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The Undergraduate Dance Course within the Arts Institute of Unicamp was idealized by Marília Antonieta de Oswald de Andrade after receiving an invitation by the Univerity´s Rector, Prof. Dr. José Aristodemo Pinotti, and in 1985 the Department of Corporal Arts was created/ DACO -, together with a team of collaborators: artists, professors and dance researchers. The initial project contained the prospective of implanting an infrastructure and physical space adequate for teaching, researching and artistic production in dance.

Since the Corporal Arts Department is historically considered the second public undergraduate course in dance established in the country and the first in the State of São Paulo, this allowed for its conception to be elaborated, not in preexisting models, but as a mirror of the current transformations in the field of national and international dance. Also the course is considered a forerunner in job market opportunities, exemplifying the University´s crucial role in the formation of the dance professional.

Considering that a university education is inseparable from research, the proposal of the department’s founding group was to research dance. Research as a synonym of discovery, opening new paths. With emphasis on an informed and current education of the dancer and dance teacher, a program was idealized focusing on contemporary experience and the Brazilian’s socio-cultural reality from a critical viewpoint as well as involving a creative and transformative experience, aiming towards radically rethinking the ways of doing and teaching dance.

During the last years, we have attempted to stick to the initial ideology of the project, which is to lift dance to the status of a knowledgeable area inside the university. Since its creation, Unicamp’s Dance course has been recognized in Brazil as an important place for creation, teaching, and dance researching, having been responsible for producing countless generations of professionals that occupy a significant role today in society.