Assessment Report

New Zealand Scholarship
Dance 2021

Standard 93311


Part A: Commentary

Candidates who received Scholarship were able to choreograph a dance that showed some unity and was related in some ways to the stated intention in their choreographic reflection, but was not consistent throughout their choreography. Their written work demonstrated some understanding of successful choreographic and performance processes.

Submissions below the Scholarship criteria lacked the ability to demonstrate a choreographed dance with originality and / or unity or that related to its concept in artistic ways. Additionally, the understanding of successful choreographic and performance processes was limited or had significant gaps.

The candidates awarded higher grades generally demonstrated high performance across the three areas of the standard: choreography, analysis of choreography, and analysis of performance. The candidates communicated with clarity and perceptive understanding across all components of their submission. The choreography overall was unified or innovative and clearly communicating its ideas, which was supported by the critical reflection of the choreography. This reflection demonstrated clear understanding of the significant and important artistic decisions that impacted the choreography. The critical reflection on performance showed their understanding of how to perform technique and how to communicate artistically.

Overall, the format of the examination continues to be appropriate. The digital submissions worked well and ensured they were readily accessible to mark.

Standard-specific comments:

Candidates who did not meet the Scholarship criteria missed key concepts to support their dance submissions. The following points were noted when marking candidates’ work against the criteria.

  • The lack of a theatre and theatre lighting did not negatively impact the quality of work submitted – in fact, in many instances the choreography could be seen more readily when performed without these.

Ideas / concepts such as mental health, psychosis, phobias, or dance styles were generally unsuccessful and not suitable to choregraph about. Concepts that more readily lead to the development of movement were much more successful. These included concepts such as lingering, orbiting, weaving, carving / whakairo, etc. Concepts that suggest strong imagery or movement tended to lead to more successful, Scholarship-worthy choreography. These ideas could be seen in the movement, body shapes, air patterns, floor pathways, formations, groupings, relationships, etc.

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 their 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 and how to communicate artistically
  • communicated with clarity and perceptive understanding across all components of their submission
  • developed a choreographic concept that was clearly defined, showed depth of thinking, and was well realised in the choreography
  • communicated a personal understanding of the dance they performed, and discussed how decisions made an impact 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 and effects of movement choices, such as the dance structure and the technical choices; these choices were genuinely reflected in their 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.

Candidates who were not awarded Scholarship commonly:

  • showed a lack of understanding of the key choreographic and dance performance principles, and 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 Scholarship level
  • required further evidence 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 were not easy to communicate through movement
  • continually added new movement rather than repeating and developing movement presented at the beginning of the dance


Subject page


Previous years' reports
2016 (PDF, 192KB)

2017 (PDF, 46KB)

2018 (PDF, 108KB)

2019 (PDF, 219KB)

2020 (PDF, 127KB)

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