Assessment Specifications

Level 2 Dance 2023

General information


Dance Perspectives

Method of assessment

Written examination


91211  91212

Information relating to both standards

For each standard, FOUR questions will be provided. Candidates will be required to answer only THREE of the questions.

Each question may contain more than one part. Questions will be assessed holistically.

Candidates will be required to respond in bullet-point form, paragraphs, diagrams, or sketches.

Diagrams or sketches will be assessed on the quality of information conveyed and not their artistic merit (i.e. simple stick figures are satisfactory). Candidates should label their diagrams or sketches to indicate features that may not be clear.

Questions may include bullet-pointed examples to provide guidance for candidates. These examples are not intended to limit candidates’ answers.

Candidates must use ink for both sketched and written answers.

Information in planning spaces will not be marked.

Specific information for individual achievement standards




Provide an interpretation of a dance performance with supporting evidence



Number of credits


Candidates will be required to answer 3 questions relating to a dance performance they have viewed and studied.

Candidates will be given 5 minutes to read the questions.

A recording of the dance performance (3–6 minutes in duration) will then be shown twice, with a pause of 10 minutes in between.

Candidates may start making notes or answering the questions at any time after the examination begins.

Candidates will be required to answer questions on key aspects of a dance performance they have studied. Candidates should be familiar with:

  • formations and groupings
  • repeated movement
  • non-unison
  • two production technologies.

Candidates are expected to know the title of the dance and the choreographer / dance group.

Candidates may refer to key aspects not shown in the recorded section to support their answers.

The dance performance should have sufficient variation and content to enable candidates to analyse and evaluate. Examples of suitable dances include:

Dance From Choreographer Company
Section 1 Trees, Birds then People Shona McCullagh NZDC
Milagros   Javier De Frutos RNZB
Poor Boy Ihi FreNZy Mark Baldwin RNZB
Steps in the Street Chronicle Martha Graham Martha Graham Dance Company
Little Red Rooster Rooster Christopher Bruce Rambert Dance Company
Opening section Ghost Dances Christopher Bruce Rambert Dance Company 
Swan Song Swan Song Christopher Bruce Rambert Dance Company
Various Mauri Stephen Bradshaw Atamira Dance Company
Various Run Marc Brew Touch Compass Dance Company
Tawhirimatea Rotunda Shona McCullagh NZDC
Anatomy of a Passing Cloud   Javier De Frutos RNZB
Passchendaele Salute Neil Ieremia RNZB

For further information refer to the Explanatory Notes of achievement standard 91211 and the Assessment Report.

The recording

The recording of the dance performance may comprise either a complete work, or a single continuous excerpt from a longer work. It must:

  • include only the 3–6 minutes of material that is to be viewed by the candidates
  • NOT be a compilation of excerpts
  • be of a dance work that is choreographed, performed, and filmed to a professional standard, and include little or no acting footage that is not integral to the choreography
  • show at least THREE dancers
  • have clear beginning and end points
  • capture the intent of the dance performance, and clearly show the dancers, their movements, and the development of the choreography
  • use some non-unison and a variety of different relationships
  • feature minimal editing (e.g. long shots, close-ups, and special filming effects), which does not detract from the candidates’ overall view and understanding of the work.

The recording may be presented on any medium that can produce a high-quality display on a 60 cm screen. The recording must include only a single instance (or “playing”) of the 3–6 minutes of material.

Resources to be supplied by the school

The school must provide to the Exam Centre Manager, for each examination space:

  • TWO copies of the recording of the dance performance
  • a means of displaying the recording (i.e. monitor or screen) at least 60 cm (25 in) in size (measured on the diagonal)
  • a means of playing the recording, plus a back-up device.




Demonstrate understanding of a dance genre or style in context



Number of credits


Candidates will be required to answer 3 questions relating to ONE dance genre or style they have studied during the year.

Candidates will be required to answer questions on a dance genre or style, its features, and its relationship to its context. Candidates should be familiar with:

  • participants and/or audiences
  • clothing
  • historical context
  • important movement(s).

Candidates must refer to the same dance genre or style throughout, but may refer to a number of specific dances in the genre or style. Students should be able to answer questions about whether features have stayed the same or changed over time.

Candidates would benefit from having experienced the dance genre or style.

Examples of suitable dance genres or styles include, but are not limited to:

  • ballet (e.g. court dance, Romantic ballet)
  • modern (e.g. Martha Graham, Isadora Duncan)
  • contemporary / post-modern (e.g. Merce Cunningham)
  • hip-hop (e.g. krumping, b-boy, clowning)
  • kapa haka
  • gumboot dance
  • capoeira
  • lindy hop
  • Fosse jazz
  • Argentinian tango
  • tap dance (e.g. industrial tap).

For further information, refer to the Explanatory Notes of achievement standard 91212 and the Assessment Report.

Dance subject page

Examination timetable

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