3.3 Dance appreciation

Through written communication and use of appropriate terminology, students must be able to critically analyse, interpret and evaluate their own work in performance and choreography and demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of professional practice in the six set works in the GCSE Dance Anthology.

Dance appreciation is assessed through a written exam of one and a half hours duration.

Please refer to Component 2: Dance appreciation for more information about the structure of the written exam.

3.3.1 Critical appreciation of own work

To critically appreciate their own performance and choreography, through describing, analysing, interpreting, evaluating and reflecting, students must know and understand:

Knowledge and understanding of critical appreciation of own work
Performance
  • the meaning of the relevant performance terminology in 3.1 Performance
  • the contribution of performance to audience understanding of the choreographic intent of the work being performed including the mood(s), meaning(s), idea(s), theme(s) and/or style/style fusion(s).
Choreography
  • the meaning of relevant choreography terminology in 3.2 Choreography
  • the contribution of choreography to audience understanding of the choreographic intent of the work including the mood(s), meaning(s), idea(s), theme(s) and/or style/style fusion(s).

3.3.2 Critical appreciation of professional set works

The GCSE Dance Anthology provides the focus for learning how to critically appreciate professional set works. The anthology contains the following professional set works:

Dance work Dance company Choreographer
Artificial Things Stopgap Dance Company Lucy Bennett
A Linha Curva Rambert Dance Company Itzik Galili
Infra The Royal Ballet Wayne McGregor
Shadows Phoenix Dance Theatre Christopher Bruce
Within Her Eyes James Cousins Company James Cousins
Emancipation of Expressionism Boy Blue Entertainment Kenrick H2O Sandy

Students must study all six works in their entirety and be prepared to describe, analyse, interpret, evaluate and reflect on the works in response to short answer and extended writing questions.

The GCSE Dance Anthology, with details of all six professional works, including films of each performance and interviews with the choreographer or company associate, is available at aqa.org.uk/dance

Students must know and understand the defining characteristics of each set professional work, including:

Knowledge and understanding for critical appreciation of professional set works
Features of production, including:
  • staging/set eg projection, furniture, structures, backdrop, screens and features of these such as colour, texture, shape, decoration, materials
  • lighting eg colour, placement, direction, angles etc
  • properties eg size, shape, materials, how used etc
  • costume (including footwear, masks, make-up and accessories): features such as colour, texture, material, flow, shape, line, weight, decoration and how they define character or gender, identify dancers, enhance or sculpt the body and enhance the action
  • dancers (number, gender)
  • aural settings eg song, instrumental, orchestral, spoken word, silence, natural sound, found sound, body percussion, style, structure and musical elements such as tone, pitch and rhythm
  • dance for camera eg placement, angle, proximity, special effects.
Performance environments, including:
  • proscenium arch
  • end stage
  • site-sensitive
  • in-the-round.
Choreographic approaches As exemplified in the interview with each choreographer.
Choreographic content, including:
  • movement content (actions, dynamics, space and relationships) as per the knowledge, skills and understanding for choreography specified in Choreography
  • structuring devices and form (binary, ternary, rondo, narrative, episodic, beginning/middle/end, unity, logical sequence, transitions)
  • choreographic devices (motif and development, repetition, contrast, highlights, climax, manipulation of number, unison and canon).
Choreographic intent, including:
  • mood(s)
  • meaning(s)
  • idea(s)
  • theme(s)
  • style/style fusion(s).
To critically appreciate professional works through describing, analysing, interpreting, evaluating and reflecting, students must know and understand:
  • the similarities and differences between the defining characteristics of each dance (as above)
  • the contribution of choreography (as above), performance and features of production to the audience's understanding of the work
  • the relationships between choreography, performance and features of production (as above) and the ways in which these have been used together to enhance audience understanding of the choreographic intention
  • the purpose or significance of different performance environments in which the dance was created and performed.

3.3.3 Changes to GCSE Dance Anthology

We do not expect to change the set professional works within the lifetime of the specification. However, the set professional works will be reviewed each year and we will give at least nine months’ notice of any changes prior to first teaching of a two-year course. Notice of any change will be communicated via our exam bulletins and at aqa.org.uk/dance

3.3.4 AQA dance glossary

Please refer to the AQA GCSE Dance glossary for meanings of the terms used in this specification at aqa.org.uk/dance