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Dance Unlimited Amsterdam Study Guide 2004-2006


Post-Graduate Study in Choreography/ New Media

Study Guide 2004-2006


  • Dance Unlimited: A Shared Program

  • Description

  • Amsterdam Profile

  • Arnhem Profile

  • Rotterdam Profile

  • Admission Guidelines/ Criteria (Amsterdam)

  • Amsterdam Outline

  • Amsterdam Modules/ Strands

  • Choreographic Mind

  • Augmented Performance Practice

  • Perspectives

  • Dossier Guidelines

  • Individual Study Guidelines

  • Assessment Criteria Choreographic Projects

  • Practice-Based Activities

  • Program Schedule 2004-2005

  • Overview of Credits

  • Final Qualifications

  • Staff Biographies

  • Contact Information

  • Education and exam regulations

  • Study course regulations

Dance Unlimited: a shared program
Dance Unlimited is an advanced study in choreography in collaboration with the dance academies of Amsterdam, Arnhem and Rotterdam.
Dance Education in the Netherlands is known internationally for its breadth and sophistication. In the context of higher vocational education (in Dutch: Hoger beroeps onderwijs), the School for New Dance Development/ Theaterschool in Amsterdam has given extensive attention to the creative skills of dancers since the 1980’s, and the Dance Academy Arnhem and the Rotterdam Dance Academy have had a graduation differentiation in choreography for over a decade.
In 2002, a collaborative effort between these three dance organizations in Amsterdam, Arnhem and Rotterdam resulted in the establishment of Dance Unlimited as the first postgraduate course in Choreography in The Netherlands. Each of the three organizations has a distinct profile and course.
Dance Unlimited is rooted in contemporary international dance practice and offers the student the possibility to engage with a plurality of choreographic visions. A single sense of style or dominant theory about the position of dance is avoided. The specificity of each organization’s individual profile and the collaborative nature of the Dance Unlimited program offer the student an extensive and professional network in which to develop.
Dance unlimited is a 2 year program. It may be completed in maximum 3 years, so that the possibility for students to accept professional commissions is not excluded. Students are expected to be able to work independently to formulate, shape and sustain their research question through the creation of choreographic works, practice based investigations and theoretical studies.
Sources for support within the course are:
1. Personal artistic counseling by tutors form the Dance Unlimited staff

2. Supervisors from the professional field and

3. Ongoing peer feed back.

Amsterdam Profile

Amsterdam offers a unique program supporting the practical and theoretical study of the relationship between choreography, performance, and new media/ emerging technologies. The program's emphasis is to develop strong and sophisticated choreographic work, extending and testing the boundaries of choreographic practice, application and thought. New media/ emerging technologies are approached from this perspective with an emphasis on representation and perception of the body in physical and mediated spaces.

Arnhem Profile

Arnhem offers an emphasis on choreographic research, specifically with regard to Open Form Composition (OFC), which investigates diverse choreographic/ compositional constructs that involve both set materials and improvisation, in a “both/ and” amalgam. The moment right before one makes a choice is of particular interest. Central to the program is the examination of the psychophysical body; how this is constructed, how it enhances, modifies, creates, challenges or informs dancing in choreography. This examination will take place through an inquiry into late 20th century models of the body.

Rotterdam Profile

Rotterdam focuses on the enhancement of choreographic skills through the analysis of movement material and its way of communicating using the Laban system and composition techniques presented in the following modules: Laban Movement Analysis, Composition Group work and Inter-disciplinary Works. The learning process takes the form of workshops and presentations of two productions and the pursuit of theoretical subjects, practical lessons and weeklong workshops. In addition, an individual curriculum is set up for each student.

For more detailed information about each profile:

Admission Guidelines/ Criteria (Amsterdam)

Dance Unlimited (DU) Amsterdam offers a program for dance artists who want to continue their choreographic studies within the context of live performance practice and emerging technologies.

To be accepted in DU Amsterdam candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • They must have an undergraduate diploma in choreography, performance or dance teaching or prove they have work experience in the field of dance for at least three years.

  • They must be strongly motivated in their choice to be professional choreographers and they must present a clearly formulated research plan.


To enter DANCE UNLIMITED candidates must submit:

  1. Curriculum vitae, including history of education and practice

  2. Written recommendation(s) from professional choreographers, artists and/or teachers in the field of dance

  3. Video of own work

  4. Program design for the course that includes:

    1. Rationale for wanting to earn a masters degree in dance

    2. Rationale for choosing choreography as a profession and dance as medium of artistic expression

    3. Rationale for choosing DANCE UNLIMITED and, in particular, the profile of your choice

  5. Motivation paper that outlines:

    1. A research plan

    2. A specific area of interest (e.g. live presentations, installations, networked performance, video, Internet, augmented body wearable technologies)

    3. The relationship to the three institutions (Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Arnhem)

Amsterdam Outline
Established in 2002, Dance Unlimited (DU) Amsterdam is a unique two-year post-graduate program supporting the practical and theoretical study of the relationship between choreography, performance, and new media/ emerging technologies. The program takes as its starting point the development of strong and sophisticated choreographic work from which to extend and test the boundaries of choreographic practice, application and thought. New media/ emerging technologies are approached from this perspective with an emphasis on representation and perception of the body in physical and mediated spaces.
Teaching and Learning Strategies
The program combines a range of approaches including workshops, lectures, training and tutorial sessions (from core staff members and guests), a collaboration lab and mini-conference, writing/ documentation, practical studio based research and presentation, feedback sessions, individual study and peer-to-peer contexts for discussion and debate.
Modules/ Strands
The movement research module Choreographic Mind will be coordinated by Susan Rethorst and offer intensive practical and conceptual study of choreography. For 2004-2006, the technology and theory modules are structured as “strands” and coordinated by Sher Doruff (Augmented Performance Practice) and Scott deLahunta (Perspectives).
The written requirements of DU Amsterdam will be fulfilled through the completion of a dossier of writing accumulated over the two years to include proposals, reports and essays.

