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Dance artist practitioners: an integrated model for the learning and teaching of choreography in the tertiary sector

Butterworth, Joanne (2002) Dance artist practitioners: an integrated model for the learning and teaching of choreography in the tertiary sector. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent; London Contemporary Dance School. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86050) (KAR id:86050)


This thesis proposes a new pedagogic approach to the learning and teaching of choreography in the tertiary sector appropriate to the perceived career contexts of the 21st century. The study draws upon personal and historical investigation of the choreographer-dancer relationship in theatre and education domains, identifying consensus practice at particular times and in particular contexts. Highlighting the two distinct genres from which they emanate, the disconnection between professional vocational training and educational approaches to learning and teaching of dance is examined and analysed in detail. Recent and relevant evidence is presented to support the hypothesis that the methods by which choreography is taught, learned and applied need reconsideration. The thesis argues that Peter Brinson's aspiration of the fully educated artist and autonomous thinker is crucial in developing intelligent, dextrous and versatile choreographers able to make, teach, perform, facilitate and apply choreography in diverse contexts. Most dancer/performers work in an essentially short-term and challenging environment where new fonns and languages evolve, and where they are required to take part in a wide range of didactic and democratic creative processes. The thesis defines and illustrates the Didactic-Democratic Continuum Model, a symbiotic teaching and learning methodology that will enable tertiary students to experience, understand, reflect upon and evaluate these processes. Within the dynamic context of artistic and interactive roles of dancer and choreographer, the intelligent application of general principles, rather than formulaic paradigms, is considered key. Further, the application of this model in the development of dance artist practitioners has implications for future teaching and training. The thesis is organised in three sections. Section A focuses on the historical perspective, and provides description and interpretation of the choreographer-dancer relationship in theatre and education domains. Section B, the personal experiential perspective, consists of a frame of reference for the concept of Dance Devising, and a review and observations of selected UK professional practice from 1993, deemed pertinent to the discussion. Section C considers the issues and principles pertaining to the design of the framework, presents the Didactic-Democratic Continuum Model for the learning and teaching of choreography from the perspective of the student, and discusses implications for

the implementation of the model.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.86050
Additional information: This thesis has been digitised by EThOS, the British Library digitisation service, for purposes of preservation and dissemination. It was uploaded to KAR on 09 February 2021 in order to hold its content and record within University of Kent systems. It is available Open Access using a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivatives ( licence so that the thesis and its author, can benefit from opportunities for increased readership and citation. This was done in line with University of Kent policies ( If you feel that your rights are compromised by open access to this thesis, or if you would like more information about its availability, please contact us at and we will seriously consider your claim under the terms of our Take-Down Policy (
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
SWORD Depositor: SWORD Copy
Depositing User: SWORD Copy
Date Deposited: 29 Oct 2019 16:26 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2021 10:50 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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