Unit 1 | Unit 2 | Unit 3 | Unit 4 | Unit 5 | Unit 6


In contemporary dance, one of the most common methods for producing movement vocabulary is the use of improvisation. The quality of stimuli is key to evoking emotional and physical responses. Time should be taken to select it with thought and attentionl to detail to ensure that the root of the movement has integrity and conveys the right message, emotion or theme. Dancers need to be equipped with enough information to embody the subject in order for this to be conveyed to the audience.

When working in the community improvisation has many therapeutic values and can empower participants as well as channelling energy and bringing unconscious thought to the movement.

Unit 4 explores some improvisation ideas which can be incorporated into the dance making process.


Traditional Dance Structures
There are several traditional dance structures that you can choose to work from that will add depth and interest to your piece. These structures can also apply to each individual phrase of movement as well as the piece as a whole, this will too add variety to your piece.

Binary Form (AB)
This is a two part compositional form with an A theme and a B theme. The binary form must consist of two very distinct sections but that share either a character or quality (such as the same tempo). For example, section A might possess sharp, strong like dynamics then section B might possess flowing and soft qualities.

Ternary Form (ABA)
A three part compositional form in which the middle section (B) should contrast with the first and last section (A and A). The last section is a restatement of the first section but in an abbreviated, condensed, or extended form.


Motif and development

A motif is a single movement, or a short movement phrase that is often repeated throughout the dance piece used to signify the chosen theme or unifying idea. The repeated movement (motif) must develop throughout the dance piece by a adding a variation of quality. This will enable your piece to become unified and help audiences understand the piece further.


A range or quantity of different things is advised to add audience interest. The choreographer must provide variety within the development of the dance. Contrasts in the use of space, shape, force, spatial designs, force as well as repetition of movement, motif and development provide variety and depth to a piece of choreography.

Movement Styles

The dance composer has a movement language as a basis, but he/she must analyse them in order to add to it, extract from it and develop it. There is no one way of showing meaning in movement but there are accepted patterns that the choreographer should take so that the work can be understood.