Unit of competency details

CUACHR601A - Create choreography for stage and screen (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Is superseded by and equivalent to CUACHR601 - Create choreography for stage and screenUpdated to meet Standards for Training Packages. 20/Nov/2013

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 06/Oct/2011

Accredited courses that have this unit in the completion mapping

Training packages that include this unit


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100105 Dance  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 100105 Dance  12/Apr/2012 
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Modification History




This version first released with CUA11 Live Performance Training Package version 1.0

Unit Descriptor

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to create choreography for stage and screen productions and to synchronise dance with stage and screen sequences.

Application of the Unit

Choreographers apply the skills and knowledge outlined in this unit. At this level, choreography is used in a number of ways, for example, to clarify or enhance the story-line or mood of a stage or screen production. Choreography could incorporate any dance style or combination of dance styles, as well as other artistic forms, such as singing and acting.

Work requires independence and autonomy although a high level of collaboration with key personnel, such as directors, producers, musicians, composers, singers, production technicians and performers.

Licensing/Regulatory Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.


Not applicable.

Employability Skills Information

This unit contains employability skills.

Elements and Performance Criteria Pre-Content


Performance Criteria 

Elements describe the essential outcomes of a unit of competency.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element. Where bold italicised text is used, further information is detailed in the required skills and knowledge section and the range statement. Assessment of performance is to be consistent with the evidence guide.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Participate in pre-production activities

1.1. Clarify aspects  of production  briefs and production values  in consultation with appropriate personnel 

1.2. Investigate original choreographic work in screen productions taking into account the various advantages and limitations of the medium

1.3. Research style  and other aspects of dance appropriate to the content or story-line of productions

1.4. Organise resources in line with production requirements 

1.5. Establish a schedule with appropriate personnel for viewing material to keep track of implications for composing dance elements

2. Generate ideas for choreography

2.1. Prepare a plan  for completing work in line with the brief and negotiate contracts  as required

2.2. Conduct briefings  for other people involved in the process as required

2.3. Research aspects of the production appropriate to the content or story-line to inform ideas

2.4. Generate a range of ideas, movements or starting points and experiment with options that communicate themes

2.5. Investigate the potential of structural elements  for achieving desired effects

2.6. Transform choreographic ideas  into the stage or screen setting

2.7. Discuss plan with appropriate personnel and refine as required

3. Create original choreography

3.1. Apply a range of advanced composition techniques  to organise dance elements  into working versions of themes that support productions

3.2. Collaborate in the construction of musical and choreographic material to create choreography that can respond to or counterpoint musical rhythmic structures

3.3. Collaborate with appropriate personnel on technical production  of performance as part of the choreographic process

3.4. Incorporate safe dance practices  through phases of the creative process

3.5. Finalise choreography using dance notation 

4. Produce work for public performances

4.1. Clearly articulate the ideas a work is presenting, and the methodology used to develop the work, to a level of public performance

4.2. Effectively direct and rehearse with dancers and technicians

4.3. Refine and stage the piece for a defined performance space

4.4. View work with appropriate personnel and seek and apply feedback on how well composition meets creative and technical requirements

4.5. Incorporate final ideas and suggestions into final compositions

4.6. Perform piece to an audience convincingly and consistently over several performances with fresh energy, commitment and focus

5. Evaluate public performances

5.1. Discuss aspects of the composition process that worked well and what could be improved with appropriate personnel

5.2. Evaluate the quality and success of the choreography in meeting production requirements and planned outcomes

5.3. Evaluate own role in operations and note areas for improvement

5.4. Provide feedback to team members on their performance as required

5.5. Use results of evaluation to improve own work practices

Required Skills and Knowledge

This section describes the skills and knowledge required for this unit.

Required skills 

  • communication and teamwork skills to:
  • generate, communicate and implement ideas and actions through the identification, analysis and evaluation of information
  • use aural skills to identify musical pieces or rhythms that support the composition
  • receive and provide constructive feedback and apply it to future work
  • negotiate contracts or legal agreements effectively
  • communicate and direct intention to other dancers and technicians
  • work as an individual and as a member of a diverse team
  • creativity and problem-solving skills to:
  • develop new choreography that expresses one’s distinctive approach along with the story-line or intention of the production
  • translate a choreographic plan into a well-crafted and executed performance
  • take the performance context into account to solve problems related to developing choreography and working with a diverse team
  • translate creative ideas into appropriate action
  • collaborate with other art forms to create original work
  • planning skills to:
  • develop a choreographic plan for complex productions
  • plan composition in a logical sequence
  • work within established budgets and timeframes
  • self-management skills to:
  • prioritise work tasks
  • meet deadlines
  • demonstrate reliability in agreed work commitments
  • technical skills to:
  • work with production-related technology, such as cameras, lighting and special effects
  • translate intention into a choreographic plan, including a variety of dance forms and structures
  • apply composition skills in the context of screen and media.

Required knowledge 

  • principles and techniques involved in composing dance for stage and screen
  • film making aesthetics, processes, personnel and technologies as they affect developing choreography
  • issues and challenges that arise in the context of composing dance for stage and screen productions
  • musical knowledge, such as:
  • styles
  • terminology
  • genres
  • rhythms
  • formats used for legal contracts with choreographers working on stage and screen productions
  • OHS and safe dance practices in the context of performing in stage and screen productions.

Evidence Guide

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment 

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit 

Evidence of the ability to:

  • prepare an appropriate response to a stage or screen brief
  • develop ideas suitable for a major piece of choreography for public performance
  • demonstrate competent skills in dance craft and direction to present work in a public setting
  • work creatively, collaboratively and constructively with artists, performers and technical crew
  • transfer composition skills into the stage and screen mediums.

