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MarylandFine Arts Education Instructional Tool Kit
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Maryland Fine Arts Education
Developing Fine Arts Assessments
Integrating Fine Arts Across the Curriculum
Assessment Outcomes and Implications

Stimulus Materials for Dance

Stimulus materials are resources used in assessment activities to help establish context, purpose, and focus.   They should be developmentally appropriate and essential to the contextual framework of the task.   Stimulus materials for dance items may be aural and/or visual and may include both live or recorded musical scores as well as videotapes of performances (both informal and formal). They should be selected to represent the genres, styles, and forms of both Western dance (popular and traditional) and those of a variety of other cultures.

In most instances, stimulus materials are presented to students at the time of test administration.   However, some tasks may require advance listening, viewing, or other exposure to the material.   Students should not be expected to be familiar with particular works other than those for which preview instructions are provided.

Obtaining Permission for Use of Copyrighted Material

Every published work of art is subject to restrictions for use.   Before downloading or reproducing any material for any purpose, it is important to research the conditions under which it may be used.   Works considered to be products of creative expression (or “intellectual property”) are protected by prevailing copyright laws.   Materials may take various forms such as text-based material, film or audio recordings, visual images, etc., and may be accessed from various sources such as books, commercially available video or audio tapes or CDs, or through the Internet.   Prior to making a stimulus selection for an assessment task, it is important to research the conditions under which materials may be downloaded, duplicated, and distributed.   The penalty for violating copyright law can be very severe.

Possible sources of stimulus materials for dance include:

  • Commercial recordings, film recordings of public events and performances (with permission), and school-based and personal film recordings, along with those recordings made specifically for assessment purposes;
  • View Example:

    Dance Activity 1

  • Live dance phrases (presented by a facilitator);
  • View Example:

    Dance Performance Task 9

  • Visual resources including still images such as pictures, photographs, or drawings of performers, audiences, venues for dance performances, and moving images (e.g., videotape, electronic displays) of dance performances that focus on performers or an audience; and
  • Text describing choreography and text about dance (e.g., reviews), dancers, and cultural aspects of dance (e.g., folktales and legends about the origins of dance).

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