THE BODY IN DANCE I: THEORY AND AESTHETICS - 2020/1

Module code: DAN1016

Module Overview

This is a course of directed reading, video/dvd-based dance analysis and weekly discussions. Students will be challenged to research the interrelationship between dance practice, avant-garde aesthetics and cultural theories of the body as they investigate the interrelationship between dance, theatre performance and choreography. Among the recurring themes of the module will be the following: the body and performativity, social habitus and performance practice, corporeality and aesthetics, media and the body, space and choreography, semiotic and phenomenological analysis and kinaesthetics.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader

REFSKOU Anne-Sophie (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 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

Indicative content includes:


  • Dance and Embodiment: An Introduction

  • The Body and Experience: Dance and Phenomenology

  • The Body and Representation: Semiotic Analysis

  • Archetype and The Collective Unconscious: American Modern Dance

  • Deconstructing the Anthropological Paradigm: Postmodern Dance

  • Feminist Interventions: Women in Dance

  • Critical Race Studies: Black Dance and Diaspora

  • Dance and Disability: StopGap

  • Space and Time: Site-Specific Dance and Performance Art

  • Dance and Intermediality: Theatre, Film & Digital arts


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Oral exam or presentation GROUP PROJECT PRESENTATION (PREZI) 50
Coursework ESSAY (1700 WORDS) 50

Alternative Assessment

2000 word essay.

Assessment Strategy

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


  • An understanding of key theoretical concepts encountered in lectures, weekly reading assignments and seminar discussions

  • Working independently towards their group presentations

  • Research, writing and E-learning skills



Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         Prezi Presentation (50%): Outline Creative Portfolio or Performed Essay

(Week 6)

·         Creative Portfolio or Performed Essay (50%): Semiotic (Creative Portfolio) or Phenomenological Analysis (Performed Essay) of/on a chosen choreographer’s work including 1500 words critical reflection (Week 12)

Assessment Deadline:

Week 6 & 12

Formative assessment and feedback

Further formative Assessment is provided in verbal feedback during seminar discussions and via SurreyLearn. Small writing tasks and weekly study questions also feedback on student progress throughout.

Module aims

  • Facilitate the reading and understanding of key critical texts and theoretical concepts for dance analysis in comparison to changing perspectives on the body and corporeality
  • Consider dance and its relationship to other art forms such as theatre, film and digital arts
  • Embed e-learning, research skills and contextual studies of dance and embodiment

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Display critical understanding of the relevance of dance practice to the discursive formation of corporeality past and present KC
2 Organize and present informed arguments reflecting research and critical thought in the subject area of the course KCPT
3 Demonstrate critical awareness of current socio-cultural debates on corporeality, identity and embodiment as they relate to aesthetic discourse KC
4 Co-operate as part of a group in presenting an argument in the analysis of course material KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:


  • Underline the contextual research and critical analysis strand of the programme strengthening students’ skills towards independent scholarship and research, but also informing their dance pedagogy, choreography and arts management skills



The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Lectures (1 hour x 11 weeks)

  • Seminars (1 hour x 11 weeks)

  • Web-based discussion forum (SurreyLearn)

  • E-Learning: Prezi Presentations (SurreyLearn)


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 I: THEORY AND AESTHETICS : http://aspire.surrey.ac.uk/modules/dan1016

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.