Independent Study

A significant portion of time is set aside for Independent Study comprising choreographic projects leading to presentations and practice-based activities. Each student will make two studio presentations in the first year and two major presentations for graded assessment in the second year. The independent study route may take advantage of modules from the other two institutions of Dance Unlimited: Arnhem and Rotterdam.

Triweekly” Sessions
Approximately 18 sessions under the heading “triweekly” will be organized over the two years in which research plans and ongoing work will be shared and discussed among students and staff. Each “Triweekly” will be moderated by the DU Amsterdam overall coordinator and attended by at least one other core staff member.

DU Amsterdam Core Staff

Jeroen Fabius is the coordinator of the overall program and the Independent Study component. Module/ strand coordinators are: Susan Rethorst, Sher Doruff and Scott deLahunta. This year Thomas Lehmen joins the Core Staff and will assist Susan Rethorst in delivery of the Choreographic Mind module.

Assessment Criteria

Are set and assessed:

  • for the modules/ strands – by the coordinator

  • for the dossier – by a committee of two members of the DU Amsterdam staff

  • for independent study practiced-based activities – by the DU Amsterdam coordinator

  • for the independent study choreographic projects/ presentations – by a committee comprised of DU Amsterdam staff, representatives from Arnhem and Rotterdam and invited external assessors

  • for modules taken at the other two institutions – following guidelines of that institution

Requirements for Qualification

Students will be expected to complete 120 study points (credits) to qualify for the post-graduate qualification. These will be divided as follows: 30% Modules/ Strands – 36 credits; 10% Independent Study Dossier Writing – 12 credits; 10% Independent Study practice-based activities – 12 credits; 50 % Independent Study presentations (two in the second year at 25% each) – 60 credits.

Notes on Training and Facilities
The program has its own rehearsal and computer studio and access to other presentation spaces in the Theaterschool. The program has a special relation with several other venues in Amsterdam and can assist students in showing their work in the second year in a wider public context. Students may take classes within the undergraduate dance courses. The program does not in general provide sustained training in specific computer technologies, instead making available a database of specialists for individualized tutorials relevant to the goals of the student. In addition, the core staff is experienced in establishing effective collaborative connections with a range of partner organizations both in the Netherlands and abroad (e.g. Essexdance, UK; Waag Society and Montevideo, Amsterdam).
Production Support
Alex Schaub is the main facilitator and coordinator of production support for DU Amsterdam. He is available for 4 hours a week to work on student projects.
Here is a partial list of other important contacts for production support in the Theaterschool:
Martin Taminiau: coordination of the building services, set design and light and sound equipment.
Paul van der Ploeg: director of the Beeldmedia
Ricardo Maduro and Dave Krooshof: sound design and production
Bas de Bruin: lighting workshop
More detailed Production Support information will be distributed later.

Amsterdam Modules/ Strands
Coordination: Susan Rethorst / Teaching: Susan Rethorst and Thomas Lehmen.
Course Description:
The course as a whole takes as its point of departure the workings of the choreographic mind/body as it is used in and out of dance making; those workings in relation to technology and theory, separately and in overlap.
To gain assurance and sophistication in both the craft and art of choreography, to include:

  • an ability to recognize/access states and aspects of self necessary to making work; intuition, perception, cognition, interiority, emotional distance, spontaneity, pleasure, will, reflection, humor.

  • an ability to fuel your work with your questions about work; the ability to perceive when and how others have done the same.

To examine the implications of the nature of movement and its communication from the viewpoints of philosophy, psychology and metaphysics, and to do so in practice; with an eye to understanding:

  • the place of movement in the world, how it operates as phenomena

  • the ways of seeing and proceeding in choreography that are applicable not only to choreography;

  • the transference of skills to other art forms, as well as to analytical and critical thinking

To locate one's self, aesthetic, and goals in the larger picture of dance's many mini cultures, past and present; to understand one's artistic methods in relation to one's artistic values.

Teaching and learning strategies:

  • teaching/exercises/ work strategies designed to further experiential engagement of the aims outlined above

  • teaching/exercises/ work strategies designed to further reflection, the regarding of one's work as both input and feedback

  • ongoing frequent use of showings and mini presentations

  • mentoring of work via video and email conversation

  • guest lecturers, advisors

  • mentored work periods; self structured research questions/ projects, to include access to the process of professionals working in the field

  • assertive use of peer dialogue and interference

  • feedback sessions

Schedule (2004-2005):
The workshop will be taught by Susan Rethorst and Thomas Lehmen and will consist of 3 weeks in the fall with Susan Rethorst, 2 weeks in the summer with Thomas Lehmen.
6-24 September – 10 to 5 pm daily with Susan Rethorst
6-8 December – Presentation/ Feedback sessions
26-29 May – Presentation/ Feedback sessions
30 May to 10 June – 10 to 5 pm daily with Thomas Lehmen
Will be based on:

  • ongoing work

  • presentations of work

  • relationship to work


  • evidence of the ability to create the conditions necessary to allow for ongoing making

  • evidence in the work and the ways of working that the aims as stated above have been taken on

  • evidence in the work of the kind of engagement that implies continuity, depth, ongoingness, questioning

  • evidence in the work that high standards have been taken on; a practical realization of how that translates into the daily working

The successful completion of the module will be equal to 10% of all credits (12 study points).

