THE BODY IN DANCE II: WRITING DANCE ANALYSIS - 2018/9

Module code: DAN1017

Module Overview


This module analyzes the relationship between dance and text, dance as text, and textual representations of dance. Through readings that focus on disciplines as varied as feminism, phenomenology, gender and dance semiotics, to excerpts from poetry and literature, to critical dance reviews in internationally renowned newspapers and magazines, we will be examining the methods and strategies for translating choreographed action into a written description of that movement. The module focus will be on student writing and contribution to in-class discussions.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

EHRENBERG S Dr (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W520

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

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

DAN1016 The Body in Dance 1 Theory and Aesthetics

Module content


Indicative content includes:


The module examines and analyses a range of textual descriptions of dance and movement practices.

The module compares different techniques and strategies of writing dance.

The module draws on relevant theoretical models from dance studies, cultural studies, performance studies, and anthropology.

The module requires the application of analysis and theory for the creation of creative writing samples on chosen dance performances.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework PORTFOLIO (1500 WORDS) 40
Coursework ESSAY (2000 WORDS) 60

Alternative Assessment

Essay (2500 words).

Assessment Strategy

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

·         An understanding of analytical approaches to writing about dance, choreography and movement across different cultural contexts

·         A detailed understanding of the interplay between dance practices, social debates and political discourse as reflected in writing in dance studies.

·         An appreciation of the ambiguity and limits of written accounts of dance, embodiment and movement.

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Portfolio (50%): Sample Dance Writings (1500 words) (Week 8)

·         Essay (2000 words) (50%): written assessment which expands on one of the smaller scale writing exercises submitted as part of the portfolio assignment (see below) (Week 12)

Assessment Deadlines:

Week 8 & 12.

Formative assessment and feedback

Formative assessment and oral feedback are provided in-class on three smaller writing tasks: 1. critical analysis of different genres of dance writing (week 3); 2. live dance performance review (week 6); 3. auto-ethnography (week 8) to prepare the two summative assessments in week 8 and 12.

Module aims

  • Provide knowledge of the relationship between dance analysis and writing by examining a variety of sources taken from such disciplines as dance studies, cultural studies, performance studies, literary studies, post-structuralism, and anthropology.
  • Create an awareness of the current practices, academic trends, and inherent creativity in writing on dance, embodiment and movement

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 A critical understanding of analytical approaches to writing about dance, choreography and movement across different cultural contexts KCP
2 A detailed understanding of the interplay between dance practices, social debates and political discourse as reflected in writing in dance studies KCT
3 An analytic appreciation of the ambiguity and limits of written accounts of dance, embodiment and movement CP
4 Ability to identify and critically evaluate a range of different writing samples dance and other movement practices KC
5 Demonstrate the ability to communicate theoretical ideas in writing and in class discussion, and to effectively synthesise different critical approaches and styles of writing dance analysis CPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Workshop Hours: 22

Independent Study Hours: 84

Lecture Hours: 22

Tutorial Hours: 22

Methods of Teaching / Learning


The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


Enhance theoretical, analytical and writing skills specifically catered to an understanding of dance, embodiment and movement as translated into written form and language


The learning and teaching methods include:


Workshop (2 hours x 11 weeks):


Group discussion

In-class writing workshops

Textual and DVD based dance analysis



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

Reading list for THE BODY IN DANCE II: WRITING DANCE ANALYSIS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/dan1017

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Dance BA (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Dance with Theatre and Performance BA (Hons) 2 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.