Module code: DAN2029

Module Overview

This module provides students with the opportunity to develop a competent embodied understanding of contemporary dance practices within a professional led rehearsal and performance context.  Students are required to apply their somatically based movement approaches to this context, and through this process learning ways of performing and working creatively with synthesised contemporary dance forms. The module applies understandings of Contemporary dance practices stemming from 20th and 21st Modern and Postmodern dance traditions within creative context led by a dance artist. Students are required to incorporate their understanding of interrelated movement and Somatic principles to a creative process and performance context. The module provides students with opportunities to develop competent understandings of a range of Contemporary dance forms, practitioner working processes and movement signatures within an artist led creative and performance context. The module allows students to apply learning in previous Contemporary Dance Practice Modules within a near professional context and provides the opportunity for students to work with a dance artist in a rehearsal and creative context towards a final group performance.

Module provider

Guildford School of Acting

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

JACs code: W500

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

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Competent understanding of alignment and placement within dance movement and the application of this within a creative artist led performance context.

  • Competent understanding of stylistic qualities embedded within specific dance genres and artist signatures.

  • Embodied application of Contemporary dance and somatic principles in relation to alignment, breath, weight and posture and embodiment.

  • Ability to identify and appropriately apply a range of dynamic qualities within a creative and performance context.

  • Developing competent sensitivity in relationship to music, rhythmic, phrasing, relationship to space and structural process and performance elements.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

  • Demonstrate a competent embodied and cognitive understanding of principles taught within the practice and demonstrate an ability to apply this knowledge within an artist led process.

  • Demonstrate physical understandings of Contemporary dance practices within a near professional performance context.

  • Demonstrate knowledge through feedback strategies, Continuous participation in workshops, classes and rehearsals and through engagement with reflective discussion forums accessed via the University’s VLE.

  • Demonstrate evidence knowledge of reflective learning within a creative artist led process leading to a performance.

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 well as contribution to VLE discussion forums (SurreyLearn). (Weeks 1-11)

  • Performance (50%): Students will receive an individual mark and feedback on their participation in an artist-led performance project and perform a 20 minutes presentation as the outcome demonstrating their understanding of the relationship of movement principles and stylistic components in professional Contemporary dance practice. (Weeks 13-14)

Assessment Deadlines:

Week 1-11; 13-14

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Students engage in a feedback exercise through a self-reflexive comment sheet provided by the student and related to the module learning outcomes.

  • Students receive feedback throughout the course in preparation for their final summative assessment task.

Module aims

  • To acquire a competent 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 to a competent level the students' physical understanding of dance and movement principles such as: Alignment, placement, posture, expression, breath and weight, spatial awareness and musicality.
  • To develop competent understanding of strategies for synthesizing and fusing dance styles from a range of contemporary dance genres and apply this within a performance context. .
  • Develop strategies to engage with feedback through reflective abilities in relation to Somatic principles and demonstrate this through performance.
  • To develop a competent understanding of working with and responding to the stylistic and technical demands of a specific artists choreographic signature.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Demonstrate a competent embodied and intellectual and performance oriented understanding of Contemporary dance approaches and a range of different movement styles and practices as well as a coherent understanding of alignment, placement, posture, breath and weight, expression, spatial awareness and musicality through the application of key Somatic approaches KCP
2 Demonstrate a competent ability to contribute work in a group as part of a team and respond to and engage with feedback in a variety of formats such as peer, tutor led, as well as through VLE forums CT
3 An competent ability to plan and manage own time and work schedules effectively in realtion to ongoing progess and meeting assessment deadlines and prepare, revise and rehearse presentation and assessment material PT
4 Application of understandings of Contemporary dance forms within an artist led creative choreographic process leading to performance and recognise and respond to professional protocols and accepted dance industry approaches and methodologies of performance creation and production KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 73

Tutorial Hours: 77

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • integrate contemporary dance training with professional performance practice through an artist-led intensive rehearsal and workshop process in line with the professional training strand of the overall programme

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Contemporary dance practice classes and rehearsals (2 x 3hrs pw plus 1 somatic session 11 weeks)

  • Independent study and group rehearsal sessions.

  • Demonstration and setting of choreographic and improvisation tasks.

  • Engagment with peer feedback through University VLE and class discussion forums

  • Engagment with directorial feedback from a professional dance artist.

  • Viewing professional work to inform own artistic and creative development.

  • Tutorials

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


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.