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Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Contemporary Dance)

Learn to choreograph and perform at a professional level by becoming part of the largest full-time dance programme specialising in contemporary dance in New Zealand. You will participate in  diverse performances including solo and group work, and work commissioned works by guest choreographers.

Level
7
Credits
360 (3.0 EFTS)
Campus
Mt Albert
Start dates
February
Duration
Full-time for three years

Programme overview

The Contemporary Dance major is the most established, full-time contemporary dance programme in New Zealand, and continues to develop a community of dance artists who contribute innovative choreography and performance excellence to the industry. Unitec's dance graduates are seen in all major productions throughout New Zealand.

With a comprehensive programme covering technique, choreography, dance studies and teaching pedagogies, you'll gain the knowledge, tools and abilities to pursue the range of opportunities available to you as a contemporary dance artist.

Highlights

  • A rewarding and challenging experience that introduces you to an exciting and varied professional career in dance. Whether you create your own live work or dance on stage or screen, you'll be joining an artistic community that includes many of our graduates.
  • A focus on live performance, including opportunities to both dance and choreograph.
  • Daily studio practice under the guidance of industry practitioners with local, national, and international experience.
  • A close relationship with the New Zealand dance industry and community.
  • A chance to collaborate with other performing arts students; you'll share classes with actors, directors, writers, production design management and film and television students.

Technique and choreography for stage and screen

With the emphasis on practicality, you'll spend up to six hours a day in the studio, developing your craft in a range of dance techniques including contemporary, ballet, muscle and bone, pilates, yoga, choreography, partnering work and improvisation. You'll also develop skills in dance and multimedia through creating and performing in dance for film.

Performance

Live performance will be an integral part of your studies where you'll get to explore your technique and choreographic craft as an emerging practitioner. Taught by leading contemporary dance artists and choreographers, you'll learn to develop dance projects of your own. You'll choreograph and perform for theatre, events, festivals and film as well as gaining a hands-on understanding of funding and promotion activities. Technology also plays a key role in our learning environment. You'll gain practical experience in lighting, sound, and music design, video editing, costume, props and scenery.

Dance studies, contextual studies and critical practices

Throughout your studies, you'll develop an understanding of dance histories and associated theories in our unique culture of critical studies. Alongside your future industry peers, you'll explore in-depth theoretical and critical thought, integrating theory and professional practice in an exciting cross-discipline environment.

Auditions

Around 100 people apply each year for up to 30 places offered in Year One. All auditions will be held over dates in mid to late October You'll be given clear information at the time of your application about how to prepare. From this workshop, the final selection of trainee dancers is made for the following year.

Find out more about upcoming auditions and interviews

Programme Structure

The programme structure for the Bachelor of Performing and Screen Arts (Contemporary Dance) in 2024 is:
 
 Year 1Year 2Year 3
Course 1PASA5221 Dance Practice 1A
Class number(s): 1776
15 credits
PASA6221 Dance Practice 2A
Class number(s): 1911
15 credits
PASA7223 Dance Practice 3A
Class number(s): No classes scheduled
30 credits
Course 2PASA5225 Contemporary Dance Techniques 1A
Class number(s): 1777
15 credits
PASA6225 Contemporary Dance Techniques 2A
Class number(s): 1912
15 credits
PASA7225 Contemporary Dance Techniques 3
Class number(s): No classes scheduled
15 credits
Course 3PASA5902 Professional Development 1
Class number(s): 1779, 1780 or 1781
15 credits
PASA6903 Contextual Studies 2
Class number(s): 1792, 1793 or 1913
15 credits
Elective
Level 5, 6 or 7
15 credits
Course 4PASA5921 History of Dance
Class number(s): 1783
15 credits
Elective
Level 5, 6 or 7
15 credits
 
Course 5PASA5224 Dance Practice 1B
Class number(s): 5838
30 credits
PASA6222 Dance Practice 2B
Class number(s): 5997
15 credits
PASA7224 Dance Practice 3B
Class number(s): No classes scheduled
45 credits
Course 6PASA5228 Contemporary Dance Techniques 1B
Class number(s): 5839
15 credits
PASA6226 Contemporary Dance Techniques 2B
Class number(s): 5998
15 credits
PASA7902 Professional Development 3
Class number(s): 5858 or 5859
15 credits
Course 7PASA5903 Contextual Studies 1
Class number(s): 5842, 5844 or 5843
15 credits
PASA6902 Professional Development 2
Class number(s): 5853, 5854 or 5999
15 credits
 
 
This example programme overview is a guide only and assumes full-time study. Please check timetables carefully as not every course is offered each semester. Programme requirements and class numbers are subject to change.

Admission requirements

What you will need to study this programme. 


Domestic students

Academic requirements

You must have completed at least one of the following:

  • At least 3 ‘C’ passes in the New Zealand University Bursaries Examinations
  • 42 credits at NCEA Level 3 or higher including:
    • 14 credits in two different approved subjects; and
    • 14 credits from up to two subjects (approved or non-approved)
    • 14 credits in NCEA Level 1 or higher in Mathematics or Pangarau
And meet one of the English entry requirements;

Don’t meet these Academic requirements?