Coordination: Sher Doruff
POINT OF VIEW: The pervasive convergence of digital media in the past decade has inspired a refocusing of attention to the ways in which our bodies engage with the world and with machines. Theories of embodiment from the domains of philosophy, science and art have poignantly resurfaced as we seek to understand our sensory, perceptual and emotional interaction with our environment and each other.
Movement and affect, fundamental properties of choreography, now substantively figure into interaction design and new media theory, further strengthening interdisciplinary ties between the performer and emerging technologies. Sensitivity to the dynamic exchange between the moving body and the world it encounters is focal to the integration of these technologies in performative contexts.
Guest artists, technicians and choreographers will present their work throughout the course, introducing the students to their methodologies, technologies and personal philosophies.
Augmented Performance Practice aims to investigate the theory and practice of embodied interaction and its relevance to the performing and digital arts. We aim to investigate contingencies between perception, action and affection with all manner of technology – digital, analogue and organic.
This strand will support the growing of technical know-how and collaborative skills in the research trajectories of the individual students. Areas of interest include, but are not limited to: motion tracking, sensor mapping, dynamic web design, animation, digital scenography, and translocal performance techniques. We will explore the use of tools, objects and technologies and their relationships to the maker, the performer and audience.
Tutors will be provided for one-to-one training in the analogue and digital technologies of the student’s choice. The goal is to provide the student maximum flexibility and attention in developing the skills needed towards accomplishing their personal research objectives. Additional advising and mentoring are an essential aspect of this approach.
Component Description:
Introductory Workshop: An eight day workshop that will introduce the students to a diverse group of interdisciplinary artists and the tools, techniques and methodologies they employ in their practice. Most of the technologies presented are supported in the DU lab. Field trips to local arts organizations will also be arranged to familiarize the students with a broader scope of collaborative possibilities in the Amsterdam region.
Collaboration Lab: intensive eight to ten day lab with participants from a selection of post-graduate media arts programs in the Netherlands.
Tutoring: individualized training on technologies and applications relevant to the needs and goals of the student. The students can choose from a database of local artists, technicians and theorists for study.
Mini-workshops: Two day hands-on introductions to the work and tools of selected artists.

Teaching and Learning Strategies:
Consisting of but not limited to:

  • exposure to a wide range of analogue and digital technological practice through tutoring, mini-workshops and staff assistance

  • advising and consultation on research threads and the integration of technology in projects

  • intensive and focused exposure to ideas of experienced professionals

Schedule (2004-2005):
4-7 October – Knowing-How Workshop
12-15 October – Continuation of workshop
19-26 February – Collaboration Lab
Will be based on:

  • ongoing participation and engagement (including attendance at all scheduled sessions)

  • joint essays: two individual writing assignments in conjunction with the Perspectives strand (see Dossier Guidelines)

  • end of study assessment


  • evidence of the ability to develop strategies for fruitful experimentation and use of a specific technology in relation to an artistic question; to find forms and methods relevant to ones'  research

  • evidence of the ability to see and articulate the implications of the particular choices in the larger realm, and how these are both reflective of and responsive to, other areas of current thought

  • evidence of sensitivity to the exchange between forms and to the causes and manners by which such exchanges redefine or shifts definitions of each

The successful completion of the strand will be equal to 10% of all credits (12 study points).

Coordination: Scott deLahunta
POINT OF VIEW: The legacy of the 20th century is that the arts have successfully flourished in the context of an extraordinary rate of social and cultural change. This has meant major disruption, reconfiguration and often reassertion of the traditional borders between art forms. The artist today has more possibility than ever to transcend these borders and work with materials and methods from across a wide range of disciplines and domain fields. The challenge for the artist is to be able to articulate (meaning ‘put into words’) the contexts and conditions from which his or her practice, its processes and artworks, emerge. This should not be seen as only interpretation or explanation; but also as part of a process of increasing one’s capacity for self-reflection and understanding as an artist in the 21st century.
The Perspectives strand aims to engage in the implications of this point of view specifically by providing input from and access to the field of discourse and language (from talk to theory to include writing, reading and documentation).
The Perspectives strand aims to foster a generative relationship between the experience of the arts practice and the wider frame of reflection specifically based in discourse and language.
The strand aims to encourage and support this through offering a combination of four overlapping components: 1) tools; 2) the dossier; 3) lectures; 4) the annual mini-conference.
Component Description:
Tools: methods for academic research and writing, peer-to-peer feedback, documentation of process and dramaturgy.
Dossier: the accumulating writing over the two-years of study to include assigned essays, reports and research proposals.
Lectures: lecture presentations by staff and international guests on themes relevant to the study. Guest lecturers will also be engaged to mentor and advise on research plans and projects.
Mini-Conference: an annual event structured around a core public symposium on themes relevant to the study featuring international participants and contributors.
Teaching and Learning Strategies:
Consisting of but not limited to:

  • teaching skills related to academic research and writing, peer to peer feedback, documentation of process and dramaturgy

  • advising and consultation follow-up on taught research, writing and documentation of process skills

  • mentoring and facilitating self-learning in relation to shared peer to peer and dramaturgy objectives

  • intensive and focused exposure to ideas of experienced professionals

Schedule (2004-2005):
9 September – lecture one 15.30-17.00
17 September – tools one 15.30-17.00
22 September – tools two 15.30-17.00
30 September – lecture two 15.30-17.00
25-26 October – guest lecture days
14-16 January – guest lecture(s) days at Transformes Colloquium Paris
(NOTE: dates can be subject to change)
In February or March a final guest lecture will be organised. Dates to be confirmed.
8-10 April – mini-conference
Will be based on:

  • Attendance, participation and engagement in relation to all scheduled sessions using pass/ fail marks combined with qualitative written comment.

  • The accumulated Dossier using pass/ fail marks combined with qualitative written comment and four graded essays with qualitative written comment (see Dossier Guidelines).


