Under the leadership of Donna Faye Burchfield, the School of Dance at University of the Arts in Philadelphia is a community of 300 talented, expressive students and an exceptional faculty of world-recognized artists with expansive and far-reaching abilities and experiences.
The school reimagines and reinvigorates curricular approaches to reflect the ever-expanding landscape of dance, while training and supporting the futures of young dance artists. Students are encouraged to discover their interests; articulate their perspectives; and situate themselves as participants capable of developing critical approaches to dance, performance and study. The curriculum takes the depth and rigor of a discipline-based dance conservatory, while actively interweaving practice and theory and maintaining international collaborations and exchanges at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Mark Caserta, from Philadelphia, graduated from the University of the Arts School of Dance, BFA 2010. He danced professionally with international touring companies Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Les Ballets Jazz De Montreal and Camille A. Brown & Dancers. Mark has been awarded the Philadelphia Rocky Award for Outstanding Dance Performance, The Patrick Swayze Scholarship from Complexions Ballet and the Pennsylvania Ballet Choreography Award. Mark was a 2018 Emerging Choreographer at Springboard Danse Montreal and premiered his first full evening length work ‘BIG KID’ at Gibney NY POP Performance Series in February 2019. Mark has been commissioned to set work on Pennsylvania Ballet II, Grace Dance Theater, Dark Circles Contemporary Dance, Kit Modus, Whim W’him Contemporary Dance Seattle and Gibney Company. Mark was named the 2019/2020 EMERGE Award Recipient with Gibney Company & Springboard Danse Montreal. Mark has presented work at Wanderlust Dance Festival, The Austin Dance Festival, Dance Gallery Festival, The Banff Center for Performing Arts Choreographic Gesture, The Boston Dance Festival, Steps On Broadway Choreography Lab and the Brooklyn Dance Festival. He has also created work on the University of the Arts School of Dance and Pace University. Mark was co-director of The Thriving Artist Project, a program offering a free Pre-Professional experience to young dance artists collaborating with artists from Batsheva, NDT, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater & Lines Ballet.
He has been on faculty at Dance Industry Performing Arts Center, The Joffrey School, Harlem School of the Arts, Gibney Dance, Broadway Dance Center and the Playground NY, teaching Ballet, Contemporary Ballet and Movement Research. Mark is also a teacher and ambassador for MindLeaps, an organization creating educational paths for the most vulnerable children in the world through a creative arts program that is built on data-driven metrics, in Rwanda, Uganda and several other countries. Mark curated ‘CREATE & CONNECT’, an all virtual dance platform with movement sessions and conversations featuring artists such as Sidra Bell, Mikey Morado, Alexander Anderson, Jason Parsons, Dorchel Haqq, Samantha Figgins, Thom White, Amara Barner, Eden Solomon and more. He is currently Artist in Residence at University of the Arts School of Dance, a freelance choreographer/dancer/educator, and creating work for his own project BIGkid Dance.