Non-academic requirements

  • Complete a medical declaration form.
  • Interviews, submissions, and/or auditions will be required - we'll notify you of what is required.

For more information, download the programme regulations (PDF 731 KB)


International students

Academic requirements 

As a part of this requirement, you must be at least 16 years of age and meet one of the country-specific admission requirement;

And English entry requirements;

​If English is not your first language, you will also need at least one of the following qualifications:

Don’t meet these Academic requirements?

Non-academic requirements

  • Complete a medical declaration form.
  • Interviews, submissions, and/or auditions will be required - we'll notify you of what is required.

For more information, download the programme regulations (PDF 731 KB)

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses including timetables, please click on the course names below.

Courses Credits Aim
Dance Practice 1A (PASA5221) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable the student to understand the relationship between fundamental theoretical concerns and choreographic and performance practice. This course focuses on collaboration and establishing the fundamental habits and methodologies appropriate for contemporary dance choreography and performance.
Dance Practice 1B (PASA5224) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS) To enable the student to understand complex and multilayered aspects of the choreographic process and performance environment. This course focuses on establishing fundamental habits and methodologies appropriate to contemporary dance choreography and performance.
Contemporary Dance Techniques 1A (PASA5225) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce students to the fundamental theories, concepts and techniques of contemporary dance practice. The course focuses on building capability for dancers in a range of dance techniques and to build habits and attitudes required for the profession.
Contemporary Dance Techniques 1B (PASA5228) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to apply the fundamental theories, concepts and techniques of contemporary dance practice. The course focuses on continuing to build capability for dancers in a range of dance techniques and to build habits and attitudes required for the profession.
Professional Development 1 (PASA5902) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce students to the basic professional practices associated with the performing and screen arts industries and their own professional development. This course focuses on building capability for students in self-management, communication and presentation, as well as academic literacies such as text analysis and academic writing.
Contextual Studies 1 (PASA5903) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students will develop a broad understanding of the history, contexts, language and relevant theoretical frameworks of performing arts and screen arts. Students will acquire skills in critical and analytical literacy through engaging in research and project work focused on performing and screen arts practices in Aotearoa and beyond.
History of Dance (PASA5921) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to examine, reflect and discuss the historical development of dance languages and theories in order to situate themselves in a wider dance context. This course focuses on placing selected movements and developments of production and performance in the context of the student’s specialist discipline. There is a focus on experiencing professional art making in the community through field trips and site visits.
Courses Credits Aim
Dance Practice 2A (PASA6221) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to gain a specific understanding and the confidence to experiment within the various strands of the choreographic/performance spectrum. This course focuses on enabling the student to gain an understanding of the whakapapa of New Zealand contemporary dance.
Dance Practice 2B (PASA6222) 30 credits (0.25 EFTS) To enable the student to integrate complex and multilayered aspects of the choreographic process and performance environment. This course focuses on consolidating fundamental habits and methodologies appropriate to contemporary dance choreography and performance. Students will also continue to gain an understanding of the whakapapa of New Zealand contemporary dance.
Contemporary Dance Techniques 2A (PASA6225) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to integrate somatic practice and intermediate theories, concepts and techniques as foundation of contemporary dance practice. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the evolution of a personal methodology that will give expression to individual creative development and practice.
Contemporary Dance Techniques 2B (PASA6226) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to integrate intermediate somatic practice and dance techniques as foundation of contemporary dance practice. The course focuses on the further development of specialist skills and the application of individual creative development and practice.
Professional Development 2 (PASA6902) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to utilise a range of concepts and skills, including business and professional practices, that will enhance their ability to operate independently in the creative industries.
Contextual Studies 2 (PASA6903) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) Students examine the relationship between authors and audiences in Aotearoa and beyond within the context of performing and screen arts history and culture. Students will investigate different modes of practice and conventions of representation and interpretation commonly associated with performing and screen arts.
Courses Credits Aim
Professional Development 3 (PASA7902) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to transition into the industry by acquiring advanced professional development skills. This course focuses on setting personal and professional goals for academic and professional achievement as well as the business and management practices associated with the performing and screen arts profession.
Courses Credits Aim
Skills in Screen Directing 2A (PASA6253) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce students to specialised theories, concepts and techniques for directing. This course focuses on enabling students to practically engage with skills in directing for screen media.
Skills in Screen Directing 2B (PASA6254) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to extend specific skills, knowledge and practices for screen directing needed to achieve standards that enhance creative decisions.
Negotiated Creative Project 1 (PASA6605) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To enable students to engage practically in a theatre and/or screen production project in a negotiated role using a variety of individual and collaborative approaches. This course provides a practical environment for students to engage in collaborative creative projects from their own specialist perspective.

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