Module code: DAN1013

Module Overview

This course introduces students to process-based choreography that is informed by relevant readings and an understanding of the broader context of choreography in contemporary dance today, which includes the integration of theory and improvisational practices. Students learn different methods of devising, creating and approaching choreography, both in its traditional form, constructing work in consideration of form, movement, location, and sound with particular concern for solo work. The study activities in the course aim to facilitate a reflective learning approach to making dance, while at the same time introducing students to foundational principles of dance composition and choreographic thinking.


Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W510

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • What is Choreography?

  • Improvisation and Movement Appropriation

  • Repetition and the Habitual

  • Fragmentation

  • Sound and Silence

  • Solo work in process

  • Choreography and Props

  • Exploring Kinaesthetic and Visual Impulse

  • Choreography and Semiotics.

  • Assessment of solo work

  • Assessment Reflective Submission

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment SOLO CHOREOGRAPHY 60

Alternative Assessment

Reflective submission (equivalent of 3000 word essay)

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

·         students’ abilities to apply approaches covered in the module and develop choreographic thinking, at an introductory level. 

·         designing a clear conceptual framework evidenced by students’ solo performance

·         knowledge as a reflective practitioner

·         ability to integrate theory and practice and give evidence to parts of their choreographic process and critical self-reflection and contextualisation


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Solo Choreography (60%): Students will show their final piece (3-5 min) in an assessed showing set up by the module convener in class time.  Feedback will be recorded by 2 assessors (including the module convener) and marks agreed in a meeting directly after the showing of all students for that particular day.  Students will be sent feedback once all student marks for the whole cohort are agreed (Week 11)

·         Reflective Documentation (40%): Students will submit source material on SurreyLearn (scanned material also accepted as part of the portfolio, in the case of students who want to hand write or draw for instance, and video also accepted, but it MUST accompany written or spoken reflection to contextualise the whole) (Week 12)


Assessment Deadlines:

Week 11 & 12


Formative assessment and feedback

·         In-class discussion of the solo work will provide convener and peer group feedback.

·         Sharing of the reflective submission via Surrey Learn mid-semester for convener feedback.

·         Tutorials to allow students to show work, discuss their solo composition, and get feedback on their reflective work to that point.

Module aims

  • Share basic concepts and compositional principles of choreography, especially in making solo work, including improvisation and integrating theory
  • Contextualise choreographic practice in relation to relevant readings and other choreographers' works (past and present)
  • Introduce different tools, methods and processes of developing, documenting and presenting an embodied creative process
  • Engage in digital practices for reflecting on and documenting choreographic processes

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand the basic principles of dance composition in solo choreography KCP
002 Develop a critical understanding of the context for contemporary choreography and making solo work in relation to that KCP
003 Document one's creative practice and track the key phases of development of one’s ideas and stimuli for solo choreography KCPT
004 Develop reflective skills in order to articulate one's own creative process CPT
005 Demonstrate the ability to create a personal choreographic portfolio online by using digital media KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 106

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • introduce students to different approaches towards choreography in a contemporary dance context

  • develop a broader understanding of choreography exploring theoretical ideas in a choreographic context and their own constructed subjectivity in a range of choreographic processes

  • provide learning and understanding about other choreographers’ processes and the variety of ways that choreographic practice and choreography have been influenced by a broad range of contemporary dance aesthetics           

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 2 hour practical studio sessions

  • weekly assigned readings and viewings (guided and independent)

  • weekly assigned independent study and choreography tasks

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Dance BA (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2018/9 academic year.