Berlin Maymester

DANC 399: Dance Capitals of the World

2.0 Units — May 13 – June 3, 2024

Program Description

During this 22-day Maymester course in Berlin, students will explore moments in Berlin’s long history through its cultural centers, museums, landmarks and people. Berlin has been at the crossroads of artistic exchange for many centuries and has attracted artists from many corners of the world. Since the downfall of the wall separating East and West Berlin, the dance scene has exploded to become a vibrant and diverse home of avant-garde dance in Europe. Professors Stoppiello and McCormick have both spent extensive periods in Germany and are well-acquainted with the city and its performing arts scene. In addition to their experience as residents, their special access to the dance companies in Berlin and Dresden will allow the students to see the daily work happening in all parts of a European opera house, as well as smaller avant-garde performance venues. Through contact with the city’s history and working artists, students will investigate the cross-cultural legacy of Berlin and reflect on their own positions as global ambassadors of dance and culture. Students will also be exposed to sub- and countercultures of Berlin, with a focus on communities that have been historically marginalized. 


Dawn Stoppiello 
Associate Professor of Practice 
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance 

Bruce McCormick 
Associate Professor of Practice 
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance

Company Visits

  • Staatsballet Berlin
  • Semperoper Ballet Dresden


  • Staatsballett Berlin performances featuring work by Crystal Pite, Sharon Eyal, Sol Léon and Marcos Morau (Staatsoper Unter den Linden) 
  • Semperoper Ballett rehearsal of a triple bill featuring work by George Balanchine, Crystal Pite and Twyla Tharp (Semperoper Dresden) 
  • Independent performances TBD (Hebbel am Ufer aka HAU3, Tanzfabrik, Sophiensalle) 

Site Visits

  • Museumsinsel (Pergamon Museum / Berliner Dom)
  • Potsdamer Platz / Checkpoint Charlie / Judisches Museum
  • Berlin Wall Museum
  • Bauhaus Museum
  • Staatsoper Unter den Linden
  • Brandengburger Tor / Holocaust Memorial
  • Day trip to Dresden

*Company visits, Performances and Site Visits are subject to change. 

Lecture & Dance Guests

Students will engage with local dance professionals from a variety of backgrounds in lectures and workshops.


Questions About Course Content:  
Bruce McCormick ( & Dawn Stoppiello (

Questions About Application Process: 
Christine Dennis (

Questions About Credits and Eligibility: 
Kyle Beasley (