Asian Dance

Research Scenario

The Department of Dance is planning to invite dancers from various Asian cultures to perform in a World Dance Program. Audience members will need some background information about the history, significance, and characteristics of traditional Asian dance forms. The Dance Department has asked your class to prepare promotional materials that will enable audience members to fully understand and appreciate these Asian dance performances.

How could an understanding of Asian dance traditions
enhance the audience's appreciation of a live performance?

Task & Product


First you will research traditional dance for one Asian culture:

  • Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Vietnamese

Then you will use the information from your research to create a promotional product or presentation to inform your school community about an upcoming live performance of traditional dance from that culture. You will present your research product to your Dance classmates for their approval, and it may be presented to the school community in the event that a live performance is scheduled. Your promotional product may be created in one of these media formats:

  • Program (pamphlet/brochure)
  • Poster
  • Video PSA (public service announcement)
  • Audio taped PSA


The following scoring tools may be used or adapted by your teacher to evaluate your research process and your final product/presentation.

Research Process Assessments:


Essential Question:

How could an understanding of Asian dance traditions
enhance the audience's appreciation of a live performance?

Subsidiary Questions:

  • What is the significance of the movements and steps?
  • What types of costumes or dress are worn?
  • How does the dance reflect the country's history?
  • How are props used in the performances?
  • How is instrumentation or music used?
  • Who and how many dancers perform the dance?
  • How does gender play a role, if any, in who performs the dance?

Gather & Sort

Use a variety of resources for gathering information about Asian Dance.

Sort your research findings on Asian Dance using a graphic organizer or note cards.

Be sure to avoid plagiarism and keep track of your resources for a Works Cited list.


~ Analyze your research notes to determine if you have adequate information on your selected origin of Asian dance.

  • Organize your notes according to subtopics corresponding to your subsidiary questions (Costumes, Music, etc.). Do you have sufficient details to completely answer all of your subsidiary questions?
  • Is there a subtopic for which you did not find enough information? If so, decide whether to continue searching for information about this subtopic or eliminate it.
  • Did you find interesting information which does not fit under any of your subtopics? If so, decide if this information would be useful for your audience, and identify a new subtopic for it.

~ Synthesize your findings by creating a rough draft of your program, poster, or a story board for your video or audio PSA.

  • What new insights have emerged about the traditional dance of this Asian culture?
  • Which facts would be most useful for members of your school community planning to attend a live performance by dancers from this culture?
  • Which facts are unnecessary or irrelevant and could be eliminated?


~ Evaluate your research product by using the following questions:

  • Have you gathered enough information about your topic to create a product?
  • Are your details organized and sufficient?
  • Do you feel you are well-informed on your topic in order to present to the class?
  • Do a self-assessment by using the scoring tool for your product as a checklist to make sure that your work meets all the listed criteria.



~Plan how you will present your final product to the audience members. Consider these options:

  • Give your classmates a copy of the program and practice giving an overview of the information. Be prepared to answer questions.
  • Make arrangements with your Teacher to present your PSA (audio or video) using an LCD projector or a CD player.
  • Hang your poster in the gallery area designated by your teacher; practice giving an overview of the information on your poster, and be prepared to answer questions.

~Present your promotional product to your Dance class. Use the scoring tool to peer-assess your classmates' work. Remember to take notes on the various Asian dance traditions as your classmates present their information.


If the Department of Dance is able to fund only one guest performance, which style of Asian Dance would you most prefer to see performed? Be sure to support your response with details from the research presentations.

  • Which facts about other Asian dance that were presented by your classmates were most useful and interesting to you?

Extension Activity:

Research local community dance groups that feature Asian Dance, and inquire about the possibility of a performance at your school.