Singapore University of Social Sciences

Contemporary Dance Appreciation

Contemporary Dance Appreciation (GSP181)

Applications Open: 01 May 2023

Applications Close: 15 June 2023

Next Available Intake: July 2023

Course Types: Modular Undergraduate Course

Language: English

Duration: 6 months

Fees: $1378 View More Details on Fees

Area of Interest: General Studies

Schemes: To be confirmed

Funding: To be confirmed

School/Department: SUSS Academy


Contemporary dance emerged around the middle of the twentieth century as a mode of dance expression that merges dance elements of both the classical tradition with more modern dance elements. The contemporaneity of the genre often also includes non-western influence, such as those of Africa and Asia. Contemporary dance is expansive and is highly representative of many forms of 20th century art. And dance, as an art form, is a combination of various dimensions: music, performance, physical expression, and visual composition. Understanding contemporary dance is thus a useful way towards understanding much of modern artistic idiom. This course takes a structured approach to approaching the notion of contemporary dance, its provenance and its constituents. It will examine the various sub-genres that make up contemporary dance, including consideration of the stylistic details that make each one a unique craft unto itself. The course will also expose students to the various cultural traditions out of which contemporary dance has emerged, from West to East. And finally, in tracking the history of its development, the course will consider the place of contemporary dance within the context of Singapore’s artistic landscape.

Level: 1
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every semester
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • An introduction to contemporary dance
  • Contemporary dance – a western construct (historical survey)
  • Contemporary dance – a western construct (stylistic survey)
  • Contemporary dance – on asian terms (a study in transference of influences)
  • Introduction to descriptive analysis (methodology)
  • Contemporary dance – appreciation, response and articulation
  • Contemporary dance, development and appreciation

Learning Outcome

  • Identify the basic stylistic elements of contemporary dance
  • List the various types of subgenres that make up contemporary dance
  • Comment on the artistic attributes of examples in contemporary dance performance
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the contributions that contemporary dance makes to dance as an art form, and also to art in general
  • Interpret specific examples of dance performance/expression using descriptive analysis as a tool
  • Recognize the differences and similarities between contemporary dance, and dance from other periods and traditions
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