Methods of Modern and Contemporary Dance (H0N0701B)

Specialization of study programme Dance Pedagogy

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Study Objectives

Profile of graduate

The student is able to competently teach dance techniques and repertoire of Modern and Contemporary dance in different age groups and at all levels of expertise of the dance performer.

Rules and requirements for creating study plans

The basic framework for the conception of study programmes at AMU is created by the AMU Rules of Quality Assurance System, specifying the basic principles of accreditation processes. The current practice is further formally anchored by the AMU Accreditation Rules. These set the parameters common to all study programmes taught at AMU and also transfer part of the responsibility for subject specifications (theatre, music, dance, film/television) to the faculties.

The curricula are drawn up in accordance with the AMU Attendance and Examination Regulations. On the basis of the specificities of higher artistic education, this document defines within the typology of subjects the required main subject (PH): this is a key artistic (or talent-based) core course, for which the assessment is always carried out on a commission basis and which does not allow for re-attestation. Another specificity of the curricula is the flexibility allowed in the distribution of credits (60 ECTS per academic year) between the winter and summer semesters, based on the greater workload associated with the completion of artistic outputs in the summer semester in some disciplines

The theoretical and historical background of the field is a compulsory part of all study programmes; these are compulsory core courses co-determining the profile of the graduate and forming part of the state final examination. Each study plan also includes compulsory completion of discipline-specific English language instruction, with a minimum of 6 ECTS per study cycle.

Courses completed by examination are graded on a scale from A to E (F = fail), while „pass/fail“ grades are used for other courses; a combination of the two types of assessment is not possible.

The standard length of a lesson is 45 minutes. The basic organisational forms of teaching are lecture, seminar, exercise, workshop, the last three forms of teaching involving the creation of artistic outputs to varying degrees. Teaching takes place either on a weekly basis or in the form of intensive blocks or workshops.

The curriculum automatically assumes prerequisites in the form of sequences of courses, indicated by an ascending number after the course title. This type of prerequisite is not specifically mentioned in Part BIII for individual courses. If a course has a non-sequential prerequisite, it is explicitly listed in Part BIII for the course. In the same sense, we do not list prerequisites; these are determined by the mandatory inclusion of the course in a particular year and semester along with other courses.

The candidate applies directly to one of the three specializations: Methods of Classical Ballet Technique, Methods of Modern and Contemporary Dance, Methods of Folk Dance. The ratio of the credit load of the specialization part to the common base is 20%.

The common core subjects are: Master Diploma Thesis Seminar 1–4, Didactics of Dance Education 1–2, Pedagogy 1–2, Dance in Europe after 1945 1-2, Kinesiology 1–2, Organization and Management in Dance Education 1–2, Basics of Dance Aesthetics 1–2, English for Students of Theatre 3–4.

The curriculum includes compulsory elective trainings other than the student's own specialization, which increase the student's technical proficiency and his/her perception of methodological work in the context of other dance techniques. Each semester the sudent must elect one of two dance trainings outside their specialization to get at least 2 credits from the compulsory elective trainings per semester.

The curriculum provides for elective courses, which make up 22 credits out of a total of 120. Courses to be listed include Dance and camera, Dance on Points, Folk Dance Repertoire, Dance Interpretation Practice, Stage Practicum, Folk Dance Culture, Dramaturgy of Ballet and multimedia Theatre, Analysis of Dance, Methods of Writing Professional Essays and Thesis, Intermedia and Stage Technology, Historical Dances, Laban movement analysis / dance movement therapy, Kinetography, and others.

General information about admission process

The entrance examination consists of an interview on the professional issues, the focus of the candidate's Master's studies, and an abstract of the intended thesis. The candidate must demonstrate knowledge of the context of the field in dance pedagogy, the knowledge of pedagogical methods of teaching modern and contemporary dance at the level of a graduate of the Bachelor's degree, orientation in educational systems, dance institutions and prominent personalities.

The candidate submits two pre-prepared exemplary exercise combinations of modern or contemporary dance with methodological analysis. He/she also submits his/her undergraduate thesis.

The committee evaluates the candidate with a cumulative grade, which includes an assessment of knowledge of modern and contemporary dance technique, pedagogical talent and interest in the field best documented by teaching experience, knowledge of music theory, an overview of dance and ballet history, general cultural overview, and stage experience, all at least at the level of a graduate of the Bachelor's degree cycle.

The conditions of the admission procedure, including the determination of the method of scoring and its range, are regulated for each academic year by the relevant decree of the Dean, which is subject to approval by the Academic Senate of the Faculty.

Applicability to other types of academic programmes

Graduates of the Master's programme in dance pedagogy may apply for a doctoral programme in a related field - dance science or choreography and choreographic theory. He or she is also eligible to continue in a doctoral program in other humanities or arts disciplines.

