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Department of Fine and Performing Arts

Saint Louis University is dedicated to providing students with an outlet for imagination and expression, a supportive environment for learning and honing artistic skills and a context for the critical assessment of aesthetics and cultural values.

Fine and Performing Arts

SLU-Madrid's Department of Fine and Performing Arts offers five areas of study for all students to explore: art history, dance, music, studio and theatre. Each discipline encourages reflection on the world around us through art.

Our performances, concerts and exhibits bring performers, artists and audience members together in a communal celebration of truth, beauty and the human spirit.

Degree Programs


Art History

Art history is a program of study in the humanities that teaches the essential skills of critical analysis, research and communication through the examination of the social context in which art was historically – and continues to be – created.

At SLU-Madrid, our art history faculty specialize in a variety of different areas of expertise, ranging from ancient Greece to modern and contemporary art in Europe and the Americas. The department offers the full range and diversity of courses for students to complete Saint Louis University’s major or minor in art history.

Madrid, of course, is an unparalleled resource for the study of Spanish and Western art. Our courses place students before the masterpieces they are studying in class, as many classes incorporate visits to museums and galleries, including private collections which are not open to the public. Located in one of the top art capitals of Europe, the program offers the opportunity to intern at a museum or gallery in Madrid. SLU-Madrid also organizes extracurricular activities, excursions and guest lectures on campus.

Unique features of our program include:

  • Courses that integrate museum visits and all that the city of Madrid has to offer: outside class activities, guest lectures, events, visits and exhibitions.
  • Small classes that allow faculty to have a lot of contact with students.
  • Visits to private collections that are inaccessible to the general public.
  • Internship opportunities in museums both in Spain and the United States.

For more information about art history at SLU-Madrid, contact Fabiola Martínez, Ph.D., program coordinator, at


Students celebrate the body and its movement, learning and performing the rich genres of Latin and Spanish dance at SLU-Madrid. The Latin dance and Flamenco we offer focus on basic movement, choreography and performance.

Latin dance is the collective name given to all the dances that come from the Caribbean: Salsa cubana, salsa en línea, bachata, merengue, cha cha chá, cumbia and bolero. SLU-Madrid also offers Argentine tango, even though it is generally considered to be more of a ballroom than a Latin dance.

Flamenco is a centuries-old expression of Spanish popular culture that came from the blending of Andalusian folk dancing with choreographic elements from the Roma community that settled in the south of Spain. It is characterized by the rhythmic integration of the dancer as a member of the ensemble — think a sort of a percussionist — with the music.

Like other cultural and artistic expressions, the Flamenco dance has been transformed and revitalized by the influences coming from jazz and pop music. It has also renewed its means of expression by adopting elements from contemporary dance styles.

For more information about dance at SLU-Madrid, contact Cary Barney, program coordinator, at


Our music program offers courses in music history and theory for majors and non-majors, as well as instrumental lessons in guitar, piano and voice for credit. Instrumental and voice lessons are offered at all levels, from complete beginners to aspiring professional musicians.

Saint Louis University offers a B.A. in Music that prepares students to enter graduate programs in music history or performance. Graduates have also gone directly into the job market in areas of music management, arts education and church music.

At SLU-Madrid you'll have the chance to join our concert choir, which performs music from a variety of time periods, countries and styles, with a special emphasis on Spanish choral music. No previous musical study or choral experience is required.

Every semester, the department invites guest speakers to lecture and perform for its music students, who have the unique opportunity of listening to and meeting professional musicians. Some of the people who have performed in recent semesters include classical guitarist Adam Levin, composer Agustín Castilla-Ávila, and theorbo player Jorgen Skogmo. Members of the music faculty also perform frequently for different music classes and at venues in Madrid and beyond.

For more information about music at SLU-Madrid, contact Javier Jáuregui, program coordinator, at

Studio Art

As a student of studio art at SLU-Madrid, you will explore the world around you through the visual arts within the context of a liberal arts education. In the newly renovated art studio in San Ignacio Hall, our students express their natural creativity via various artistic media.  Each semester, we offer classes in drawing, design, painting, color theory and sculpture. Options for independent study are also available.

Like their counterparts in St. Louis, our studio art faculty provide a link for students to the exciting art community of Madrid. Faculty exhibit their work in galleries and museums, share their artistic endeavors in the classroom, and provide connections to other professional European artists.

For more information about studio art at SLU-Madrid, contact Cary Barney, program coordinator, at


In theatre, students work together as a theatrical company, fostering commitment to the group while strengthening individual abilities in performance, design, direction and management.

Each semester, SLU-Madrid's theatre program produces a live drama, with students involved both on-stage and backstage. These productions will challenge you to consider diverse values, viewpoints and expressions of the creative imagination, while providing you with an opportunity to learn and practice theatre protocol and craft in a collaborative atmosphere.

Apart from production, our acting courses impart skills that are also useful in non-theatrical settings such as law, training, sales, promotion, marketing and other fields where presentation skills are paramount. Our playscript analysis course teaches you how to read a play and see all of its theatrical possibilities on the stage of your imagination.

For more information about SLU-Madrid productions and theatre courses, contact Cary Barney, program coordinator, at  

SLU-Madrid Theatre Productions

Students in SLU-Madrid's theatre program produce a live drama each semester, managing all aspects of production including acting, directing, design and management. 

Upcoming Production

With COVID-19 and social distancing rules, SLU-Madrid's Theatre Workshop is temporarily transitioning to the creation of original, podcast-quality audio drama, with at least two productions slated for Fall 2020.

Past Productions
  • Antigone, Fall 2019
  • The Misanthrope, Spring 2019
  • Love, Loss and What I Wore, Fall 2018
  • Love and Information, Spring 2018
  • Taming of the Shrew, Fall 2017
  • Max, Spring 2017
  • Proof, Fall 2016
  • Love me(e), Spring 2016
  • Lance and Lana, Fall 2015
  • Dead Man's Cell Phone, Spring 2015
  • Wings, Fall 2014
  • The Art of Dining, Spring 2014
  • The Winter's Tale, Fall 2013
  • Everyman/Everyone, Spring 2013
  • Tartuffe, Fall 2012
  • El lugar donde mueren los mamíferos, Spring 2012
  • The Cherry Orchard, Fall 2011
  • The Millennials, Spring 2011
  • The Dining Room, Fall 2010
  • Spoon River, Spring 2010
  • Quintet, Fall 2009
  • Picnic + Guernica, Spring 2009
  • Rumors, Fall 2008
  • Star Quality, Spring 2008
  • Twelfth Night, Fall 2007
  • La Prima Fernanda, Spring 2007
  • Goodnight Desdemona, Fall 2006
  • Lysistrata, Fall 2005
  • Bodas de Sangre, Spring 2005
  • Hedda Gabler, Fall 2003