CONTEMPORARY DANCE PRACTICES 1 - 2020/1

Module code: DAN1011

Module Overview

The module provides students with the opportunity to study foundational physical understandings of the Contemporary dance genre through participation in classes and workshops. The module focuses on Contemporary dance practices stemming from 20th and 21st Modern and Postmodern dance traditions and encompasses somatic practices and approaches. Students are required to reflect on their developing movement skills and cognitive understanding of foundational movement principles underlying contemporary dance techniques. The module initiates students’ technical, reflective and artistic development and introduces them to a range of dance forms and explores how these forms can be fused and synthesised in practice and theory.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

MCNAMARA Anna (GSA)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W543

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

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

N/A  

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Basic understanding of alignment and placement within dance movement.

  • Basic understanding of stylistic qualities embedded within specific dance genres.

  • Basic somatic principles in relation to alignment and posture.

  • Basic exploration of approaches to synthesised dance forms and the development of strategies for moving between these forms.

  • Basic ability to show dynamic qualities.

  • Sensitivity in relationship to music, rhythmic, phrasing and structural elements.

  • Spatial relations – of the dancer’s own body and in space.

  • Expressive sensibility in performance of movement material.


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework PRESENTATION 50
Coursework CONTINUOUS ASSESSMENT (SURREYLEARN) 50

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

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

·         Demonstrate an embodied and cognitive understanding of principles taught within the practice and to demonstrate an understanding of working reflectively

·         Evidence knowledge through feedback strategies, and participation in workshops and classes

·         Evidence knowledge through a summative presentation of reflective learning demonstrated through a presentation format

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Continuous assessment (50%): based on participation in class sessions, and demonstration of progress in the development of physical and performance skills. This is evidenced through peer assessment, mid-way audio recorded tutorials in which the student demonstrates a reflective understanding of own engagement and progress as part of the VLE discussion forums on SurreyLearn.

·         Presentation (50%): Students will receive an individual mark and feedback on their work.

Assessment Deadlines:

Week 1-11; 13-15

Formative assessment and feedback

·         Feedback is given throughout the module in session

·         Students engage in a self reflective feedback excersise writing their own reports based on their performance and progress so far (week 6).

Module aims

  • To acquire a basic conceptual and embodied understanding of Contemporary dance approaches and movement styles such as; release based technique, Cunningham, progressive dance fusion forms approached from a Contemporary dance perspective, somatic practices such Alexander technique, The Feldenkrais Method, Body Mind Centering
  • To develop an understanding of and strategies for synthesizing and fusing dance styles from a range of contemporary dance genres
  • To develop students' basic physical understanding of dance and movement principles such as: alignment, placement, posture, expression, spatial awareness and musicality
  • Develop strategies to engage with feedback and demonstrate and understanding of this knowledge in relation to own learning.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate an embodied,intellectual and performance oriented understanding of Contemporary dance approaches, key somatic principles and a range of different movement styles and practices including alignment, placement, posture, expression, spatial awareness and musicality (C/K/P) KCP
2 Demonstrate an ability to contribute work in a group as part of team, respond to and engage with feedback in a variety of formats, such as through peer feedback excersises, tutor feedback in class and tutorials as well as through VLE feedback discussion forums CT
3 Ability to plan and manage own time and work schedule effectively in relation to ongoing progress and meeting assessment deadlines PT
4 Ability to prepare, revise and rehearse presentation and assessment material PT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 73

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Enable students to develop cognitive skills and to develop their understanding of Contemporary dance practices through a study of synthesised dance forms and somatic movement approaches.

  • Enable students to engage with feedback and apply this effectively to their own learning.

  • Broaden student understanding of the field of Contemporary dance practice in the 21st century.



The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Contemporary dance classes (e.g. 1.5 hours x 4/ week for 11 weeks)

  • Somatic workshops (1 hour per week for 11 weeks)

  • Independent study and practice

  • Use of the University’s VLE to support content delivery (i.e. reading, video resources and discussion forums).

  • Feedback and reflection

  • Required readings

  • Viewing professional work


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 CONTEMPORARY DANCE PRACTICES 1 :

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 2020/1 academic year.