Dance Units 3 and 4
VCE dance is for the ‘thinking dancer’ as this subject opens you to the world of choreography. In Unit 3, you will become the choreographer exploring your own personal dance style and performance skills through the creation of a ‘skills solo’. A solo that shows off your best dancing skills. In Unit 4, the solo that you create will tell a story or explore a theme or concept. In both solos you are the creator and the performer, exploring movement and developing your own personal movement style. You will have the opportunity to study world famous choreographers such as Christopher Wheeldon, Jade Hale-Christofi (choreographing for Sergei Polunin) or GLOW solo choreographed by our own Melbourne born, Gideon Obarzanek. You will analyse and discuss the choreographic principles underlying these world famous choreographers creations.
In Unit 4, you will study one group work. At VSV you will have a choice between:
- Jerome Robbins ‘Prologue’ from the award winning Musical West Side Story
- ‘Mathinna’: ‘Mutton Bird’ and ‘People’ sections choreographed by Stephen Page
This course is designed to expand your understanding and knowledge of dance as a vibrant performing art form.
Who is it for?
This subject is for students who:
- love to dance
- wish to learn more about the art and craft of choreography/dance
- are willing to expand their understanding of what dance is
- are curious and passionate about dance.
As a dancer, your body is your instrument through which you communicate meaning through movement. As a choreographer, you can create the movements that can challenge and move an audience’s perspective. Culture enriches our lives and being a dancer and choreographer puts you in the centre of being an agent for change and beauty.
Dancers are often vibrant, fit, energetic and positive people. Participating in this course will expand your analysis skills. Your understanding will grow, as to how choreographers develop meaning through movement. Your own skills as a thinking dancer will lift. The skills that you learn in VCE Dance will enhance aspects of your life as you head into the performing arts, arts education and fitness sectors.
What do you do?
You will complete some of the following activities:
- creating and making your own solo dance works showing a range of movements, which explores the criteria as set by the VCAA
- learning, rehearsing and performing a learnt group dance as a VSV class
- analysing solo works and group works created by world famous choreographers
- learning VCE terminology and applying terminology to analysis
- discussing and describing dance movements in your own and others works, to show meaning.
What skills do you need?
You should possess basic dance skills from taking regular dance classes in any style. It is highly recommended that you have a minimum of four years dance training and regularly attending studio dance classes during the year. Completing regular dance classes at a dance studio ensures the continual and systematic development of dance skills in the dance style/s of your choice. Creative skills such as problem solving, being organised in order to complete tasks, and being intrinsically motivated are important to learning in an online environment.
Skills such as filming and uploading to a video sharing site will also come in handy during the year.
What skills do you develop?
By the end of the year you should have developed:
- dance compositional skills that are displayed in the two solos that you create which cover the VCAA criteria
- a proficiency in analysing a range of dance works
- an ability to discuss your own processes in the learning/creating/rehearsing and performing solo and group works
- an understanding of how choreographers influence the arts and society
- a greater understanding of how to watch and appreciate dance works.
Students seeking to enrol in Dance at VSV will need to complete and submit a Dance Pre-Enrolment form with their enrolment application. This application demonstrates that you are systematically working in a dance class and allows us to contact the studio teacher if required.
You must have access to the internet in order to access this online course. All weekly work will be completed and submitted online.
You will need to be available to attend Seminars at VSV and a mock exam at one of the VCAA exam venues in Term 3.
Being able to film your work on a device and upload filmed files of your dancing is also a requirement for this course.
Things to think about
VCE Dance requires a dancer to become a ‘thinking’ dancer. This means that you understand that there is more to dancing than being able to kick your leg up high. A thinking dancer can unpack the what, how, where and who of a dance and write that information down. The thinking dancer can describe not only the dance steps that they observe and create, but can use the VCE Dance terminology and find links between what the movement is, and what the movement means.
In order to successfully complete both Units you will need to come to Melbourne three times during the year to:
- complete a learnt group dance School Assessed Coursework and Unit 3 Seminar
- attend a mock exam in September to perform both solos for feedback
- attend the Top Class excursion in March and/or the Unit 4 seminar.
You will be required to film and submit solo phrases for ongoing solo feedback.
Things you can do now
Unit 3 requires you to analyse two prescribed works. You could start by:
- watching the ‘White Rabbit Solo’ choreographed by Christopher Wheeldon
- you have a choice of second prescribed work. You can choose either ‘Take me to Church’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-tW0CkvdDI danced by Sergei Polunin OR GLOW danced by Sara Black choreographed by Gideon Obarzanek.
- start listening to music that inspires you to create your solos
- take extra summer classes in a different styles of dance to expand your experience of dance
- go to as many live dance performances as you can
- watch a variety of YouTube videos of dance and dancers
- go to the VCAA website to familiarise yourself with the criteria for the solos and read through the Chief Assessor’s report from previous years to gain greater understanding of what is expected. Please note that 2019 is a new study design. This means, there may be some changes in key knowledge and skills and terminology from previous years
- look up the Prologue by Jerome Robbins on Youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=bxoC5Oyf_ss
- look at The Bangarra website for information on this amazing Australian company, in particular Mathinna as you have a choice to study this work in Unit 4. https://www.bangarra.com.au/
Things to have a look at
White Rabbit solo
White Rabbit solo from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Christopher Wheeldon
GLOW by Gideon Obarzanek
Take Me To Church solo
Take me to Church danced by Sergei Polunin choreographed by Jade Hale-Christofi