hands-on techniques for self-generated performance work grounded on personal interests and strengths.

In a through-the-body studio-based learning environment, students focus on new forms of dance, psychophysical acting techniques, ensemble creation, interpreting text, devising processes, writing for performance, and performer/audience dynamics. Lectures and seminars in critical and performance theory serve to culturally and politically contextualize the performance practices offered in the program and contribute to deepen students’ personal vision. Through the participation of visiting artists and a faculty of professional practicing artists, students develop an understanding of the work of seminal companies and practitioners who have helped define the field of performance at the beginning of the 21st century.

Departmental Policies

For general decorum policies consult the student handbook on MyNaropa

To enrich the performers experience we suggest that first year students seeking a BFA in Performance choose PAR 100 -Wisdom of the Body to fulfill the Body-Mind Practice Core Requirement, and PAR 101 ­- Experiential Anatomy to fulfill the Scientific Inquiry Core Requirement


In their final year, as their culminating graduation requirement, candidates for the BFA degree must devise and give public presentation of a thesis performance project. The ground work for the thesis performance project is laid out in the form of an abstract grant proposal for an original performance piece in PAR 400 - Building a Career in the Arts for the 21st Century.  This abstract grant proposal is an artistic dissertation paper and the manifest of the candidate’s creative thought with a clearly articulated argument for the production of the envisioned project. This project in turn comes to fruition in PAR 401 Interarts Performance Practicum, where students design a production plan, rehearse, mount and perform their projects.

Special Opportunities

In addition to the unexpected surprises offered through the Special Topic courses, taught by renowned practitioners in the field, and Independent Studies, where students deepen their learning by designing their own course of academic work, students are encouraged to participate in the Thesis Performance projects of their senior peers either in the BFA or MFA programs. These partnerships offer the opportunity to apply and practice all the skills attained while building a network of artistic collaborators.