Print Version

Effective: Summer 2013

Advisory: Advisory: This course is included in the Dance Technique family of activity courses.
Grade Type: Letter Grade, the student may select Pass/No Pass
Not Repeatable.
FHGE: Lifelong Learning Transferable: CSU/UC
3 hours laboratory. (36 hours total per quarter)

Student Learning Outcomes -
  • Identify beginning contemporary dance steps and combinations with correct terminology and analyze musical phrasing.
  • Perform the introductory and beginning exercises of the technique of contemporary dance while exhibiting correct body placement, flexibility and coordination.
Description -
Introduction to the fundamental techniques of Contemporary Dance. Emphasis is placed on development of the knowledge and understanding the principles of Contemporary Dance including basic movement theory, technique and repertoire from global artists.

Course Objectives -
The student will be able to:
  1. Recognize and employ fundamental contemporary dance theory and technique.
  2. Demonstrate creative application of dance techniques and problem-solving through movement and exploration.
  3. Analyze and discuss Contemporary Dance as an art form.
  4. Apply basic exercise physiology to Contemporary Dance technique.
Special Facilities and/or Equipment -
  1. Dance Studio and Audio-set up.
  2. Leotards, tights recommended or exercise clothing with appropriate dance shoes.

Course Content (Body of knowledge) -
  1. Recognize and develop fundamental Contemporary Dance technique
  2. Demonstrate creative application of dance techniques through movement exploration and improvisation
    1. Floor work: alignment, breathing, articulation and stretching of individual muscles and body parts, flection and extension, rotation, contract, release and combination of movement in seated and lying positions
    2. Floor Center work: balancing, lateral stretching, isolations and contractions, body releases, drops, falls, tilts, brushes and other footwork, swings, jumps, leaps, recovery, suspension, arabesque, attitude and turns
    3. Moving through space:
      1. Basic locomotor movements to include walk, run, hop, jump, slide, leap, gallop, triplet combinations and in all directions
      2. Qualities of movement: percussive, sustained, vibratory, swinging, suspended
      3. Basic Turn technique
    4. Demonstrate full body awareness
      1. Alignment and weight placement
      2. Use of turnout and parallel positions
      3. Axial motions on and off center
      4. Contract and Release from core
      5. Fall and recovery
    5. Identify Spatial Orientations
      1. Stage directions
      2. Space as tangible volume shaped by the dancer
      3. negative space
    6. Time Orientation: listening and hearing, recognizing and responding to pulse, meter, tempo, and abstract sounds; Rhythm exploration: the relationship of movement to sound and music.
      1. Sensory stimuli (texture, taste, lighting, sound and music)
      2. Abstract concept of time, space, shape, energy
      3. Theme, mood, emotions
      4. Props, sets, costumes and extensions of the human form
      5. Completion of a basic movement phrase
      6. Combining given movement in a new way
      7. Creation of original movement
    7. Analyze Contemporary Dance as an art form
      1. Historical overview of Contemporary Dance including Merce Cunningham, Paul Taylor, Martha Graham, Twyla Tharp, Katherine Dunham, Mia Michaels
      2. Approaches to Contemporary Dance
      3. Contemporary Dance in relationship to other contemporary art forms
    8. Apply basic exercise physiology to Contemporary Dance Technique
      1. Develop cardiovascular endurance
      2. Employ anaerobic training
      3. Improve efficiency and body mechanics
      4. Employ techniques for over-all flexibility
      5. Comprehend techniques to avoid common injuries
Methods of Evaluation -
  1. Periodic evaluation of performance skills
  2. Demonstration and explanation of selected combinations
  3. Written Critique of live dance performances
  4. Written examination on basic vocabulary and theory
  5. Creative project: movement problem-solving
  6. Evaluation of students' weekly journal
Representative Text(s) -
Fahey, Thomas. Fit and Well. Boston, MA: McGraw Hill Publishing, 2011.

Disciplines -
Method of Instruction -
  1. Laboratory
  2. Demonstration
  3. Collaborative small group learning
  4. Lecture presentations and classroom discussions
Lab Content -
  1. Demonstration and practice of introductory floor, barre and center exercises in contemporary dance technique.
  2. Demonstration and practice of across the floor exercises in contemporary dance technique.
  3. Demonstration and practice of proper body awareness and alignment.
Types and/or Examples of Required Reading, Writing and Outside of Class Assignments -
Written critique of a live dance performance, optional writing exercises based on recommended reading.