3.2 Choreography

Students must learn how to respond creatively to an externally set stimulus, to choreograph their own complete dance. The dance created must be either:

  • a solo dance of a minimum of two minutes and a maximum of two and a half minutes


  • a group dance of a minimum of three minutes and a maximum of three and a half minutes for two to five dancers.


  • includes a chosen aural setting
  • can be in any style or style fusion(s) (as long as it meets the assessment criteria)
  • communicates their own chosen choreographic intention.

The student is not required to perform in their choreographed dance but may do so if they wish.

To create their own dance, students must know, understand and be able to apply the following, as appropriate to their choreography:

Knowledge, understanding and skills for choreography
Action content, including:
  • travel
  • turn
  • elevation
  • gesture
  • stillness
  • use of different body parts
  • floor work
  • transfer of weight.
Dynamic content, including:
  • fast/slow
  • sudden/sustained
  • acceleration/deceleration
  • strong/light
  • direct/indirect
  • flowing/abrupt.
Spatial content, including:
  • pathways
  • levels
  • directions
  • size of movement
  • patterns
  • spatial design.
Relationship content, including:
  • lead and follow
  • mirroring
  • action and reaction
  • accumulation
  • complement and contrast
  • counterpoint
  • contact
  • formations.
Choreographic processes, including:
  • researching
  • improvising
  • generating
  • selecting
  • developing
  • structuring
  • refining and synthesising.
Structuring devices and form, including:
  • binary
  • ternary
  • rondo
  • narrative
  • episodic
  • beginning/middle/end
  • unity
  • logical sequence
  • transitions.
Choreographic devices, including:
  • motif and development
  • repetition
  • contrast
  • highlights
  • climax
  • manipulation of number
  • unison and canon.
Aural settings (and how they affect choreographic outcomes), including: Aural settings:
  • song
  • instrumental
  • orchestral
  • spoken word
  • silence
  • natural sound
  • found sound
  • body percussion.

Effects on choreographic outcomes:

  • mood and atmosphere
  • contrast and variety
  • structure
  • relationship to theme/idea.
Performance environments, including:
  • proscenium arch
  • end stage
  • site-sensitive (ie designed for non-theatre spaces)
  • in-the-round.
Communication of choreographic intent, including:
  • mood(s)
  • meaning(s)
  • idea(s)
  • theme(s)
  • style/style fusion(s).

Students will also be required to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of choreographic skills by responding to questions in the critical appreciation (Component 2) written exam.

Documenting the choreography

To support assessors' marking of the choreography, students must write a Programme note of approximately 120–150 words. The Programme note must include the following information:

  • the choice of the set assessment stimulus to which the student responded, and the specific stimulus (eg poem, painting etc) that the student used
  • a description of how the choreographic intent of the work eg the idea(s), theme(s), mood(s), meaning(s) and/or style/style fusion(s) of the dance was achieved
  • citations of title and musician/artist for any aural accompaniment used.

Please see Assessment task 2: Choreography for details of the assessment task. Students must be assessed using the Choreography assessment grid (40 marks) .