Dance in Context I (BDA810)

In this course, the student learns about the stage dance in a cultural and social context with a focus on the development of modern dance and contemporary dance in the period 1900 until today,as well as related issues in ethics, gender and politics.

The course also gives the student basic skills to be able to analyze dance. The historical and analytical aspect runs parallel throughout the subject and those various assignments both practical and written related to the study are designed to give the student insight into key choreographers, works and eras. The student receives training in working with different tasks that require reflection and critical thinking about the past as well as the present.

Course description for study year 2024-2025. Please note that changes may occur.


Course code




Credits (ECTS)


Semester tution start


Number of semesters


Exam semester


Language of instruction

English, Norwegian


The course gives the student an understanding of the development of European and American stage dance, particularly during the 20th and 21st centuries. The emphasis is on modern dance, the post-modern period, as well as dance in the present day. Topics include dance as an aesthetic phenomenon, dance history in its cultural and social context, dance analysis, and issues of ethics, gender and politics in dance.

Learning outcome


The student shall be able to:

  • explain the historical and contextual development of stage dance with particular emphasis on modernism, the postmodern and the present
  • understand contemporary dance in a historical, philosophic, aesthetic and social context
  • have a basic understanding of dance as an aesthetic phenomenon
  • understand and be able to discuss topics related to ethics, gender and politics in relation to the development of dance through the ages and in society today.


The student shall be able to:

  • apply dance historical and art historical knowledge to see a choreographer / a work in relation to the choreographer’s / work's own time and significance for posterity / the present
  • use different methods as tools in the analysis of dance art
  • apply relevant concepts and terminology in discussion and reflection about dance in the past and present

General Competence

The student shall be able to:

  • have acquired skills in academic writing.
  • contextualize themselves and their own practice.
  • apply knowledge of ethics, gender and politics and relate these to the development of the field, as well as their relevance for dance artists and their working lives.

Required prerequisite knowledge



Form of assessment Weight Duration Marks Aid
Portfolio 1/1 Passed / Not Passed

Portfolio assessment: 3 written assignmentsAssignments in the subject are delivered in Norwegian or English. Swedish and Danish are also permitted.

Coursework requirements

Attendance in all organized teaching is mandatory in accordance with the UK Faculty’s attendance regulations.

Course teacher(s)

Course coordinator:

Birgitte Bauer-Nilsen

Study Adviser:

Lena Crosby Haug

Method of work

Lectures/ classroom teaching.

The teaching will facilitate discussions and critical reflection both individually and in groups.

Written and practical assignments.

The subject is organized in weekly teaching activities. However, the teaching activity can entirely or partly be organized as intensive modules in periods of the academic year. The subject can also have a combination of weekly teaching and intensive modules.

Open for

Bachelor in Dance

Course assessment

There must be an early dialogue between the course supervisor, the student union representative and the students. The purpose is feedback from the students for changes and adjustments in the course for the current semester.In addition, a digital subject evaluation must be carried out at least every three years. Its purpose is to gather the students experiences with the course.


Search for literature in Leganto