Module code: DAN1020

Module Overview

This course introduces students to choreographic practice that is informed by historical and current practices. Relevant performance work, readings and an understanding of the broader context of choreography in contemporary dance today underpin this module. This includes the integration of theoretical perspectives 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 and with particular concern for solo, duet, and ensemble work. Movement 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: 30

ECTS Credits: 15

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

JACs code: W510

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

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Choreography

  • Improvisation

  •  Time

  • Space

  • Dynamics

  • Repetition

  • Sound

  • Props

  • Continuous Reflective Tasks (in-class and/or online)

  • Receiving and Giving Feedback

  • Assessment of choreographic work (formative & summative)

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Practical based assessment Continuous 50
Practical based assessment Practical - Choreographic Work 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

Provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate:

  • apply approaches covered in the module and develop a choreographic approach, at an introductory level

  • knowledge as a reflective practitioner

  • development of clear conceptual framework and understanding of contemporary dance choreographic practice in the development of a choreographic work

  • integration of theory and practice through critical self-reflection, contextualisation, and final choreographic work

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 creative and choreographic skills. This is evidenced through in-class and/or online tasks assigned across the term in which the student demonstrates reflective understanding of own engagement and progress, including peer assessment and feedback. Format determined by module convener

  • Choreographic Work (50%): Students will show a final piece in an assessed showing set up by the module convener at the end of the module in a studio setting. Feedback will be recorded and marks agreed in a meeting directly after the showing of all students on assessment day(s)

Formative assessment

  • In-class discussion of tasks, movement studies (e.g. solo), and online material will provide opportunity for convener and peer group feedback

  • Tutorials will allow students to show work, discuss their choreographic works in-process, and ensure feedback before the summative assessment


  • See above for each assessment point.

Module aims

  • Explore and apply basic concepts and compositional principles of choreography, including improvisation and integrating theoretical perspectives relevant to contemporary dance
  • Contextualise choreographic practice in relation to other choreographers' works (past and present), relevant resources (e.g. readings and viewings), and development of the students’ own choreographic voice
  • Introduce different tools, methods and processes of developing, documenting and presenting an embodied creative process

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand and explore the basic principles of contemporary dance choreography KCP
002 Demonstrate understanding of concepts and compositional principles of contemporary choreography through a choreographic work KP
003 Develop a critical understanding of the context for contemporary choreography and making work in relation to that KCPT
004 Develop reflective skills in order to articulate one’s own choreographic and creative process KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 186

Tutorial Hours: 66

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 practical and 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:

  • Practical/lab studio sessions

  • Group and one-to-one tutorials

  • Weekly assigned readings and viewings (guided and independent)

  • Weekly assigned independent study and choreographic 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

Reading list for CHOREOGRAPHY I :

Other information

Under the three term structure that commences from academic year 2019/0 – this module’s delivery is year-long due to the teaching occurring in Teaching Blocks 1, 2 and 3.

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.