module specification

SM5071 - Choreographing Performance (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Choreographing Performance
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Art, Architecture and Design
Total study hours 150
105 hours Guided independent study
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Written evaluative essay (2000)
Coursework 70%   Practical project presentation (10-15 minutes)
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

This is a 15-week module for Level 5 students, which aims to provide practical, theoretical and contextual understanding of choreographed theatre and performance work. In studio-based seminar workshops students will engage with a range of theatre and dance movement based approaches and applications for choreographing performance related to professional environments and their own ideas.

Students will work towards the creating their own choreography that will be directed into a public presentation by the module leader.  Critical appraisal and analysis of this performance experiment will follow and lead to an evaluative essay that will inform the summative performance of the students’ work as a collaborative performance exercise for final presentation.

This module introduces students to a range of physical and choreographic approaches and methodologies to creating performance work. They will gain knowledge of some of the significant choreographic strategies used by contemporary companies/artists who successfully choreograph movement-based performance work. Students will gain understanding and experience in effectively planning, leading, staging and performing a piece of choreographed performance work and collaborate with tutor, peers and a performance space in the creation and presentation of a choreographed performance event.


This module will consider the development of choreographed physical theatre performance through selection, editing and rehearsal of movement material through to polished performance. (LOs 1 and 2).

Through practice and research students will approach choreography from a number of perspectives and contextual styles relating to professional arenas such as: social and/or historical dances; working from a musical or narrative score; movement direction; movement choirs; body as text etc. This work will draw on techniques, documentations and theories of key artists, theorists and companies and through practical tutor-directed explorations. (LOs 3 and 4).

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

In this module students will apply strategic practice based choreographic physical performance skills.  Assessment strategies will take into account the student’s ability to work independently and as part of a team and will include practical and written assessment. Formative assessment is used to provide students with feedback on their choreographic work and will be provided following initial showing of their choreography in performance contributing to new perspectives for development. Drawing on this and peer feedback and response students will be required to reflect on their learning experience as part of their evaluative essay. Tutorials and on-line feedback will contribute to students’ development of practical and written assessment work.

Scheduled teaching ensures that independent study is effective and addresses the learning outcomes and assessment tasks. Students are expected to, and have the opportunity to, continue with their studies outside of scheduled classes. There will be a range of learning strategies deployed and individual learning styles will be accommodated. The module’s learning outcomes, its contents and delivery, have been scrutinised and will be regularly reviewed to ensure an inclusive approach to pedagogic practice.

The module and course utilise the University’s blended learning platform to support and reinforce learning, to foster peer-to-peer communication and to facilitate tutorial support for students. Reflective learning is promoted through assessment items and interim formative feedback points that ask students to reflect on their progress, seek help where they identify the opportunity for improvement in learning strategies and outcomes, and make recommendations to themselves for future development. Throughout the module, students build a body of work, including reflections on progress and achievement. 
The School’s programme of employability events and embedded work-related learning within the curriculum supports students’ personal development planning. Through these initiatives, students are increasingly able, as they progress from year to year, to understand the professional environment of their disciplines, the various opportunities available to them, and how to shape their learning according to their ambitions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

LO 1 demonstrate an understanding of methods and strategies used in developing choreographed physical theatre and performance from concepts, research and practical experiment.

LO2 apply knowledge and understanding of some contemporary practitioners and their working methods in the context of creating physical based theatre performance.

LO 3 experience working independently and collaboratively in planning, creating, staging and performing as part of a staged choreographed event.

LO 4 evidence an increased ability to work with motivation to develop performance, communication and critical skills, building on past knowledge and experience to further reflective practice.


Aggiss, E.& Cowie,B. with Bramley I. ( eds)(2006) : Anarchic Dance; Routledge
Alexander, Elena(1998) Footnotes, six choreographers inscribe in page, G& B Arts
Anderson Sofras P(2006): Dance composition basics : capturing the choreographer's craft ; Human Kinetics
Blom, L.A. and Chaplin, L.T.  (1982)  The Intimate Act of Choreography,  Pittsburgh: Pittsburgh Press
Butcher, R. & Melrose, S (2005): Rosemary Butcher : choreography, collisions and collaborations London : Middlesex University Press
Butterworth, J.& Clarke, G. (1998)  Dance Makers Portfolio – Conversations with Choreographers; Centre for Dance and Theatre Studies at Bretton Hall
Butterworth,J. and Wildschut,L (2008) Contemporary Choreography- a critical reader,  Oxon: Routledge
Carter, A. & O’Shea, J. 2010 The Routledge Dance Studies Reader Oxon : Routledge (available on-line)
Cooper Albright, A. & Gere, D. (2003)Taken by surprise : a dance improvisation reader, Wesleyan University Press
Copeland, Roger (2004) Merce Cunningham, The Modernizing of Modern Dance, Routledge
Desmond, J. (ed) (2001) Dancing Desires University of Wisconsin Press
Govan, E. Nicholson, H. (2007) Making a Performance, Routledge (available on-line)
Huxley, M and Witts, N. Eds (2002). The twentieth-century performance reader- 2nd edition London : Routledge,
Lepecki A (2006) Exhausting dance : performance and the politics of movement, Abingdon and New York: Routledge
Ploebst, Helmut (2001) - No wind no word : new choreography in the society of the spectacle : 9 portraits - München : K. Kieser,
Smith-Autard, 2010 Dance Composition: A practical guide to creative success in dance making.
Methuen Drama, A&C Black Publishers, [on-line]
Theodores,D (2000) writing dance-righting dance, Cork IR : Firkin Crane