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Improvisation and Duo (DNCE20027)

Undergraduate level 2Points: 6.25On Campus (Southbank)

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Year of offer2019
Subject levelUndergraduate Level 2
Subject codeDNCE20027
Semester 2
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject brings together two synergetic disciplines: improvisation and duo.

Duo aims to develop contemporary duo skills with an emphasis on weight taking and sharing based on principles of contact improvisation and efficient kinaesthetic function in movement. Strength, coordination, awareness and sensitivity in partnering work are developed. Emphasis is placed on the practice of safe dance techniques as they apply to the duet form.

Improvisation is explored as a means to tap into creative impulse, as a choreographic tool and as a performance modality in its own right. Through the use of Improvisation structures of ‘scores’, students define the conditions required to enter fully into the present moment, deepening their confidence in and connection to creative impulse. Personal movement vocabularies are expanded, while acute responsiveness to external stimuli is developed.

Intended learning outcomes

This subject will enable the student to:

  • Further develop skills of the Duo form drawing on content from both contemporary dance and classical ballet genres.
  • Demonstrate safe and efficient execution of lifts and falls using counterbalance and low to medium level strength lifting techniques.
  • Consolidate skill in creating contemporary duo material.
  • Expand skills in timing and spatial awareness, and sensitivity when moving with a partner.
  • Utilise improvisation as a method to deepen exploration of personal movement vocabulary, in the development of improvisation scores.
  • Work effectively in duet and group improvisations.

Generic skills

On completion of this subject students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the ability to work cooperatively and sensitively with duo partners
  2. Display an understanding of how to take weight and how to give weight in the duo form
  3. Perform duet and improvised material with technical accuracy
  4. Implement safe dance practice
  5. Demonstrate the ability to create, articulate and adhere to an improvised score
  6. Articulate and apply personal movement vocabulary and aesthetic in performance of both improvisation and duo

Eligibility and requirements


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
DNCE20013 Dance Technique 3
Semester 1


Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
DNCE20018 Dance Technique 4
Semester 2

Non-allowed subjects

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
DNCE10026 Improvisation and Duo
Semester 2

Recommended background knowledge

Successful completion of Year 1 of the Bachelor of Fine Arts (Dance) to ensure students have appropriate knowledge.

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • Students attend a mid semester interview with 2 staff to review progress across all subjects including Improvisation and Duo elective: Mid Semester
  • Coursework – active, physical and ongoing engagement in practical classes (including regular individual feedback) against assessment criteria:End of Semester (80%)
  • Written assignment (1200 words) - Written work must be passed to successfully complete the subject: End of Semester (20%)
  • 100% weekly punctual and full attendance is expected: 80% Attendance must be met to pass the subject (Hurdle Requirement)

Dates & times

  • Semester 2
    Principal coordinatorAnna Smith
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Southbank
    Contact hours1 X 1.5 hours Improvisation Class & 1 X 1.5 hours Duo Class
    Total time commitment60 hours
    Teaching period29 July 2019 to 27 October 2019
    Last self-enrol date 9 August 2019
    Census date31 August 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail27 September 2019
    Assessment period ends22 November 2019

    Semester 2 contact information

Time commitment details

60 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    Handouts available on LMS

  • Available to Study Abroad and/or Study Exchange Students

    This subject is available to students studying at the University from eligible overseas institutions on exchange and study abroad. Students are required to satisfy any listed requirements, such as pre- and co-requisites, for enrolment in the subject.

Last updated: 30 July 2019