module specification

AV4F53 - Tools of Choreography (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Tools of Choreography
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 15
School The Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design (The Cass)
Total study hours 150
75 hours Guided independent study
75 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Practical Examination 30%   Collaborative Duet 2mins
Practical Examination 30%   Solo 2 mins
Practical Examination 40%   Reflective Journal
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

Module summary

The module will provide learners with the necessary tools to understand and apply the principles of choreography to their own practice. Through the analytical observation of professional work, learners will be encouraged to apply theory to the development of their own choreographic language. The module provides a solid foundation for choreographic work, whilst encouraging students to research and debate the current issues affecting the way choreographers present and create work. The focus for professional work will be on choreographers currently working in the UK

Module aims

This module aims for the student to:
• Understand how to utilise the elements of choreography including compositional structure, choreographic devices, space and dynamics.
• Develop knowledge of a range of sources and stimuli in preparation for the creation of work.
• Understand how to critically analyse a range of dance work by employing methods of movement analysis.
• Develop and evaluate a critical and analytical understanding of the process
• Broaden their knowledge of professional work, particularly that which is currently being presented in Britain
• Be able to critically review the work of peers and apply feedback from peers/tutors in the development of their own work.


Through practical workshops students will take part in a series of choreographic tasks concerning the research of a range of stimulus, the development of movement vocabulary through improvisation, the structure of movement material and the use of choreographic devices. Students will observe professional work both live and recorded, to facilitate the development of their own ideas with a clear emphasis on the analysis of movement in own and professional work. Classes will debate issues of form and content, working methods, communication and the range of presentation methods, which provide a multitude of choices for the choreographer. Through workshops and independent rehearsals, students will create two pieces of choreography, the first of which will be a collaborative duet and the other a directed solo. Both the duet and solo piece will enable students to develop and apply some of the devices and approaches to creating work explored in class as well as allowing time for the investigation of their own ideas. Creative work will be accompanied by a reflective journal analysing working methods, to be used as a tool to promote their self-development as choreographers. Film will be used to facilitate students in the evaluation of their own work.

Learning and teaching

Practical classes, seminars, observation of live and recorded work and the facilitation of independent rehearsals will allow students to create work in an experimental atmosphere. Regular feedback will be given by tutors and peers to encourage the potential development of work.Visiting professionals will have an input to seminars and workshops in order to support the production of work. The reflective journal will record and reflect on the creative process. Students will independently rehearse and use on line facilities to share their work between rehearsals.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module students will demonstrate the ability to:
• Research and analyse a diverse range of professional work through the application of choreographic principles
• Create work for public performances that demonstrate an understanding of choreographic principles and the development of an individual style .
• Apply principles of movement analysis to own research and creation of work.
• Document the choreographic process in relation to established theory through the production of a reflective journal, which will record the exploratory nature of choreography
• Apply critical feedback to the development and creation of own work.
• Evaluate work at the end of a creation period and through critical analysis be able to set targets for the creation of future work

Assessment strategy

1. The creation of two pieces of work, a collaborative duet to be assessed half -way through the module on Week 7. 30%
2. The creation of a solo to be assessed towards the end of the module on Week 14 30%
3. Practical work will be accompanied by a reflective journal to provide evidence of the process, and absorption of choreographic principles, alongside analytical reflections of professional work to be presented on Week 14. 40%


Preston-Dunlop, V (1998) Looking at dances, a choreological perspective on choreography. London: Verve Publishing
Smith -Autard J (2010) Dance Composition: A Practical Gudie to Creative Success in Dance Making. 6th Revised Ed London: Methuen Drama;PAP DVD edition.
Tufnell M Crickmay C. A Widening Field, journeys in body and imagination London: Dance Books (2004)

Bremser, M (1999) Fifty Contemporary Choreographers. London: Routledge
Butcher. R (2005) Choreography, Collisions and Collaborations, London: Middlesex University Press
Cunningham, M Leschave, J (1991) The Dancer and the Dance, New York, Marion Boyes

DVD-  Selection of works to include: 
Alvin Ailey: Cry
 ( 1986) Dance Horizons
William Forsythe(1995) Solo
Rd Studio Productions France
IRIE! dance theatre Rep( 2000-2003) ( In house recordings) IRIE! dance theatre
Wayne McGregor (2010) Infra Royal Opera House
Bill T Jones(2003)  – Solos BelAir Classiques
Akram Khan(2008)  Zero Degrees, Axiom Films