Embodied Practice: Technique and Pedagogy

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Course TypeCourse CodeNo. Of Credits
Foundation ElectiveSCC2DP2044

Semester and Year Offered: Winter

Course Coordinator and Team: Mandeep Singh Raikhy & Ranjana Dave

Email of course coordinator: mandeep[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in, ranjana[at]aud[dot]ac[dot]in

Pre-requisites: This course is suitable for students on the MA Dance Practice. Completion of Embodied Practice: Critical Explorations is a pre-requisite for this course.

Course Objectives/Description:


The overarching objective of the Embodied Practice courses throughout this programme is for students to understand embodiment as a process and not an outcome. Embodied Practice: Fundamental Movement Principles approaches this by aiming to equip students with a deep experiential understanding of anatomical principles as a starting point for dance training. The course focuses on movement foundations such as dynamic alignment, body awareness, integration, depth of physical engagement and clarity of initiation as fundamental to the development of a sensitive and reflexive dance practitioner.

With a somatic approach to movement training, the course will provide a focused palette of practices that allows the participants to build articulation, sensitivity and resilience through a curious and investigative approach. The course encourages students to challenge their existing movement patterns, interrogate intention, heighten awareness of their own bodies as well as the space around them and expand the range and quality of their movement capacity.

Embodied Practice: Technique and Pedagogy is particualrly designed to immerse students into the ways in which rigorous, new approaches can arise from a critical engagement with forms and techniques. Students will experience and examine dance pedagogies arrived at through the deeply invested movement research of a number of key practitioners. At the end of the course, the students will begin to articulate their own pedagogical questions.

Course Outcomes:

At the end of the course, students will be able to demonstrate:

  • A critical and reflexive approach to movement training and an ability to demonstrate a sense of moral and ethical responsibility in terms of their own technical development
  • Self-directed learning ability to articulate and develop their own questions around dance pedagogy
  • An independent pedagogical approach that is built on carefully considered personal values, philosophy and methodologies
  • A reflective ability to physicalise a variety of propositions, recognising and utilizing the creative potential of technical practices

Brief description of modules/ Main modules:

Classes with visiting choreographer

The choreographer invited to create a work on the students in the Researching Performance component of Practice in Context in Semester 4 will teach a class 5 times a week. The students will be offered the opportunity to immerse themselves in a process led by an established or emerging. Through this immersive experience, the students will come to understand the nature of a performer’s contribution within the creative process is that of a dance pedagogue.

Dance Pedagogy

This module critically examines the holistic model of dance teacher education with a focus on:

  • self-regulation and reflection in learning;
  • somatic approach;
  • dance as an art form in relation to dance pedagogy;
  • forms of co-operation between different art forms;
  • the role of new technology and mass media in dance education;
  • multicultural approach in pedagogy;
  • gender and sexuality.
  • The students work with leading pedagogue/s in the field of dance to develop their own pedagogic strategies in dance and movement.

Pedagogy as Practice

The module is designed to engage with several teaching methodologies and philosophies to arrive at an independent pedagogical practice. The students will test out the emergent pedagogical practice in the studio and get a practical hands-on experience on developing and sustaining a teaching practice.

Assessment Details with weights:

The objective of the assessment is to evaluate the students’ embodied understanding of the differentiations in approaches of the various practitioners introduced to them throughout the semester.

  • Participation in mid-term classroom tasks, discussions, and submission of written and/or portfolio documents (30%)
  • Participation in end-term classroom tasks, discussions (40%)
  • Submission of written and/or portfolio documents including a personal journal (30%)

Reading List:

  • Olsen, A. (with McHose, C.). (1998). Bodystories: A guide to experiential anatomy. New York: Station Hill Press.
  • Todd, M. E. (1937). The thinking body. New York: Dance Horizons.
  • Vincent, L. M. (1980). The dancer’s book of health. London: Dance Books
  • Moon, J. (2004) A Handbook of Reflective and Experiential Learning: Theory and
  • Practice. London: Routledge Falmer.
  • S. B. Shapiro (Ed.) (1998). Dance, power and difference. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  • L. Bresler (Ed.). Knowing bodies, moving minds: Towards embodied teaching and learning. London: Kluwer Academic.