  • evidence of the ability to articulate the contexts and conditions from which his or her practice emerges - beyond explanation or interpretation

  • evidence of the ability to perceive and discuss one's own work in relation to its location within current work/ practice/ thought

  • for other criteria see Dossier Guidelines

The successful completion of the strand will be equal to 10% of all credits (12 study points).
Dossier Guidelines
Dossier Contents/ Due Date (suggested average word length):

  1. Short research proposal one – 27 October 500

  2. Essay one – 15 nov [graded] 1000

  3. Essay two – 15 feb [graded] 1000

  4. Post presentation research report – 12 January 1000

  5. Short research proposal two – 23 March 500

  6. Essay three – 28 April [graded] 3000

  7. Post presentation research report – 15 June 1000

  8. Extended research proposal one – 15 July 1500

  9. Essay four – 15 October [graded] 5000

  10. Extended research proposal two – 15 November 1500

  11. Final post study research report – 15 July 3000

Brief Contents Description:
Research Proposals – prepared before each of the scheduled presentations (two studio presentations in the first year and two major presentations for assessment in the second year). They should include: (1) description of research project; (2) production planning; (3) reference points/ context.
Research Reports – prepared after each of the scheduled presentations (one in the second year). These are critical reflections on your work and might include references to module content, etc.
Essays – written to conform to guidelines for research writing to include finding and evaluating sources, using summary, paraphrase and direct quotation, revising and editing, etc.

  • All contents of the Dossier to be completed and submitted according to the above schedule unless a change is negotiated with the strand coordinator.

  • A committee comprising two members of the DU Amsterdam staff will make the assessment of the four graded essays.

The writing in the Dossier will be assessed on the following:

  1. how well it follows the guidelines of the specific assignment

  2. the extent to which it is focused, well structured and balanced

  3. its use of succinct, coherent and articulate writing, including vocabulary

  4. how well it shows understanding and appropriate use of distinct perspectives

  5. its design and visual presentation

Graded Essays in addition will be assessed on how well they:

  1. follow rules of English grammar (editing assistance is permissible)

  2. use appropriate, systematic and consistent referencing

The completed Dossier will fulfill the written requirements for the Dance Unlimited program of study and will be equal to 10% of all credits (12 study points).
For essay grading each of the 7 criteria above will be awarded a maximum of 5 points (see grade point averages chart in Individual Study Guide section).

Individual Study Guidelines
A large share of the study activities will be organised according to the student’s individual research aims and come under the heading of Individual Study comprising choreographic projects leading to Presentations and Practice-based Activities. The individual study route makes up 70% of the total credits for qualification.
Choreographic Projects leading to Presentations:
Students may make as many works as they wish, but there will be two obligatory studio Presentations in the first year and two major Presentations for graded assessment in the second year.
Each of these will be developed through a written research proposal stage that adds to the accumulated Dossier (see Perspectives and Dossier Guidelines). The length of each proposal reflects the difference in scale between the first year’s studio Presentations and the second year when the two Presentations will be formally assessed.
The development of the research proposal towards each presentation will involve conferring with one’s mentor and presenting the research proposals at triweekly sessions for discussion with DU Amsterdam staff and colleagues. The student will be required to document the process of his/ her Individual Study leading to Presentations.
Schedule (2004-2005):
6-8 December – Presentation/ Feedback sessions
26-29 May – Presentation/ Feedback sessions
Second year dates to be determined
Triweekly Sessions (Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm)

1 October

29 October

19 November

14 January

4 February

4 March

25 March

22 April

17 June

Assessment of Choreographic Projects leading to Presentations will fall under two procedures; pass/ fail and graded. A format for criteria is in place that gives equal consideration to the creative/ research process and the presentation; while promoting systematic and rigorous feedback. The same format will be applied to the Studio Presentations in the first year (but not for a ‘grade’) and the Presentations for graded assessment in the second year. These two second year Presentations are assessed and graded by a committee comprising DU Amsterdam staff, representatives from Arnhem and Rotterdam and one External Examiner.

Assessment criteria choreographic projects
Choreographic projects
Students are encouraged to produce as many works as they wish but only 2 of these works will be assessed. At least one of these 2 works will have to be a live event. The Students choose these 2 works.
Assessment can be done through live performance or through a video tape/CD rom/DVD. Formats such as books might be used as well, as long as it has been approved by the DU staff and conform to the criteria of a choreographic project.
Scheduling of assessments will de dependant on availability of external assessors and time frame of performances. The students are responsible for making contact with the desired external assessors and informing the Course coordinator who will take the necessary formal steps to make the external assessment viable.
In the absence of an external assessor suggested by the student or unavailability of the assessor, the coordinator will either appoint some one from the work field or use the resident assessment committee to assess the work.
Students must hand in the name and contact address of assessor to the coordinator at least 4 months prior to assessment date.
Assessment criteria:
To be assessed by assessment committee, including one external member.

  1. To what extent has the choreographer implemented, challenged and sustained his/her choreographic vision throughout the research?

  2. To what extent does the choreography contain specific and individual concerns of movement vocabulary, in relation to their meaning and invention?

  3. To what extent does the choreography show knowledge of detailed structural concerns?

  4. To what extent does the choreography show a specific mode of giving the audience access to the work?

  5. To what extent is the choreographer capable of reflection regarding the whole process of the work, including the initial research and presenting the work?

To be assessed by co-ordinator and other staff member involved during the process

  1. To what extent has the choreographer effectively communicated his/her ideas and intentions to the dancers and collaborators?

  2. To what extent does the choreographer show evidence of being able to take on all the organizational and production concerns regarding the project in relationship to the venue, publicity and finance?

A committee comprised of a mentor, an external assessor, a representative from another DU location and a local DU representative will assess the performance.
An external assessor is someone from within the work field who is an expert on the particular subject/theme of the Research Question of the student whose work is being assessed. He/she will be chosen by the student in dialogue with his/her mentor.
Each assessor will receive an abstract of the students research question(s) and the project proposal particular to work being assessed.
Each assessor will receive an overview assessment form whereby all the criteria will be stated as well as the grading system (its rationale).
Each criterion is measured by a 5 point scale. 5 points refer to the highest value and 1 point to the lowest.
For each criterion there will be a Mean (the average of all the points awarded to the particular criterion divided by the number of assessors).
When an assessor chooses for a dispensation (abstaining from assessing) then the mean of the criterion being assessed will not include the assessor who chose for a dispensation. (Example: 4 assessors; 1 opts for dispensation. The total points will be divided by 3, instead of 4)
The final grade will be the sum of all Means: The final grade will be translated into a percentage, where 45 points equals to 100% (9 criteria, each being awarded a maximum of 5 points)
(Example: total result of all means= 36 points; 45 points=100%; 36 points= 66,6%)
The assessment meeting will be chaired by a person not involved in the actual assessment. The chair person will write a summary of the assessment.
Student presents his/her project for 20 minutes and then the committee has a half an hour to ask questions. The student then may be asked to leave the room. The committee proceeds with the assessment and when it is completed the student is invited back (when not present) to be informed of the result
The final grade must be agreed by all members of the committee. If not, an examining board will be called upon to decide.
Assessment for live events will be the day after the performance. Whenever not possible, an alternative date will be found.
Assessment meeting will be video taped when requested and agreed unanimously by all involved.
The final grade (percentage) will be translated into an A,B,C,D or F grade after completing the two choreographic projects, so that the final will be the mean of the 2 grades.


Percentage range



83 % - 100 %



67 % - 82 %



55 % - 66 %



40% - 54 %



below 40




Practice-based Activities:
These activities might include, but would not be limited to internships/ stages, seminars taken or given, master classes and courses outside the DU Amsterdam program (including involvement in modules at Arnhem and/ or Rotterdam). To qualify for Independent Study credits, activities should be relevant to the student’s development and will approved by the DU Amsterdam coordinator.
The student will be required to document his/ her Individual Study Practice-based Activities. For example: choreographic projects outside the frame of Dance Unlimited can be supported by providing documentation, videos, writings, programs, flyers etc. Physical practice/ classes through demonstration and/ or proof of attendance in classes. Seminars, master classes, festivals, symposia etc. can be included with evidence of participation.
Assessment will be based on the documentation.
The successful completion of the Independent Study will be equal to 70% of all credits (84 credits). 10% Dossier Writing – 12 credits; 10% Independent Study Practice-based Activities – 12 credits; 50 % Independent Study Presentations (two in the second year at 25% each) – 60 credits.

Grade Point Averages Chart:


Percentage range



83 % - 100 %



67 % - 82 %



55 % - 66 %



40 % - 54 %



below 40 %



above 54 %




Overview of credits

year 04-05

Choreographic Mind



workshop Susan Rethorst 3 wks


workshop Thomas Lehmen 2 wks


Augmented Performance Practice



workshop Sher Doruff

2 week workshop = 80 hours

collab lab / Nik Haffner & Scott

8 day workshop = 64 hours

individ tutoring / study

15+65= 80




lecture series / conference / excursion

12 + 20 + 30 = 62 hours

literature / reader / individual reading


Written requirements



1650 words approx 1 credit

11500 words

Choreographic Projects/ Presentations



independent study presentations december

6 weeks 240

independent study presentations may

10 weeks 400 uur

Practice based activities



introduction week / tri weeklies / DU arnhem-rotterdam


documented activities


mentor meetings

6 times 1,5 = 9



Credits Dance Unlimited Amsterdam

year 05-06


Choreographic Mind




workshops Rethorst

2 weeks 28 hrs

workshops Lehmen

2 weeks 28 hrs

Augmented Performance Practice




individ tutoring / study

112 hours





lecture series / conference / excursion




Written requirements




1650 words approx 1 credit

8250 words

Choreographic Projects/ Presentations




independent study assessed projects 1


independent study assessed projects 2


Practice based activities / outside studies




tri weeklies / DU arnhem-rotterdam


documented activities


mentor meetings

6 times 1,5 = 9




Program Schedule 2004-2005
Introduction week
31 August – 13.00 to 17.00 in Studio 4.06

1 September – 13.00 to 17.00 in Studio 4.06

2 September –15.00 to 17.00 in Studio 4.06

3 September – 10.00 to 12.00

Choreographic Mind Workshop (Susan Rethorst)

6-24 September – daily from 10.00 to 17.00 in Dance Theatre

Choreographic Mind Workshop (Thomas Lehmen)

May 30 to June 10 – daily from 10.00 to 17.00 in 4.06 / 6.09

Augmented Performance Workshop (Sher Doruff)

4-8 and 13-15 October – 9.30 to 17.30 in Studio 4.06

Light Workshop (Bas de Bruin)

11 October – to be confirmed

Perspectives Lectures Schedule [dates can be subject to change]

9 September – lecture one 15.30-17.00

17 September – tools one 15.30-17.00

22 September – tools two 15.30-17.00

30 September – lecture two 15.30-17.00

25-26 October – guest lecture days

14-16 January – guest lecture(s) days at Transformes Colloquium Paris

8-10 April – mini-conference

[In February or March a final guest lecture will be organised. Dates to be confirmed.]
Collaboration Workshop (facilitation Scott deLahunta and Nik Haffner)

19-26 February – daily 10.00 to 17.00 in Dance Theatre / 4.06 / 6.09

Studio Presentations/ Feedback Sessions:

6-8 December in Studio 4.06

26-29 May in Beeldmedia Studio
Triweekly Sessions [Fridays from 10 am to 1 pm]

1 October

29 October

19 November

14 January

4 February

4 March

25 March

22 April

17 June

Outside Events:
2-6 September – Ars Electronica, Linz, AU
8-21 November – DEAF, Rotterdam [a one day excursion planned / day to be determined]
14-18 December – Monaco Dance Forum

Final Qualifications

In the current context of European education new Masters programs such as Dance Unlimited are being created. The quality and structure of these programs should be uniform to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise throughout Europe. For this, the Dublin descriptors, terms specifically used to describe the Masters qualifications, are often taken into consideration.

To summarise the Dublin Descriptors: the graduate should be (1) capable of applying knowledge to new territory and capable of research; (2) capable of solving problems within complex situations, and integrating various kinds of knowledge within multidisciplinary contexts; (3) capable of communicating rationales and conclusions; (4) able to organise work in a self-directed and autonomous fashion.
The Dance Unlimited program currently offers a post-graduate qualification. However, it is the policy of Dutch education that all post-graduate programs will be converted to a Masters education and therefore must be designed to meet Masters standards.
Within the greater context of Dance education it is important to define the qualifications of the student who successfully completes the Dance Unlimited program in a way that the qualifications meet the standards of a Masters degree. Dutch education lays out twelve areas of competence as they are formulated within a Bachelors degree for dance. These are vision, creativity, craftsmanship, entrepreneurship, social awareness and the ability to collaborate, communicate, analyse, learn, reflect, innovate and organize.
In order to meet the standards of a Masters, the Dance Unlimited post-graduate qualification in Choreography must build on the competences of the Bachelors. However, rather than specifying higher levels based on all twelve competences, the Dance Unlimited program aims for a higher achievement in six areas: Vision, Collaboration, Creativity , craftsmanship, Entrepreneurship and Reflection.
Final qualifications:
At the completion of their studies the following will apply to the students:

  1. They will have developed a creative and articulate approach to present the body in dance and/or other related art works.

  2. They will be able to make an intellectual contribution to the field of dance through live and/or virtual events.

  3. They will have developed the ability to work with artists from various disciplines to contribute actively to a shared product or process.

  4. They will have demonstrated the ability to network and create structures to sustain their work.

  5. They will have increased the knowledge about the social, political and economic context and implications of their choreographic work.

  6. They will have developed production and managerial abilities, and they will be able to solve problems within complex situations.

  7. They will have the ability to comprehend, write and speak critically, regarding developments, representations and presentation of the body in dance and its discourses in modern philosophy and science.

  8. The choreographer has the capacity to reflect on his own actions to come to improvement, and communicate the conclusions of past projects and rationales for future initiatives.

Core Staff Biographies
Scott deLahunta began in the arts as a dancer and choreographer. He now works from his base in Amsterdam as a researcher, writer, consultant and organiser on a wide range of international projects bringing performing arts into conjunction with other disciplines and practices. He is currently guest researcher in residence for the Amsterdam School for the Arts and the Advanced Computing Center for Art and Design, Ohio State University. He is an affiliated researcher with Crucible, an interdisciplinary research network within the University of Cambridge, and he holds a long-term post as Associate Research Fellow, Dartington College of Arts. Scott lectures on a new post-graduate study in Choreography/ New Media at the Amsterdam School for the Arts and serves on the editorial boards of Performance Research, Dance Theatre Journal and the International Journal of Performance and Digital Media.For on line materials:
Sher Doruff is a researcher at Waag Society in Amsterdam and is due to complete her doctoral research with University of the Arts London/Central Saint Martins in June 2006. Her research investigates the role of collaborative interplay in translocal, improvisational, performance practice. She lectures in the Dance Unlimited postgraduate program in Amsterdam and in what spare time remains, nurtures a modest artistic practice. In 1972 she received a BA in Fine Arts. During the 70’s and 80’s, based in Chicago and New York respectively, her personal practice migrated towards collaborative performance practice. In the late 80’s and 90’s that focus integrated real time interactive digital technologies. She was awarded NEA grants for Interdisciplinary Art and Opera/Music Theater among others. Following a one-year artist residency in Paris, she immigrated to Amsterdam. From 1998-2004 she was a core developer for Waag Society’s distributed performance software framework, KeyWorx and headed their Sensing Presence department. Sher regularly contributes papers and essays to books and journals and presents work at professional conferences. Recent performance collaborations include East by West (2003) and Cassis Caput (2003). Recent publications include: Connected! LiveArt, (Waag Society, 2005), “Collaborative Praxis: The Making of the KeyWorx Platform” in aRt&D:Research and Development in Art., (NAI/V2_, 2005 “Collaborative Culture” in Making Art of Databases, (NAI/V2_, 2003) among others. For online materials see:;
Jeroen Fabius is the coordinator of Dance Unlimited Amsterdam. He completed his Communication Studies at the University of Amsterdam in 1985 before entering the School for New Dance Development (SNDO). After finishing the SNDO courses in 1990, he worked as performer and dancemaker and teaches dance history and theory at the SNDO. His teaching work has included the *Art Across Borders* module for the Amsterdam School for the Arts, the introduction an internet based course to prepare dancers for the business side of dance making, advising for students of the MA program Fine Arts at the Piet Zwart Instituut in Rotterdam, as co-reader for assessment of thesis at Theatre Science of the University of Amsterdam. For two years (2000-2002) he was head of department of the School for New Dance Development in association with Robert Steijn before taking part in the initiation of Dance Unlimited Amsterdam. Jeroen has published in several magazines and held lectures mostly about dance and cultural studies (among others Performance Studies Conference, Vereniging voor Dansonderzoek, Landelijk Centrum Amateurdans, Ballett/Tanz, Danswetenschap in Nederland 3 and 4). From 2002 he is the coordinator of dance research activities at the Theaterschool within the framework of the research program of the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. He is editing a publication of 25 years of archive materials of dance research at the School for New Dance Development, part of it is published in Tanz(aus)bildung by Franz Anton Cramer. Since 2001 he has been member of the committee Choreografie opdrachten of the Amsterdam Fonds voor de Kunsten (until 2004) and since 2005 of the committee Dance of the Fonds voor de Amateur en Podiumkunsten.
Thomas Lehmen attended the School for New Dance Development in Amsterdam from 1986-1990, where in addition to dance he pursued interests in music and kung fu. During his training, he soon took charge of the concept, choreography, and music composition for various solo, duet and group pieces. Since 1990 he has been living in Berlin and working as a dancer, choreographer, theater and film performer, light designer, teacher, and carpenter. After finishing his studies, Lehmen danced with Yoshiko Chuma, Pauline de Groot, Sasha Waltz & Guests, Detektor, Mark Tompkins, and others. In 1997, he created his first solo and has been making his own work since then. All of Lehmen's performances show a concern with transcending conventional forms of dance performance and in questioning the roles of and communication between choreographer, performer and the audience. For example, in the creation of the choreographic experiment Schreibstück (2002), Lehmen acted as the "author" of a dance script that is presented to three choreographers to interpret.
Since 1975, Susan Rethorst has created dances out of New York City. Since 1995, she has divided her time between New York and Amsterdam, teaching choreography throughout Europe and Scandinavia and continuing to make work in both Europe and America. Rethorst's work has been presented by The Museum of Modern Art; The Kitchen Center, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Saint Marks, The Downtown Whitney Museum, among others, as well as at various dance theaters, universities, and festivals throughout the U.S. Internationally her work has been produced by The Holland Festival, Spazio Zero Rome, The Kunsthalle Basel, The Aix-en-Provence Festival, among others. She has ongoing teaching relationships with Dansens Hus in Copenhagen, at Dartington College in England, and at Firkin Crane in Cork, Ireland. This past year she initiated, along with three others, a post graduate choreography program for the Amsterdam School of the Arts. In 1999, she was the recipient of a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Rethorst's involvement with teaching, particularly at the master level, and research into the nature of the form of choreography has taken her to a variety of institutions, including SEAD (Salzburg Experimental Academy of Dance) and Dance Theater Workshop's Research Fellowship Program for Media and Dance. It has also led to the initiation of SUPA (studio Upson in Pennsylvania), a program dedicated to choreography; how it is thought of and taught, and what of its knowledge is applicable to other fields. Rethorst is regularly invited to initiate new courses for choreographic research in several areas of choreographic overlap, particularly that of media and most recently, in area of the relation of language and reflection to making dance.

Contact Information



Jodenbreestraat 3

Postbus 15323

1001 MH Amsterdam

Coordination: Jeroen Fabius

+31-20-527 7647


As specified in article 7.13 Act on higher education and scientific research:


Article 1 Scope
This regulation applies to the teaching, evaluation and exams of the Voortgezette Opleidingen Choreografie (HBO) Dance Unlimited, a study programme managed by the Theatre Faculty of the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten in collaboration with dance courses at the Hogeschool voor de Kunsten Artez in Arnhem and Rotterdam’s Hogeschool voor Muziek en Dans.
Article 2 Definitions
Within the context of these regulations the terms listed below are understood to mean the following:

  1. the act: the Act on higher education and scientific research;

  2. student: he or she registered at the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten with the aim of following classes and/or sitting exams and evaluations of study courses listed under article 1;

  3. the hogeschool: the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten;

  4. study courses: the study courses named under article 1 as conducted by the Theatre faculty;

  5. the director of studies: the coordinator of the study course in question as authorized by the board of the Theatre Faculty;

  6. evaluation: a survey of the competencies acquired by the examinee as well as the results of that survey as stipulated in article 7.10, first paragraph WHW;

  7. exam commission: the commission as stipulated in article 7.12 WHW;

  8. examiner: the lecturer appointed in that capacity by the exam commission and/or external specialist responsible for holding assessments and/or exams.

Article 3 Goal of the study courses
The goal of Dance Unlimited is to train students who have already completed an initial dance training course (B.A. Dance) and have three years professional experience, to become choreographers by refining their way of working through compulsory modules, personal choreographic projects and research. The students will develop competencies in integrating practice and theory. This will stimulate the further development of their artistic identity and help them find a relevant niche for their talents within the field of choreography. Students will acquire specific skills of a sufficiently high standard to allow them to work successfully and independently.
Brief description of the 3 profiles:
AMSTERDAM PROFILE The Amsterdam profile offers a unique 2-year programme aimed at facilitating high quality research into the relationship between choreography, performance and new media/ emerging technologies. The programme emphasizes the development of sound and sophisticated choreographic work that expands and tests the boundaries of choreographic practice, application and thought. At the same time it stimulates participants to engage in theoretical/ critical discourse, thereby helping them to shape a practical overview of relevant current and emerging technologies.
ARNHEM PROFILE The Arnhem profile of Dance Unlimited, postgraduate course in Choreography, puts emphasis on choreographic research especially regarding Open Form Composition. Open Form Composition (OFC) looks into diverse choreographic/compositional constructs that involve both set materials and improvisation in an amalgam and individually. Central to the programme is the examination of the psychophysical body, that is, how it is constructed, how it enhances, modifies, creates, challenges and informs dancing through choreography. Study modules like the Art of Branding and Mind Maps/Body Models prepare for the examination that centres on an inquiry into late 20th century models of the body.
ROTTERDAM PROFILE The Rotterdam profile concentrates on enlarging choreographic skills by analysing movement material and its way of communicating by using the Laban system and composition techniques.
Article 4 Full-time/part-time
The study courses are given on a full-time basis. The total study load comprises 120 study credits.
Article 5 Evaluation and final exams
The study courses include the following evaluations and one final exam:

  • for the modules,

  • for two choreographic projects

  • for the personalised study programme, including written assignments/dissertation,

  • and the final exam

Article 6 Lessons, time table, evaluations

  1. The study courses consist of a two-year curriculum.

  2. The study courses comprise two subject categories: the compulsory modules and the personalised study programme consisting of choreographic projects, dissertations/written assignments and an elective. A summary of these subjects is included in the study guide in question.

  3. In principle, annual classes are divided into two semesters: semester 1 and 2. Each of these two semesters may consist of several blocks.

  4. Evaluations are held at the end of each module and on completion of a project. The study guide gives a description of how each study component is evaluated.

  5. Where necessary, the exam commission is authorized to hold interim evaluations for individual students.

Article 7 Granting of study credits

  1. If a study programme component has been completed satisfactorily, the accompanying study credits will be awarded.

  2. In the case of a premature termination of a registration in accordance with the procedural regulations stated in article 7.4, second paragraph WHW, study credits will be awarded for each study programme component completed before the termination date.

  3. In order to be admitted to the evaluation of a study programme component, the student must meet the attendance requirements formulated in the study guide. If the student’s attendance of study programme components is less than required, the examination commission can, before awarding study credits, issue one or more supplementary assignments. The exam commission can set a deadline for the completion of these assignments.

  4. A student who has gained 60 study credits in his/her first year will be admitted to the second year.

Article 8 Re-examinations

  1. In principle, study components qualify for re-examination once. If the student’s results are unsatisfactory, the examiner decides on the terms and form of re-examination.

Article 9 The final exam

  1. The exam commission judges if the student has fulfilled his/her obligations with regard to:

    1. the modules

    2. the choreographic projects

    3. the personalised study programme, written assignments/dissertation

Article 10 Re-examination final exam

  1. If the final exam is not concluded satisfactorily, the exam commission will decide on a prolongation of the study path;

  2. The exam commission decides on the contents of the final exam programme;

  3. Re-examination of the final exam must take place within a year after the final exam was initially taken.

  4. The final exam can only be retaken once.


Article 11 Dispensations; abridged programmes

  1. The examination commission can decide to grant a dispensation for one or more evaluations or one or more components of the study programme if the student complies with one of the following conditions:

    1. if, in the view of the exam commission, he/she has satisfactorily passed an evaluation of a similar component of a comparable study course with regard to content and study load in or outside the Netherlands;

    2. if, in the view of the exam commission, there is proof that at least one activity has been pursued for a certain number of years (to be decided by the exam commission), in a field relevant to the evaluation in question and/or in a profession relevant to the exam in question;

  2. A request for dispensation must be submitted in writing to the exam commission that subsequently will make its decision known not later than six weeks after receiving the request. This decision may be postponed for four weeks. This condition does not apply during the months of July and August. The exact period may differ per institution depending on the policy of the hogeschool concerned.

Article 12 Evaluation results and the final exams

  1. In principle the results of the evaluation are made known to the student by the examiner and/or exam commission directly after the respective consultation. In principle the result will be confirmed in writing not later than three weeks after the evaluation or final exam has taken place.

Article 13 Validity study credits

  1. The study credits obtained during the study programme are valid for three years.

  2. The validity of the awarded study credits are annulled if the student interrupts his/her study for a period longer than a study year without deregistering in accordance with article 7.42 WHW.

Article 14 Possibilities for appeal
Appeals may be lodged with the exam board of appeal against decisions taken by the examiners or the exam commission regarding evaluations and exams and in the case of failing an exam.
Article 15 Record keeping and free right of information

  1. Written evaluations and records of projects, theses and papers made within the scope of the study programme will be preserved for at least 5 years after the date of issue.

  2. With regard to written evaluations, the student has the right at all times during his/her study to inspect the evaluated project. In the case of oral evaluations the student is allowed access to the written report at all times after the evaluation result has been made known to him/her.

Article 16 Unforeseen cases, further regulations
The exam commission will decide in cases for which the regulations make no provision. The exam commission is authorized to implement further regulations in order to facilitate evaluations and the final exam.
Article 17 Date of commencement
This regulation is effective from October 1, 2004; thereby invalidating all previous regulations.
As specified by the Board of Directors on……..2004

Date approval faculty representative advisory body………2004


The provisions set down in these regulations apply to student participation – his/her rights and obligations – regarding the educative content of the course he/she has signed on for. These regulations form a more detailed elaboration of the education and exam regulations and as such, serve as a component thereof.

1 Study programme

- The director of studies determines the content and scope of the course’s study programme, in its totality and per annual group.

  • The scope of the study programme consists of a group component, in certain cases an individual and /or elective and a self-study section.

  • If there is sufficient cause, the director of studies will, in consultation with the student in question, determine the study programme of that student before commencement of the relevant study year or semester, trimester or lesson block. Reason for discussion of the programme with the student might be the student’s individual wishes or causes related to evaluation of the student during the preceding period of lessons.

  • The student is obliged to follow his/her prescribed study programme.

  • The student can participate in programmes of the three profiles of Dance Unlimited, but must submit a well-founded, written application to the coordinator of the profile in question at least four weeks in advance.

2 Participation

  • By participating in the set programme, the student is obliged to abide by the regulations.

  • The student can only take part in lessons to which he/she has been assigned.

  • Exceptions to the above require the permission of the director of studies.

3 Guest students

  • In certain circumstances, outside students can participate in the study programme.

  • The director of studies decides on participation and placement and is expected to inform the relevant lecturer(s) and annual group(s) in time.

  • The guest student is obliged to observe these regulations.

4 Attendance

  • Attendance relates to being present from the beginning of a lesson till the lecturer decides to conclude the lesson.

  • There is a difference between absence without leave and absence for which permission has been granted and/or which relates to the study.

  • Permission for being absent can only be given by the coordinator of the study course.

  • Absence due to illness must be reported immediately to the secretary’s office.

  • Being absent without leave is to the student’s own detriment and can have consequences for their being admitted to subject evaluation. Absence without leave disrupts student collaboration and hinders the advancement

of lessons. Repeated absence without leave can lead to suspension; i.e. a student can be excluded from taking part in lessons for a certain (to be ascertained) period. Suspensions are imposed by the director of studies after the student has been heard in his/her particular case of being absent without leave. The board of the Theatre School will be notified of the decision.

  1. Suspension, partial or complete barring from the school

Reasons and procedures relating to this are outlined in the Studentenstatuut Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten.

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