Syllabus · Screendance

Dance 264

ROOM: CAC G021 (CAC Computer Lab - basement)
CREDIT: 4 units
PROFESSOR: John Crawford <>
OFFICE HOURS: By appointment

This course is 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. Embodied experience is mediated by cameras, computers and related technologies to create screen-based experiences that open up new possibilities for investigating movement in relation to space and time. In this course, a series of brief studies and a final screendance project will 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. Students will view and discuss screendance works by a variety of artists, read a selection of current scholarship in the field and write several short response papers.


  • Dance 281, Dance & Video Technology

Required Materials and Supplies

  • External hard drive


Building upon (not duplicating) material previously covered in Dance 281, topics for this course are expected to include:

  • 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
  • Publishing to web and social media
  • Additional topics (in brief survey format) may include: video compression techniques, web delivery strategies, projection methods and interactive technologies for screendance.

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:

  1. Response Paper, 10% of final grade
  2. Slomo Video Project, 10% of final grade
  3. Editing Project, 20% of final grade
  4. Screendance Treatment or Pitch, 10% of final grade
  5. Screendance Rough Cut, 20% of final grade
  6. Screendance Final Project, 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.