Summer Arts in Berlin
Summer Arts in Berlin is a Sarah Lawrence program designed for students of dance, language, the fine arts, and photography, as well as being open to those who are simply interested in learning about the broader cultural history of Germany and Berlin’s place in it.
Berlin is defined by its vitality and the arts in equal measure. The program is designed to get students into the city, to help them understand and participate in current debates in the contemporary arts, to become engaged with artists of all types, and to provide a real taste of what is happening now in one of Europe’s most dynamic metropolises. From fine arts to architecture, literature, theater and dance, understanding Berlin’s cultural relevance and critical position today (and in the past 100 years) will give students a new perspective on their own work.
Summer Arts in Berlin is a rigorous program that puts students into the shifting heart of this fascinating city.
A core course in “German History and Culture” (twice a week) provides all students with basic historical context as of WWI. This required course serves as a jumping off point for in-depth study and practice in one of the following options:
- Dance Practice and Study
- The Practice and Study of Visual Arts and Architecture
- German Language Studies
All academic programs are complimented by walking tours, museum and archive visits, theatre-going, film nights and opportunities to meet working artists in a salon environment.
Dance Practice and Study
We will engage in the cultural conversation, and have mutual interests with architects, artists, and writers. We will explore the paths first tread by radical choreographers in the 1910s. Today, Berlin hosts the largest state ballet company as well as the largest number of independent modern companies of any city in Europe. We will examine the dance companies, venues, festivals, and performances. In Germany, experimentation is part of the mandate. Please note: Students must have at least one year of dance study at the college level (or the equivalent). Learn more about the core curriculum and courses offered.
The Practice and Study of Visual Arts and Architecture
Layers of history exist in the ever-changing architectural landscape of (unified) Berlin. From Bauhaus projects of the 1930s to current works by major architects that re-invent the Wall landscape, students will be on-site for every class to examine everything from the Baroque to Socialist Realism to the Post Modern. With over 170 museums and galleries, Berlin has historically been the home to artists for over a century—a nucleus and catalyst, a place where inexpensive living and interesting venues continue to grant the arts a dominant role in Berlin life. Low rent as well as a high number of galleries have meant an influx of world renowned personalities working next to young artists—from the fine arts to photography, from performance to complex interdisciplinary ventures—the sheer amount of art on display is inescapable and ubiquitous. Learn more about the core curriculum and courses offered.
German Language Studies
Open to all students (previous knowledge of German is not required), this program will provide the opportunity to become more proficient and experience the German language in its living cultural context. Daily language lessons, directed communication with native speakers in the exciting streets of Berlin, and excursions to other German cities provide an intensive and rich learning environment. At the completion of this program, students should advance to the next level of proficiency. Learn more about the core curriculum and courses offered.