Dance & Video

Graduate Course Syllabus

Dance 281 @ UC Irvine

Winter 2021
  • CLASS TIME: Tue & Thu, 3:30 - 4:50 pm
  • LOCATION: Virtual Remote
  • PROFESSOR: John Crawford
  • COURSE CODE: 02630
  • CREDIT: 4 units

An introduction to video and computer technologies for dance, with a particular focus on performance representation. This is an experiential course including hands-on training in video production and editing. It surveys methods for integrating dance performance with the film medium, discusses related aesthetic and conceptual issues, and introduces current techniques and technologies for video and audio recording of dance performance.

For dancers and choreographers, websites and videos featuring your work can help raise your profile with dance companies, producers and funding agencies, as well as platforms for you to reach new audiences. For dance teachers and scholars, effective use of video, audio, social media and the web can make an important contribution to your work in performing arts education and research.


No prerequisites.

Required Materials and Supplies

Computer, external hard drive, video camera


The work of this course typically includes the following topics, concepts and themes (course content may vary, based on student skill level and particular interests)

  • Aesthetic and conceptual issues arising from the intersection of dance and video
  • Introduction to the fundamentals of capturing dance with a video camera
  • Principles of framing for the screen and capturing movement for video
  • Camera placement, continuity, use of light, shot angles
  • Process documentation of dance rehearsals
  • Archival documentation of dance performance
  • Basics of video editing for dance representation
  • Capturing footage, cutting and transitions
  • Basic audio recording for dance representation
  • Organizational approaches to editing
  • Importing video, audio, and image files
  • Using text and title graphics
  • Understanding output options and how to prepare for final output
  • Finishing and final output for the web
  • Presenting dance-related materials on social media platforms

Assignments & Grading

Required homework consists of regular assigned reading and viewing, plus a series of project assignments. Details on all assignments will be provided in class. The final grade will be based on the following components (subject to change)

  • Response papers, 20% of final grade
  • Lab projects, 20% of final grade
  • Final project, 30% of final grade
  • Overall course participation, including completion of all assigned reading and viewing, counts for 30% of the final grade

Course Email

You are required to use your UCI email address (e.g. for this course. All course-related email will be sent to that address, not to any other email address you might have. Keep in mind that it might take much longer for me to respond to any email messages sent from a non-UCI address. I get a lot of email and have to prioritize reading the messages that we know are from UCI students.

UCI Google Workspace

Some of your assignments for this course will require you to use applications in the UCI Google Workspace for Education (formerly G-Suite). If you haven’t already, please follow the instructions at to ensure that your UCI Google Workspace account is active. Note that a non-UCI Google account will not suffice for this course. You must have a UCI Google Workspace account. Verify your account at by ensuring that you can see the anteater logo in the upper right corner of the window.

Attendance Policy

Full attendance is a requirement of this course, and you are expected to always be present for the entire class meeting time. Successful completion of this course depends on your active participation during class as well as full commitment to the written assignments and all the work you create for this course. If you need to miss a class, arrive late, or leave early, it’s your responsibility to notify the professor in advance, preferably by email. Unexcused absences will affect your grade, except in cases of severe illness or emergency.

Academic Integrity

Learning, research, and scholarship depend upon an environment of academic integrity and honesty. This environment can be maintained only when all participants recognize the importance of upholding the highest ethical standards. All student work, including quizzes, exams, reports, and papers must be the work of the individual receiving credit. Academic dishonesty includes, for example, cheating on examinations or any assignment, plagiarism of any kind (including improper citation of sources), having someone else take an examination or complete an assignment for you (or doing this for someone else), or any activity in which you represent someone else’s work as your own. Violations of academic integrity will be referred to the Office of Academic Integrity and Student Conduct. The impact on your grade will be determined by the individual instructor’s policies. Please familiarize yourself with UCI’s Academic Integrity Policy and speak to your instructor if you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course.