Syllabus · Dance + Video Technology

Dance 281 · Fall 2017

ROOM: CAC G021 (CAC Computer Lab - basement)
CLASS TIMES: Tue & Thu, 3:30 - 5:50 pm
CREDIT: 4 units
PROFESSOR: John Crawford <>
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

Dance + Video Technology is an introduction to digital video technology in dance, with a particular focus on performance documentation. 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 providing a platform 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

  • External hard drive


Topics for this course are expected to include:

  • Aesthetic and conceptual issues arising from the intersection of dance and video
  • Introduction to the fundamentals of capturing dance with a video camera
  • Creating a production plan for dance documentation
  • 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
  • Capturing footage, cutting and transitions
  • Basic audio recording for dance documentation
  • 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

Note: Course content may vary, based on student skill level and particular interests.

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.

Project assignment grading & due dates (subject to change):

  1. Position Paper, 10% of final grade
  2. Remix Video Project, 15% of final grade
  3. Rehearsal Video Project, 15% of final grade
  4. Dance Documentary Proposal, 10% of final grade
  5. Dance Documentary Video, 20% of final grade
  6. Dance Media Website, 20% of final grade

Overall course participation, including completion of the assigned reading and viewing work, will count for 10% of the final grade.

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.

Schedule Notes

Sun Oct 15, 3:00–5:00pm: Embodied Media workshop #1 (location to be announced)

Thu Oct 19: No Dance 281 class (replaced by Embodied Media workshops)

Sun Oct 29, 3:00–5:00pm: Embodied Media workshop #2 (location to be announced)

Thu Nov 16: No Dance 281 class (replaced by Embodied Media workshops)

Thu Nov 23: No Dance 281 class (Thanksgiving holiday)

Thu Nov 30: No Dance 281 class (replaced by Embodied Media workshops)