Dance & Video

Course Syllabus

Dance 163 @ UC Irvine

Fall 2023
  • CLASS TIME: Tue & Thu, 2:00 to 3:20pm
  • LOCATION: CAC 3006
  • PROFESSOR: John Crawford
  • COURSE CODE: 02285
  • 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 and external hard drive. Readings and viewings will be available online.


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 for 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)

  • Weekly projects & responses, 40% 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

On-Location Classes

This course includes scheduled opportunities for dance and video work in other locations (not in our regular classroom) during class time, in which students are expected to work independently, either individually or in small groups. Online interaction with other students and the professor is expected during the on-location classes. This quarter’s on-location days are scheduled for 10/12, 10/26, 11/9 and 11/21.

Thanksgiving Break

Class will not meet on Thu 11/23 due to the Thanksgiving break.

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.

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 and/or lateness 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.