Parts of the state final examination and their contents

The SCP usually consists of two parts:

  1. Graduate artistic performance - pedagogical output: teaching performance of a 90-minutes lesson on a given topic. (subjects of profiling basis: Didactics and Methodology for Modern and Contemporary Dance, Pedagogical Seminar for Modern and Contemporary Dance)
  2. Written thesis of min. 40 standard pages

State final exam consists of three parts:

  1. Defence of the pedagogical output of the given specialization
  2. Defence of diploma thesis
  3. Theoretical oral examination

a. : Didactics and Methodology for Modern and Contemporary dance (subjects of profiling basis: : Didactics and Methodology for Modern and Contemporary dance, Pedagogical Seminar for Modern and Contemporary dance, Didactics of Dance Education, Dance in Europe after 1945)

b. Pedagogy (subject of the profiling basis: Pedagogy)

Thematic areas of the theoretical oral examination

Didactics and Methodology for Modern and Contemporary dance: the influence of postmodern thinking on the emergence and development of contemporary dance. The transformation of the concept of corporeality in the 20th century. Alignment and dynamic alignment. (Functionality and aesthetics. Postural habits. Effective and ineffective tensions in the body.) The concept of the vertex-skeleton connection and its application in movement. (The idea of the central axis of the body as a tool to explain the principles of movement. The three weight units.) Incorporation of imagery and different types of visualization in teaching. The centre of the body as a support for the stability of the body. The connection between the centre and the periphery. Mechanism of breathing. Muscular and skeletal structure of the upper limb. (Reversed body positions, their inspirational sources, basic movement principles and preparatory exercises.) Gravity from the biomechanical point of view. (The central centre of gravity and the centre of gravity of individual body structures and their movement in space.) Stability and mobility of the lower limbs. Use of creative methods in teaching different ages and dance levels. Creativity in pedagogical practice. The nervous system as an organizer of movement. Methods of dance movement analysis. Research-type dance lessons. Basic principles of floor work, its use in training practice and choreography. Improvisation in contemporary dance: means of teaching, type of lesson (lesson structure, topics), method of creation, type of performance. The relationship between inner and outer space. Space in R. Laban and W. Forsyth. Different possibilities and practices in the use of external space in dance lessons.) Contact improvisation (the main features, its principles and forms of presentation, the influence of contact improvisation on the creation of partner dance.) Partner dance as a dialogue of bodies. Basic didactic and methodological principles of partner dance technique and examples of preparatory exercises. Artistic partnership and the gender question of modern and contemporary dance choreographers. Key aspects in dance pedagogy of the 21st century. Aesthetics and work of modern and contemporary choreographers in the repertoire of major ballet companies. The body as an instrument and its care by performer and teacher. Educating teachers, their motivation and defence against burnout. Issues of second career dancers. Structure of formal and informal education in the Czech Republic. Issues of Czech dance education after 1945 to the present. Different concepts of dance schools in Europe and beyond. Dance festivals as a source of information and organisation.

Pedagogy: definition of the concept of pedagogy and its position in the system of sciences. Basic sources of information and knowledge in pedagogy. Basic problems of terminology of pedagogy. Problems of professional discourse in pedagogy in the Czech and international context. Key terms of pedagogical science and their relations (education, education, education, education, problems of study and translation of foreign texts). Definition of professional terms education, educational reality, educational processes, educational environment. Definition of the basic pedagogical disciplines in their interrelations and their potential for pedagogical practice. Definition of borderline pedagogical disciplines in their relations to basic pedagogical disciplines and their potential for pedagogical practice. Ethics in education. The development of pedagogy in the period from the earliest evidence of education to antiquity (key figures and their pedagogical ideas in relation to today). The development of pedagogy in the medieval period (comparison with the present). The contribution and legacy of the pedagogical work of J. A. Comenius. The development of pedagogy in the Enlightenment, the 19th century, the main pedagogical trends of the 20th century. Specifics of „classical“ alternative pedagogical trends (Montessori pedagogy, Rudolf Steiner's educational system, Célestin Freinet's concept, forest/nature school, Dalton schools, Jena plan) Czech educational system in comparison with the educational system of other countries. Legal framework of education.

Other academic duties

An obligatory component of the study is active participation of students in professional discussions, shows, analysis or dance-educational seminars and workshops organized by AMU or other institutions. The student systematically examines the topics discussed in his/her teaching practice. He/she observes and compares the teaching methods of different teachers - he/she completes observations with recommended teachers or educational institutions with a dance focus of different types (i.e. state conservatories, dance studios, professional dance companies) and creates a structured record of the visits.

Students work systematically on their master's thesis and engage in research activities as part of their master's thesis. Study the required and recommended professional literature.

During the course of their studies, students create their own professional portfolio, in which they continuously incorporate the outputs of assignments and independent activities within their core courses. The finished portfolio is presented during the final state examination in didactics and methodology of their specialisation.

Characterisation of professional practice

Anticipated job placement for graduates (typical employment)

A graduate of the Master's programme in Dance Pedagogy is able to competently teach dance techniques and repertoire specialised according to the chosen curriculum. He/she is prepared to methodically lead dance classes for all ages. He/she can be employed as a dancer, dance teacher, ballet master, repetiteur, assistant choreographer etc., in theatres and ballet or dance companies as well as in art education.

He or she is also equipped with an overview of dance history and theory, the basics of dance composition, improvisation, choreography, stage practice, dramaturgy and production, so that he or she can pursue artistic creative or organizational work in the field.

He is ale to organize, author-legally, or author-technically secure a public presentation of an artistic performance. He/she is able to coordinate the activities of a creative team in the realisation of an artistic work of a smaller scale and simpler character and to take responsibility for its results, according to the framework assignment and the resources allocated within his/her field.

Accreditation validity

Study programme valid from Study programme valid to