DANC 390: Special Projects - Composition

Instructor: Cynthia DuFault



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This all virtual course will explore composition, creative collaboration, lens-based art, and post-production media technology. By combining dance and media, students will be encouraged to embody various manipulations of movement through site, space, shape, time, and effort as well as experiment with multiple elements of technology gaining hands-on experience with camera usage and editing apps. The process will include generating subject material, investigating its possibilities, clarifying intention, and gaining understanding and confidence about creative work within a safe yet challenging environment. Creative practice, production, viewing films, and group discussions will facilitate the process. Additional course work will consist of weekly self-assessment and forum writing assignments, and the complethree media dance works. The course will be taught both asynchronous (pre-recorded video classes) and synchronous (live classes) via Zoom on Thursdays, 5pm-6pm (also recorded and available for students who require time flexibility). This course will also involve one-on-one mentoring sessions with the professor, the 

Pre−requisite: DANC 311 Dance Composition I


  • To create three (2-3 minute) media dance works, using site-specific choreography and installations that will be captured on video and re-mixed/edited.

  • To demonstrate consistent growth and exploration of compositional tools, technical skills, and collaboration in order

    to express one’s ideas.

  • To serve roles both in front of and behind the camera.

  • To demonstrate the ability to accurately and thoughtfully self-assess and provide peer feedback.

  • To practice professionalism (self-responsibility, positive/inquisitive attitude, versatility, knowledge, and investigation of individual strengths and weaknesses).

  • To critically evaluate in writing movement ideas as well as self-assess personal development.

  • To preserve a grand appreciation of dance as an art form.



Items below will be displayed each week on your Moodle weekly class planner.

   Weekly Self-Assessment Form                     Filled out and submitted each Friday by 1pm. First form is due the 2nd                                                                                          week of class by September 11th - It will be a summary of week 1-2.

   Class Forum                                             The forum will take the place of "showings."This is where you can post                                                                                         media works in-progress to receive feedback, ask questions, converse                                                                                           about composition, media, or other ideas/issues related to media dance                                                                                       works in-progress as well as comment on fellow students' progress and                                                                                         inquiries. 1 substantial post (including your work in-progress) and 3                                                                                                responses to your fellow students are required each week and due by                                                                                           Friday, 1pm. First Forum posts are due by September 11th.

   One-on-One Mentoring                            One-on-one mentoring is available by clicking the link and setting an                                                                                             appointment in my appointment book. This will automatically set up a                                                                                            Zoom meeting and send out confirmation invites.


   Media Dance Works                                        3hrs weekly of additional asynchronous course work is required, ranging                                                                                       from rehearsing, filming, editing, and posting work. as mentioned above,                                                                                     In-progress works need to be posted in the Class Forum and on Moodle                                                                                       with 1 substantial post followed by 3 responses/feedback to your fellow                                                                                         students' posts. This is required each week and due by Friday, 1pm. First                                                                                       Forum posts are due by September 11th.

   Weekly Zoom Invite                                         1 hr of synchronous Zoom class will take place each Thursday from                                                                             5pm to 6pm (starting Sept 3rd)(Download Zoom here

    Weekly Zoom Dance Class

   (Recording)                                                         If you are unable to attend the live Zoom class, a recording will be                                                                                                 available on Moodle. It will usually take a few  hours for                                                                                                                   it to show up after the class.

   Posting work                                            Post weekly works-in-progress to the Class Forum and completed projects                                                                                   on Moodle by Friday, 1pm during week 4, week 9, and week 13. If you plan                                                                                   to do one piece (with three sections), you will post each month and then                                                                                       the entire piece during week 13. The completed works will be posted the                                                                                     following Friday on cyndance.org at Fall 2020 Student Choreographer                                                                                           Media Dance Works as well as on the Department and campus social                                                                                           media pages.


   60%           Participation                        (4hrs weekly: 60hrs total) 

                                                                    - 1hr synchronous Zoom discussion and 3hrs asynchronous course work:                                                                                          choreographing, rehearsing, filming, editing, etc.

   20%           Self-assessment                   (1 weekly submission: 14 total)

                                                                     - writing assignments

   20%           Forum Participation             (1 substantial weekly post with video of work-in-progress: 14 total; 3 weekly                                                                                   responses to fellow students:42 total)

                                                                     - writing assignment


 100%                   Total





        90-100 =4.0      67-69 =2.0

        86-89=3.7         64-66 =1.7

        82-85 =3.3        57-63 =1.3

        78-81 =3.0        50-56 =1.0

        74-77 =2.7        < 49 =0.0

        70-73 =2.3





No text is required for this course. Any reading assignments will be provided as PDFs on Moodle or on cyndance.org.


This course will take place entirely online, so no physical meetings will be held. All classes, projects, and discussion forums will be accessed and submitted through Moodle and cyndance.org. Firefox is the recommended Internet browser for Moodle.


You will also need to:

  • download Zoom if you haven't done so. (Download Zoom here);

  • have access to a device that can film your movement, like a phone or laptop camera; 

  • have access to an editing app like iMovie;

  • a video store and sharing account, YouTube.


Late assignments in this course will only be accepted for one (1) week after the due date. A zero will be imposed after one (1) week. Make-up work is permissible and is the responsibility of the student to contact the instructor.




This syllabus is a guide for the course and is subject to change with advanced notice.



Guidelines and Expectations Agreement - Click on the link, fill out form, and submit by September 11th.

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©2020 by Cynthia DuFault

For SUNY Potsdam dance students with LOVE!

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