Dance Composition: A Practical Guide to Creative Success in Dance Making [With DVD] / Edition 6

Dance Composition: A Practical Guide to Creative Success in Dance Making [With DVD] / Edition 6

by Jacqueline M. Smith-Autard
Pub. Date:
Bloomsbury Academic
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Dance Composition: A Practical Guide to Creative Success in Dance Making [With DVD] / Edition 6

Dance composition – the discipline that translates ideas into dances – is an important part of dance education. This book, a bestseller for over twenty years, is a practical guide to creative success in dance making and is a popular textbook for all those who are interested in dance composition, from secondary school to university. This new edition includes a DVD with video taken from Choreographic Outcomes, a groundbreaking advanced technology resource pack aimed at comprehensively improving students' choreography. The book has been revised, redesigned and expanded. Reference to the DVD examples are made throughout the book and new assignments based on the video material are included.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781408115640
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 08/03/2010
Series: Performance Books Series , #3
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 701,609
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface vi

Acknowledgements viii

Introduction: Dancing and composing dances 3

Dance as art

The nature of composition

The material elements

Methods of construction

The nature of dance composition

Teaching dance composition

Section 1 The material content - movement and meaning 17

The basic language of movement

Analysing the language

Choice of content

Literal movement into dance content

Exploring a range of movement

Movement and meaning

Stylising the material content

Section 2 Methods of construction 1 - the beginnings 29

Stimuli for dance

Types of dances

Mode of presentation


Methods of construction 2 - motif into composition 41

Arrangement of material


What is a motif?

Development and variation of a motif

Repetition as a constructional element

Types of motif

The dance design in time

The dance design in space

Motif in composition

Methods of construction 3 - motif into composition for a group 55

The group as an expressive element

Motif, development and variation

The time aspect

The space aspect

Methods of construction 4 - the dance form 66

Design in time

Organisation of the form

Methods of construction 5 - elements of construction 73



Variation and contrasts

Climax or highlights

Proportion and balance


Logical development


Methods of construction 6 - style 81

Understanding the term style

Factors affecting the style of a dance

How to stylise a dance

Methods of construction 7 - improvisation in the process of composition 89

Meaning of terms - improvisation and exploration

Free and limited improvisation

Improvisation in framework compositions

Guiding improvisation visually

Improvisation as process in composition

The role of evaluation in improvisation

Methods of construction 8 - alternative and experimental approaches in dance composition 102

Meaning of terms

Alternative movement contents and eclectic trends

Themes and reading of themes

Alternative and experimental approaches to dance composition

Section 3 The creative process in dance composition 123

The creative process

Phases in creativity

The creative process in dance composition - an example

Phase 1 - the impulse to create

Phase 2 - working with the medium

Phase 3 - realising the final form

Phase 4 - presentation and performance

Phase 5 - response and evalution

Summary and conclusion

Section 4 Resource-based teaching/learning - dance composition 143

Resource-based teaching/learning

New technologies

Differences in use of DVD and CD-ROM/DVD-ROM technologies

A CD-ROM resource: Chorographic Outcomes - improving dance composition

The accompanying DVD

Resource-based teaching/learning - practical assignments using the DVD

Resource-based teaching/learning using new technologies

Section 5 Resource-based teaching/learning - dance performance 177

Performance to deepen understanding of composition

Aims of this section

Methods of improving dance performance

A DVD-ROM resource: Vocalise - improving dance performance

Resource-based teaching/learning - practical assignments using the DVD

Section 6 Standing back from the process - evaluations 211

The composer's freedom

Imagination and intuition

Imagination in relation to the stimulus

Imagination during composition


Knowing and feeling


Conclusion 231

References 235

Technology resources 241

Index 243

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