Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Dance 2020

Standard 93311


Part A: Commentary

Numerous submissions showed evidence of hurried preparation, which lowered the standard of the portfolio presentation. For example, within the written portfolio the following were frequently noted:

  • images of a poor size and/or quality
  • images presented as the stimulus for the choreography that did not obviously relate to the dance presented
  • aspects with no significant impact on the work and not seen in the dance were reported in the written portfolio
  • focus upon technique as a significant part of the dance being analysed for the performance reflection section without explaining how the specific technique was achieved, e.g. balance, extension, into and out of the floor, how dynamics and energy qualities were achieved
  • reports focusing on how the dance was made rather than how it was performed.

The choreography section

Candidates succeeded where:

  • consideration was given to how an idea was developed through choreography – rather than just presenting more and more new ideas
  • “smaller” ideas or concepts were actually communicated clearly through movement. Simple ideas were often very effective and resulted in more focus on good choreographic process
  • they chose topics and ideas that inspired movement
  • responses were not limited by narrative structures that focused on telling a story rather than communicating key ideas and concepts
  • all dancers in the piece were used as ways of communicating ideas, rather than limiting the focus to one central dancer.


Part B: Report on Performance

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship with Outstanding Performance commonly:

  • produced choreography that was unified and clearly communicated its ideas
  • supported the choreography with critical reflection that demonstrated clear understanding of the significant and important artistic decisions that impacted the choreography
  • showed understanding of how to perform technique as well as how to communicate artistically
  • communicated with clarity and perceptive understanding across all components of their submission
  • developed a choreographic concept that was clearly defined, had depth of thinking and was well realised in the choreography
  • communicated a personal understanding of the dance they performed and discussed how decisions made impacted on their performance.

Candidates who were awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • produced a dance with a sense of unity with most aspects contributing to the main idea
  • provided a 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. These choices were then genuinely reflected in the dance work
  • analysed their performance rather than merely describing the dance they performed
  • showed understanding of key choreographic and dance performance principles, although depth of knowledge may not have been sound throughout.

Other candidates

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • showed a lack of understanding of key choreographic and dance performance principles while the depth of knowledge was not sound throughout
  • produced choreography that did not clearly conceptualise or communicate the ideas stated in the choreographic intention or did so in very literal and/or basic ways 
  • did not use dance elements to communicate ideas at a level expected for Scholarship
  • required further evidence of the ability to clearly define a concept that was then able to be communicated through movement in artistic and original ways
  • presented choreography that lacked unity and originality
  • presented design decisions that lacked coherence, e.g. costumes that were not related to the concept or too many irrelevant lighting changes that distracted from the dance
  • did not demonstrate sound understanding of key principles of either choreography or performance in their written critical reflections
  • chose ideas or themes that did not suggest movement and as such were not easy to communicate through movement
  • continually added new movement rather than repeating and developing movement presented at the beginning of the dance
  • tackled ideas that were too big and too abstract for a 3–4 minute dance
  • explained their choreographic decisions superficially or relied heavily on descriptions of their dance
  • explained what and why they performed the way they did in their performance commentary, but not how they communicated the ideas in the dance
  • focused on choreography in the written performance section rather than identifying how they performed
  • did not sufficiently address all three parts of the assessment.


Subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 192KB)

2017 (PDF, 46KB)

2018 (PDF, 108KB)

2019 (PDF, 219KB)

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