AQA GCSE 8236
This specification focuses on the aesthetic and artistic qualities of dance and the symbolic use of movement to express and communicate ideas and concepts through the interrelated processes of performance, choreography and appreciation. Dance is a powerful form of non-verbal communication and it is both physical and expressive, which makes it similar to and different from other art forms and physical activities. Dance develops creative, imaginative, physical, emotional and intellectual capacities.
The holistic study of selected professional dance works provides the context for learning through performance, choreography and critical appreciation enabling students to experience different cultural influences and styles of dance. The study of professional works also enables students to develop a broad vocabulary and enrich their own artistic achievement.
The course has two components. Firstly Performance and Choreography: skills for solo performance, include the communication of the choreographic intent, the mood, meaning and style of the dance. Students must also know, understand and apply the following expressive skills:
- Use of focus
- Spatial awareness
- Facial expression
- Sensitivity to other dancers
Component 1: Performance & Choreography
Marks for Performance: 30% of GCSE - 40 marks (15 marks for set phrases and 25 marks for duet/trio performance)
- Solo performance: set phrases through a solo performance (one minute)
Students will learn four set phrases where they will be demonstrating the ability to accurately reproduce the spatial and action content along with technical, physical and performance skills such as posture, stamina and projection. As well as these dominant skills, safe working practice is used throughout the performance and rehearsing period.
- Duet/trio performance (three to three and a half minutes)
In the duo/group dance, students will demonstrate their physical competence and effectiveness as performers and their knowledge of safe working practice. Students must learn how to perform as part of a duet/trio dance in any dance style as choreographed by their teacher. An appropriate level of sophistication, complexity and challenging movements will be incorporated to demonstrate student’s ability.
Students must be able to choreograph one of the following: A solo dance of a minimum of two minutes and a maximum of two and a half minutes, or a group dance of a minimum of three minutes and a maximum of three and a half minutes for two to five dancers
Component 2: Dance Appreciation
Marks for Dance appreciation: 40% of GCSE - 80 marks Written exam: 1hour 30 minutes. Questions will be based on students’ own practice in performance and choreography, as well as the GCSE Dance anthology.
Students will answer the written paper focusing on critical analysis and perceptive understanding of six professional works. Students will also be required to reflect on their own performance and choreographic skills used in the course by demonstrating their understanding of choreographic terminology and self-evaluation through performance.
The GCSE Dance anthology provides the focus for learning how to critically appreciate professional set works as well as their own work and performance. Dance workshops and master-classes are also offered by many of the professional companies that our dance students study.