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Sample rationales

Candidates are required to submit a 300 word rationale which explains the concept/intent and process of the composition or technology option in the Core and Major Study Composition and Major Study Dance and Technology examinations. The following samples are provided as a guide for candidates in developing their rationale.

The samples are not intended as models or scaffolds or proformas for candidate rationales.

Sample rationale 1

Candidate Number: 12345678
Centre number: 123

The concept/intent of my Core Composition is the effects that depression can have on an individual.

My stimulus was conceptual and auditory. The idea stemmed from how an individual may react when dealing with the onset and/or development of depression. For this I looked up how depression can manifest itself and I considered ideas such as selective muteness and the physical impacts that the condition can have on the body. The accompaniment, with its repetition of the same four lines lyrics, also helped me to formulate my concept/intent.

I began to generate movement by using abstraction to develop a motif from literal movement. The idea of selective muteness was shown by having the hands covering the mouth and then reaching towards a point in the space that represented security. This became one motif. The other motif was generated by abstracting the shaking that may accompany the onset or development of depression. This is shown in my composition by the vibratory movements that often start with the torso and then extend to the fingers.

In order to develop phrases I then improvised with the motifs to generate phrases. These phrases had a beginning and middle and end, often with a highpoint for each phrase and were linked together through transitions. These phrases allowed the composition to develop logically. The manipulation of the motif for all of the phrases allowed the composition to be unified, while the manipulation of space, time and dynamics created variety and contrast and allowed for the development of the narrative.
An example of this manipulation is when the motif is performed with both hands covering the face and the focus is towards the “secure place”, contrasted with the dancer facing the back with one hand covering the mouth and the other reaching towards the “secure place”.

The samples are not intended as models or scaffolds or proformas for candidate rationales.

Sample rationale 2

Candidate Number: 12345665
Centre number: 122

My core composition is about falling asleep on the train. I got this idea, because I travel on the train every day for an hour and I watched what happened to people. What I wanted to show was someone trying to stay awake and getting angry because they keep nodding off, but eventually falling asleep. I thought that I would concentrate my movement on physical reactions like nodding, swaying and jerking the head upright to stay awake.

I started with these literal movements and planned that the dance would start in one corner and travel to the opposite corner because I wanted to show that the train travels from one destination to another. The pathways would be mostly linear, but when the traveller gets angry, the pathways would veer off in a more angular pathway to the intended pathway of the dance.

I made my motif with shapes and dynamics that reflected the idea of falling asleep. The shapes started higher and would gradually get lower. The dynamics I chose were swinging to represent the movement of the train, collapse to show the action of falling asleep and sharp to show the need to stay awake. The shapes in the motif are asymmetrical because this helps to show more flowing movement.

I wanted to show contrasting dynamics and levels in the middle section where the traveller gets angry. I chose higher shapes, and wider dimensions with a sharp dynamic, e.g. off centre jumps, with the original shape in the arm manipulated into the legs.

In the last section, where the traveller falls asleep, I chose low levels, stillness and collapsed dynamics. I slowed the music down to help me achieve the tempo of the movement that I needed in that section.

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