Screendance


Course Syllabus

Dance 164 @ UC Irvine

Spring 2021
  • CLASS TIME: Tue & Thu, 2:00 - 3:20 pm
  • LOCATION: Virtual Remote - Zoom Meeting Info
  • PROFESSOR: John Crawford
  • LAB HOURS: Online Calendar
  • COURSE CODE: 02398
  • CREDIT: 4 units

An introduction to screendance for choreographers. Also known as dance film, cinedance, videodance and/or dance for the camera, screendance connects film (and filmmaking) with dance (and dancemaking) in an evolving hybrid performative practice. More than simply the recorded representation of a performance, screendance combines choreography and cinematography to create a new artifact that is a work of art in and of itself.

A series of screendance studies and a final project provide an experiential framework for exploring a range of aesthetic and conceptual issues, as well as opportunities for hands-on skill development with current tools. We consider choreography and performance in relation to camerawork, editing and other aspects of mis-en-scene, the totality of what we see and hear in the film. In addition to creating their own screedance projects, students view and discuss screendance works by a variety of artists and read a selection of current scholarship in the field.

Prerequisites

Dance 163.

Required Materials and Supplies

Computer, external hard drive, video camera or smartphone. Readings will be available online.

Topics

The work of this course typically includes the following topics, concepts and themes:

  • Aesthetic and conceptual issues arising from screendance as a hybrid medium
  • Creating screendance storyboards, treatments and pitches
  • Camera placement, continuity, use of light, shot angles
  • Framing for the screen and capturing movement for video
  • Capturing footage, cutting and transitions
  • 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
  • Additional topics (in brief survey format) may include: video compression techniques, social media strategies, projection methods and interactive technologies for screendance

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. Assignment grading (subject to change) is:

  • Screendance studies, 30% of final grade
  • Final screendance project, 40% 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. yourname@uci.edu) 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 Apps

Some of your assignments for this course will require you to use UCI’s G Suite applications (also referred to as Google Workspace or Google Apps). If you haven’t already, please follow the instructions at https://www.oit.uci.edu/help/google to ensure that your UCI Google Apps account is active. Note that a non-UCI Google account will not suffice for this course. You must have a UCI G Suite account. Verify your account at https://docs.google.com by ensuring that you can see the UCI Google Apps 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.