Berlin Maymester

DANC 399: Dance Capitals of the World

2.0 Units – May 16 – June 6, 2022

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 McManus and McCormick have both lived for extensive periods in Germany, speak the language, and are well-acquainted with the city and its performing arts scene. In addition to their experience as residents, their special access to the opera/ballet 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 music, dance and culture. Students will also be exposed to sub- and countercultures of Berlin, with a focus on communities that have been historically marginalized.

Students may apply via SlideRoom until the application deadline, Oct. 11. The admission committee will select 15-20 students, to be notified Oct. 22.


Thomas McManus
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 performance of SYM-PHONIE by Sasha Waltz (Staatsoper Unter den Linden)
  • Semperoper Ballett rehearsal of Peer Gynt by Johan Inger (Semperoper Dresden)
  • Independent performances TBD (Hebbel am Ufer aka HAU3)

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

Lecture & Dance Guests to be Announced


Anne Aubert-Santelli
Program Coordinator
Assistant Dean of Admission & Student Services
USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance