Aims of this module



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  • Contemporary Techniques 1
  • Week 1
  • Introduction to Module
  • Discuss and explore the importance of rehearsal and use of the body
  • Aims of this module:
  • The learners will gain a necessary understanding of the significance and influence of important contemporary dance pioneers, including Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham.
  • Learners will study and be able to replicate physically contemporary dance techniques and make use of these in their own choreography.
  • Learners will examine in their essays the crucial steps in the development of contemporary dance, discussing the artistic and creative results.
  • Learners will develop a critical appreciation and knowledgeable understanding of contemporary dance which will emphasise its ongoing relevance within the dance industry.
  • Learning Objectives:
  • By the end of the end of the module learners will be able to:
  • Demonstrate and describe the essential aspects of contemporary dance including those developed by key pioneers such as Martha Graham and Merce Cunningham.
  • Identify, reproduce and replicate contemporary dance techniques physically and in their own choreography.
  • Begin to demonstrate a critical and conceptual understanding of the creative and cultural relevance of contemporary dance.
  • Work effectively both on their own and as a team.
  • Be able to respond positively to criticism.
  • Demonstrate commitment to their practice and to fellow students by complying with professional Health and Safety regulations.
  • Basic Information about the Module
  • Module Code: MU4FD13S
  • Module Title: Contemporary Techniques 1
  • Module Level: 4
  • Learning Hours: 200
  • Semester Availability: 1
  • Length of the Module: 1 semester
  • Standard Module Teaching Hours: 42
  • Teaching Pattern (e.g. 2L, 1S): 1 lecture per week/
  • 2 hour workshop per week
  • Assessments
  • Assignment 1
  • Type of assessment: Essay
  • Length: 2000 words
  • Due Date: 9:00am Monday 15th December 2014
  • Weighting: 30%
  • Assessors: Sunita Bolton & Debbie Shine
  • Essay Questions
  • How did Isadora Duncan eschew the mainstream values both in her life and work?
  • Making reference to her background and training, and examining the choreographic devices employed and how they are used to enhance the theme, explain what influenced the creation of Martha Graham’s Appalachian Spring.
  • Compare & contrast the techniques and choreographic and artistic processes of Merce Cunningham and Martha Graham, giving specific examples from at least one published work of each choreographer.
  • What is Contemporary Dance?
  • How did Contemporary Dance develop, adapt and change between 1900 and 1960?
  • Assessments
  • Assignment 2
  • Type of assessment: Technique Exam
  • *Continuous assessment through the semester is also part of this assessment
  • Exam date: Monday 15th December 2014
  • Weighting: 70%
  • Assessors: Sunita Bolton & Debbie Shine
  • Assignment 2
  • Assessment Brief and preparation:
  • Students are required to replicate contemporary dance technique and choreography.
  • The student’s physical movement should demonstrate an understanding of appropriate genre/style characteristics.
  • Learners will be taught set pieces of choreography using technique relevant to contemporary dance.
  • Students must arrive to class ready to work and time keeping is a very important element of this assessment.
  • Attendance is of paramount importance for Health and Safety reasons and failure to attend all lectures and seminars will be reflected in the final module grade.
  • These are some of the criteria that students will be assessed upon:
  • 1. Trueness of replication of techniques
  • 2. Continuous professionalism
  • 3. Application of corrections
  • 4. Musicality
  • 5. Core stability
  • 6. Jumps – elevation & use of feet
  • 7. Floor – ability to soften into the floor and rebound back up
  • 8. Performance skills
  • Full details of all criteria, including for your essays, are in your module study guide
  • Discuss:
  • Student expectations
  • Tutor expectations
  • Discuss in Groups:
  • What is muscle memory? How is it developed?
  • What’s the difference between the terms ‘posture’ and ‘alignment’?
  • What do we mean when we refer to 'the plumb line' in a dance context?
  • What is synovial fluid?
  • What's the difference between aerobic and anaerobic activity?
  • What is lactic acid?
  • Warm Up and Cool Down
  • You have 3 minutes to discuss this in groups and decide a representative for your group to feedback.
  • Task:
  • 3 reasons why we warm up
  • 3 reasons why we cool down
  • 3 elements that should be included in a warm up
  • 2 elements that should be included in a cool down
  • Partner work
  • Postural assessment – the plumb line
  • Sits bones
  • 2nd alignment
  • Core stability tasks
  • Nutrition for Dancers
  • Carbohydrates: 65% These are broken down into glycogen, your primary fuel for energy production, and stored in your muscles
  • Protein: 15% For building and repairing muscles
  • Fat: 20% (Unsaturated) For absorbing fat soluble vitamins and minerals, forms the base for many hormones, aids concentration, insulates the nervous system, used as fuel when working anaerobically
  • Micronutrients: antioxidants, energy production, calcium is crucial in bone formation, iron is needed to carry oxygen around the body
  • Nutrition for Dancers
  • Carbohydrates - wholemeal pasta, rice, cereal, bread, not overly processed foods; vegetables and fruit contain a lot of carbs too as well as micronutrients
  • Protein and Fat - meat, fish, eggs, dairy, avocado, seeds, pulses, lentils
  • Micronutrients: Iron found in red meat and green vegetables, calcium in dairy products, zinc in red meat, vitamins in fruit and veg
  • Self Directed Learning
  • Set reading in Blood Memory. P3 – 17
  • Answer the following questions:
  • What does it mean to be a dancer to Martha Graham? p3
  • What never lies? p4
  • What is necessary to performance? p5
  • How does she prepare for the day and what does her studio look like? p6
  • What are her views on growing old? p11
  • How does Graham struggle with her business? p14
  • What are her thoughts on the term genius? p16


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