Learning
Dance

Why Study Dance?

Dance is the language of movement. It is the realisation of the body’s potential as an instrument of expression. Throughout history and in different cultures, people have explored the dancer’s ability to communicate and give expression to social and personal experience. The study of dance provides the opportunity to explore the potential of movement as a medium of creative expression through practical and theoretical approaches.

VCE Dance is designed to develop students’ understanding and appreciation of dance as an art form that is based on innovation, creativity and spontaneity, as well as the investigation and communication of ideas, themes and concepts. In the study students use sources of inspiration to generate, choreograph and present performances of complete dance works.

VCE Dance prepares students to be creative, innovative, skilled and productive contributors to the art form, as well as discerning, reflective and critical viewers. It provides pathways to training and tertiary study in dance performance and dance criticism.

Dance is the language of movement. It is the realisation of the body’s potential as an instrument of expression. Throughout history and in different cultures, people have explored the dancer’s ability to communicate and give expression to social and personal experience. The study of dance provides the opportunity to explore the potential of movement as a medium of creative expression through practical and theoretical approaches.

VCE Dance is designed to develop students’ understanding and appreciation of dance as an art form that is based on innovation, creativity and spontaneity, as well as the investigation and communication of ideas, themes and concepts. In the study students use sources of inspiration to generate, choreograph and present performances of complete dance works.

VCE Dance prepares students to be creative, innovative, skilled and productive contributors to the art form, as well as discerning, reflective and critical viewers. It provides pathways to training and tertiary study in dance performance and dance criticism.

Structure

The study is made up of four units:

Each unit deals with specific content and is designed to enable students to achieve a set of outcomes. Each outcome is described in terms of key knowledge and skills.

Outcomes
Outcomes define what students will know and be able to do as a result of undertaking the study.

Outcomes include a summary statement and the key knowledge and skills that underpin them. Only the summary statements have been reproduced below and must be read in conjunction with the key knowledge and skills published in the study design.

Unit 1

In this unit students explore the potential of the body as an instrument of expression. They learn about and develop physical skills. Students discover the diversity of expressive movement by exploring body actions, and commence the process of developing a personal movement vocabulary. They also begin to develop skills in documenting and analysing movement and develop understanding of how choreographers use these processes.

Knowledge of physiology, including care and maintenance of the body, is applied to the execution of body actions through the safe application of physical skills. Students develop and perform movement studies and dances with unified compositions created through a range of movement creation processes.

They discuss influences on their own dance backgrounds and on the expressive intentions and movement vocabulary in their own dances.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe and document the expressive and technical features of their own and other choreographers’ dance works, and discuss influences on their own dance-making.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to choreograph and perform a solo or group dance work and complete structured improvisations.

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to expressively execute the body actions of a learnt solo or group dance work to communicate the intention of the choreographer, through the safe use of technical and physical skills.

Outome 4
On completion of this unit the student should be able to describe aspects of the physiology, and demonstrate the safe use and maintenance, of the dancer’s body.

Unit 2

This unit focuses on expanding students’ personal movement vocabulary and choreographic skills through the exploration of the elements of movement: time, space and energy and the study of form.

Students apply their understanding of form and the expressive capacity of the elements of movement to the dance-making and performing processes involved in choreographing and performing their own dance works and dance works created by others.

Students are also introduced to dance traditions, styles and works. Dance traditions, styles and works selected for study might encompass dance traditions of indigenous cultures or other culturally specific dance through to the works of ballet choreographers, modern dance, early musical theatre/ film choreography and the work of tap/jazz or street performers.

Students describe the movement vocabulary in their own and others’ dances by identifying expressive body actions and ways the elements of movement have been manipulated. Students also analyse and discuss the communication of their own and other choreographers’ intentions, through the structuring of form, and the choreographic and expressive use of the elements of movement. This analysis supports students’ understanding of the link between theoretical and practical aspects of each area of study.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse use of the elements of movement – time, space and energy – in selected dance traditions, styles and dance works.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to choreograph and perform a solo or group dance work, complete structured improvisations, and describe the dance-making processes and performance practices used in their own works.

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to expressively perform a learnt solo or group dance work and analyse the processes used.

Unit 3

This unit focuses on choreography, rehearsal and performance of a solo dance work and involves the execution of a diverse range of body actions and use of performance skills.

Students also learn a group dance work created by another choreographer. The dance-making and performance processes involved in choreographing, rehearsing and performing the solo dance work, and learning, rehearsing and performing the learnt group dance work are analysed. This analysis connects each student’s own work as a choreographer to the work of professional choreographers.

Students further develop their understanding of choreographic skills through an analysis of ways that the expressive intentions chosen by choreographers of twentieth and/or twenty-first century solo.

dance works selected from the Prescribed list of works Units 3 and 4 are developed through the use of choreographic devices and arrangement of phrases and sections. Students analyse the dance design and use of movement vocabulary of selected works, as well as consider influences on the choreographers’ choice of expressive intention, and production aspects of the dance works.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse selected solo dance works.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to choreograph, rehearse and perform a solo dance work and analyse the processes and practices used.  

Outcome 3
On completion of this unit the student should be able to learn, rehearse and perform a group dance work created by another choreographer and analyse the processes and practices used.

Unit 4

This unit focuses on choreography, rehearsal and performance of a unified solo dance work. When rehearsing and performing this work students focus on expressive and accurate execution of choreographic variations of spatial organisation and demonstration of artistry in performance. Students also document and analyse the dance-making and performance processes involved in the choreography, rehearsal and performance of the solo dance work.

Students’ understanding of choreographic skills is also developed and refined through an analysis of ways in which the choreographers’ intention can be expressed through the manipulation of different types of group structures. These include unison, canon, contrast, symmetrical and asymmetrical groupings and formations. Students also analyse the use of the elements of spatial organisation – direction, level, eye/body focus and dimension – in a group dance work by a twentieth and/or twenty-first century choreographer. Influences on choices made by choreographers in these works are also studied.

Outcome 1
On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyse a selected group dance work.

Outcome 2
On completion of this unit the student should be able to choreograph, rehearse and perform a solo dance work and analyse the processes and practices used.

Assessment

Satisfactory Completion

Demonstrated achievement of the set of outcomes specified for the unit.


Levels of Achievement

Units 1 and 2

Emmaus College students complete graded Assessment Tasks and Semester Examinations as part of the Assessment process for Units 1 and 2.

Units 3 and 4

The Victorian Curriculum and Assessment Authority will supervise the assessment of all students undertaking Units 3 and 4.

In Dance the student’s level of achievement will be determined by school-assessed coursework, an end-of-year performance examination and an end-of-year written examination.

Percentage contributions to the study score in Dance are as follows:

Unit 3 and 4 School-assessed Coursework 25%
End-of-year performance examination 50%
End-of-year written examination 25%