Context of and specific resources for assessment 

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • sprung floor
  • tarkett
  • mirrors and curtains
  • audio requirements
  • lighting and vision system requirements
  • costuming, make-up and hair requirements
  • set and props requirements
  • video recording and playback equipment
  • computer technology to keep track of plans and budgets.

Method of assessment 

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit: 

  • evaluation of work plans and responses to stage and screen briefs prepared
  • direct observation of candidate working, composing, directing and collaborating
  • verbal or written questioning to test knowledge as listed in the required skills and knowledge section of this unit
  • video recordings of performances or practice sessions
  • portfolios, journals or other documentation and notation that demonstrate the reflective processes used in dance composition.

Assessment methods should closely reflect workplace demands (e.g. literacy) and the needs of particular groups (e.g. people with disabilities and people who may have literacy or numeracy difficulties, such as speakers of languages other than English, remote communities and those with interrupted schooling).

Guidance information for assessment 

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended, for example:

  • CUACHR602A Develop skills in dance notation
  • CUAIND601A Work professionally in the creative arts industry
  • CUARES601A Research and apply concepts of live performance practice.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Aspects  may include:

  • nature of music and required dance style
  • relationship between the choreographer, producer, director and technical staff
  • responsibility for and access to necessary equipment and assistance
  • remuneration, including:
  • payment and payment details for the choreographer
  • contingency details
  • consideration of costs in developing choreography
  • copyright, royalty and licensing issues
  • levels of responsibility
  • time lines
  • budgets
  • materials and facilities
  • production schedule.

Productions  may include:

  • feature films
  • documentaries
  • animated productions
  • short films
  • commercials
  • filmed events or performances
  • music videos
  • television productions
  • stage productions.

Production values  may include:

  • artistic style and quality
  • overall choreography quality aligned with production vision
  • performance quality based on recordings
  • transitions and cohesion between choreography and other aspects of the production
  • attack
  • dynamics
  • mood, phrasing and expression.

Appropriate personnel  may include:

  • director
  • producer
  • post-production editor
  • program manager
  • sound designer
  • lighting designer
  • staging designer
  • film-video crew
  • musician
  • performer
  • broadcaster.

Style  may include:

  • ballet
  • jazz
  • tap
  • street
  • cultural
  • modern or contemporary
  • Indigenous
  • street
  • social.

Production requirements  may include:

  • set design
  • lighting and projections as integral elements of the movement ideas
  • checking sound score’s quality and timings
  • practical programming decisions
  • organising dancers
  • feedback discussion with dancers and production staff
  • video recording of the performances
  • program notes.

Content of a plan  may include:

  • duration of dance pieces
  • general vision for and scope of composition material
  • time lines
  • budget
  • staffing
  • hiring requirements
  • timetables that allow for contingencies
  • communication plan.

Details in contracts  may include:

  • milestones and payment schedules
  • materials and facilities for both parties
  • responsibilities of both parties
  • role of subcontracted personnel
  • process for negotiating variations to the contract.

Briefings  may cover:

  • allocating work in line with project requirements
  • providing specifications
  • agreeing on standards of work
  • providing technical and financial information
  • agreeing on payment schedules
  • discussing reporting mechanisms and arrangements for dealing with contingencies
  • negotiating process for providing feedback on work in progress.

Structural elements  may include:

  • building phrases from isolated movements
  • identifying phrase material from improvisational exercises
  • manipulating the following, independently and in groups:
  • canon
  • inversions
  • accumulations
  • retrograde
  • rondo
  • spatial organisation to enhance possible meanings
  • geometrical distribution within whole or parts of bodily movements
  • specific dynamic elements (rhythm, force, speed) to project dance-maker’s intentions
  • use of props or basic costuming as intrinsic elements of meaning making.

Ways to transform choreographic ideas  may include:

  • collaborating with filmmakers and dancers
  • story boarding work for the camera
  • filming sessions at one or more selected sights
  • editing footage
  • syncing the sound track
  • inserting titles and acknowledgements
  • applying ideas, such as:
  • musical score
  • costumes
  • props
  • staging.

Advanced composition techniques  may include:

  • effective integration of improvisational or task-based skills
  • clarity of rhythmic structures
  • development and application of movement motifs
  • range of choreographic forms, such as:
  • canon
  • rondo
  • inventiveness in movement material
  • clear and effective spatial arrangements
  • employing varying dynamics
  • clarity in phrasing.

Dance elements  may include:

  • shape
  • space
  • dynamics
  • time.

Technical production  may include:

  • audio
  • lighting and vision systems
  • make-up
  • costumes
  • props
  • special effects
  • computer animation.

Safe dance practices  may include:

  • understanding the body’s capabilities and limitations, including:
  • alignment:
  • flexibility (mobility)
  • strength (stability)
  • cardiorespiratory endurance
  • muscular endurance
  • warm-up and cool-down activities, such as:
  • gentle stretches
  • aerobic exercises
  • anaerobic exercises
  • breathing exercises
  • doing exercises and performing routines on flooring appropriate to the genre and style of dance, such as:
  • sprung softwood
  • tarkett
  • sprung parquet
  • tongue and groove hardwood
  • resined for ballroom and Latin dance
  • non-slip for ballet
  • wood for tap and Spanish
  • correct execution of dance steps
  • appropriate clothing and footwear
  • nutrition and diet.

Dance notation  may include:

  • shorthand
  • pictures
  • diagrams
  • graphics
  • using computer notation software specific to dance.

Unit Sector(s)

Performing arts - choreography

Custom Content Section

Not applicable.