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Major Dance Work | Composition, Appreciation, Performance and Film and Technology | HSC Dance

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Choosing a major work can be a daunting process. When choosing, you need to ensure that you are comfortable with the content and it will be something that you will enjoy exploring further. It is also important that you pick a major topic that shows off your strengths. For example, if you are stronger in performance, you would pick major performance. However, if you struggle with performance but your strength is composition, you would look at exploring major composition or major film and technology.


You can choose one of the following to study as your major work for HSC Dance:

  • Major Performance

  • Major Composition

  • Major Appreciation

  • Major Dance and Technology

All major works are worth 40% of your total mark.

Major Performance:

Pick this if you are strong in performing choreography.

Your teaching will choreograph a dance work for you to perform for the HSC Dance Examiners. Within this dance you will be expected to perform choreography with a higher level of skill and commitment to that of the core performance dance. This dance work will play on your strengths, and you can choose to perform any style, as long as it contains body skills and fits within the marking criteria included within the NESA Syllabus.

The major performance dance will be focused on the performance of body skills in relation to principles of alignment, body articulation and kinaesthetic awareness. The markers will look at your ability to perform locomotor and non-locomotor movement whilst exploring and controlling the use of temporal and dynamic variations, along with differing aspects of the elements of dance. There will be the need to understand the respiratory and circulatory systems, where discussing this in an interview setting will be a benefit. Dancers need to understand the concept of the work and allow for it to become a realisation through the interpretation of the dance work. This is done through performance quality and the application of dance technique. Dancers will also be required to display a deep understanding of dance terminology.

Major Composition:

Pick this if you are strong in creating choreography for more than one dancer and are able to self-regulate your studies.

This requires for you to choreograph a dance for 2-3 dancers. You will be required to follow the same process as you would for core composition, however, it becomes far more complicated when composing on more than one body. Major composition does allow for you to include simple costumes and props if it aids in the interpretation of your work. You should only pick this if you enjoy creating original movements relevant to that of your concept. You need to be a strong leader if you choose this major, as you are required to step into the role of choreographer and train your dancers to perform the movement how you intended it to be performed. This includes the implementation and manipulation of the elements of dance through your motif/s.

Major Appreciation:

Pick this if you are strong in the writing component of the course.

This is purely theory based, where it will require the student to dive deeper into analysis of dance works and artists. Just like core appreciation, there are set artists and works that the student must study and write about in the written exam. If you are not strong with the writing component of the course, I would not recommend studying this.

Major Dance and Technology:

Pick this if you are strong in composition and have a strong understanding of technology.

There are two options that you can choose from under this major umbrella:

  1. Choreographing the virtual body

  2. Film and video

Choreographing the virtual body

Pick this if you are interested in choreographing on virtual bodies.

This is good for students who would like to mould and manipulate choreography on virtual bodies. This is not an easy thing to do, and I urge students to think long and hard about this choice. A lot of schools do not have access to the technology required to complete this major work. The program allows for you to create 3D animations to create a dance work.

Film and Video

Pick this if you have a strong understanding of composition and video/sound editing software.

You must have an interest in video filming and editing in order to enjoy the process of film and video major work. Students need to consider the relationship of dance and technology and realise that the use of camera angles, props and differing views will assist with the communication of intent. Students will study examples of documentaries, stage dance re-created for TV and musicals and filmed adaptations of stage musicals. The process of this major work is that of major composition, with the adaption of technology and differing choreographic considerations.


That is okay! We are here to help you reach your HSC Dance goals!

Happy learning,

Helena Adele

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