Fall 2021 - CA 285 D100

Interdisciplinary Studio - Composition/Collaboration (3)

Class Number: 7336

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Mo, We 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM
    GCA 4210, GOLDCORP

  • Prerequisites:

    One of CA (or FPA) 122, 130, 145, 150, 160, 170.



An introduction to the techniques of artistic composition as experienced in a collaborative interdisciplinary studio environment. The emphasis is on the creation, analysis and critique of new compositions created in collaborative groups by students in dance, music, theatre, film/video and visual art. Students with credit for FPA 285 may not take this course for further credit.


CA 285 is an introduction to the techniques of artistic composition as experienced in a collaborative interdisciplinary environment. Students will work in groups to create original compositions using elements of movement, music, theatre, video or visual art/instillation, among other forms. Each student will participate in the creation of several short compositional studies and three separate larger compositions through group collaborations and will submit short critical reflections outlining specific compositional elements and develop abstracts and documents for their projects. Students should be prepared for activity and group discussion /collaborations in every class meeting. Your attendance and ability to work in groups through online platforms will be an important part of the course and your evaluation.


1. To acquire an awareness and a set of basic compositional techniques that students can apply to any artistic/performance discipline.
2. To acquire basic skills that will allow the student to collaborate with peers in different artistic/performance disciplines.
3. To acquire the observational and verbal skills that allows one to critique the work of others through an analysis of composition.


  • Composition #1, #2 (15% each) 30%
  • Composition #3 20%
  • Witten assignments: Short Critical Reflections (four %5 each) and Document/Abstract (one-%10) 30%
  • Attendance and Participation 20%



Reading materials will be provided through Canvas


Anne Blom, Lynne and Chaplin Tarin: The Intimate Act of Choreography

Bernstein, Michele and Robert: Sparks of Genius

Bogart, Anne and Tina Landau: The Viewpoints Book: A Practical Guide to Viewpoints and Composition

Bogart, Anne: A Director Prepares- Seven Essays on Art and Theatre

Burrows Jonathan: A Choreographers Handbook

Carter Alexandra (Editor): The Routledge Dance Studies Reader

Cooper Albright, Ann and David Gere (Editors): Taken by Surprise: A Dance Improvisation Reader

Deirdre Heddon and Jane Milling: Devising Performance: a critical history

Fidaeliro Joa, Real Time Composition: https://blackbox.fcsh.unl.pt/joao-fiadeiro-composition-in-real-time-method.html

In Terms of Performance: http://intermsofperformance.site/keywords/

Hegarty on Creativity: There are no Rules

Johnson Darla: The Art of Listening: Intuition & Improvisation in Choreography

Lehmann, Hans, Thies: Postdramatic Theatre

Lepecki, Andre (Edited by) DANCE: Documents of Contemporary Art

Nachmanovitch, Free Play: The Power of Improvisation in Life and the Arts

Novack, Cynthia. Sharing the Dance: Contact Improvisation and American Culture.

Lepecki, Andre (Editor): Planes of Composition: Dance, Theory, and the Global

Shaw, Ben. The Shape of Content

Tharp, Twyla. The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life

The Fluxus Performance Workbook: Edited By Ken Friedman and Owen Smith (Performance Research e-publications, 2002)

Vargas Mike, 86 Aspects of Composition: http://www.mikevargas.net/documents/86%20Aspects.pdf

Vera John-Steiner, Creative Collaboration

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2021 will involve primarily in-person instruction, with approximately 70 to 80 per cent of classes in person/on campus, with safety plans in place.  Whether your course will be in-person or through remote methods will be clearly identified in the schedule of classes.  You will also know at enrollment whether remote course components will be “live” (synchronous) or at your own pace (asynchronous).

Enrolling in a course acknowledges that you are able to attend in whatever format is required.  You should not enroll in a course that is in-person if you are not able to return to campus, and should be aware that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who may need class or exam accommodations, including in the context of remote learning, are advised to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112) as early as possible in order to prepare for the fall 2021 term.