Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Dance 2016

Standard 93311


Part A: Commentary

There has been an overall improvement in candidates’ understanding of the requirements of NZ Scholarship Dance submissions. Mostly candidates adhered to the correct times and lengths for their recorded dances and workbooks.

Many candidates:

  • used headings and subheadings effectively to organise their material.
  • used photographs to illustrate aspects of their workbooks, although the size and quality of these needed improvement in some cases.
  • gave time cues to indicate specific moments in the material on the DVD.

Candidates should be reminded that all three parts of the Scholarship submission have equal mark allocation.

Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • developed a choreographic concept that was clearly defined, had depth of thinking and was well realised in the choreography
  • produced a dance that was very innovative and original with little reliance on previously learnt dance vocabulary
  • explained in depth the connection between the original stimulus ideas, movement choices, technical choices and structure
  • communicated a personal understanding of the dance they performed and discussed how decisions made impacted on their performance
  • showed perceptive thinking and comprehensive dance knowledge throughout their workbooks.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • produced a dance with a strong sense of unity with all aspects contributing to the main idea
  • provided a brief but clear outline of the choreographic intention and clearly explained the reasons for and effects of movement choices, the choice of dance structure and the technical choices
  • analysed their performance in depth rather than merely describing the dance they performed
  • made perceptive comments about their performance processes and the expression. 

Other candidates commonly:

  • did not have a well developed concept or realised their concept in a superficial way
  • choreographed a dance that relied heavily on previously learnt vocabulary
  • choreographed a dance that lacked unity
  • choreographed a dance that lacked coherence between the ideas and the application (e.g. costumes did not relate to the themes of the dance)
  • explained their choreographic decisions superficially, or relied heavily on descriptions of their dance
  • described the ideas and movements in their performance rather than analysing how they communicated to an audience
  • did not sufficiently address all three parts of the assessment.

Further comments


  • The performance section of the workbook still tends to be the weaker section.
  • Candidates need to be reminded that they should focus on how they performed the dance not on the choreography in his section. A focus on the internal standard AS 91593 may assist students to understand how they communicate to an audience through dance.
  • Questions such as these below may help:
    • How did you emphasize the contrasts in the dance?
    • What did you do to gain attention in the opening moments of the dance?
    • How did you build to a climax?
    • How did you use stillness to maintain attention? li>What movement qualities were you embodying at specific times?
    • When and why did you change movement qualities?
    • How did the context affect your performance?
    • How did you use focus?
    • How did you use your breath?

Viewing - It is important that the assessors can clearly see the dances. Consider:

  • limiting lighting effects so that the dance can clearly be seen (a recording without stage lighting may be preferable)
  • sending a DVD rather than media files so that the dance can be viewed on a larger screen
  • filming at a time other than a public performance so that camera is not placed at the back of a large performance space
  • avoiding the use of projection (this often distorts the view of the dance).


  • One simple idea can be more effective than too many ideas. Choose one theme or idea and explore it thoroughly.
  • Focusing on an idea that candidates know something about rather than a global or foreign issue often results in a better piece of choreography
  • If dancing to a song, consider including some of the lyrics and explaining how they support the ideas in the dance.
  • Candidates should not spend too long explaining processes and ideas that were then discarded. Although this is part of the choreographic process it is more important to explain processes and ideas that were chosen, used and developed.
  • Many candidates referred to a main dancer. Focus on a main dancer often seemed to limit other choreographic choices.
  • Entries and exits are important. Use these effectively to contribute to the ideas in the dance.
  • The costumes need to be appropriate. For example, a dance about protests in the USA in the 1960s danced in bike shorts may not be an appropriate choice. However, elaborate costuming is not required.

Candidates should:

  • avoid personal introductions – these should be removed from recordings and workbooks (the introduction needs to be to the workbook, not to the candidate)
  • ensure that the influences discussed have impacted significantly on the work.

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