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Choreographic Handbook

University of Surrey Level 4 Introducing Choreography: The Body as a Resource
by

Amy Sharkey

on 19 May 2013

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Transcript of Choreographic Handbook

Choreographic Handbook Amy Leah Sharkey Week 1 Week 1 continued... Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form or both are specified - literally it means 'DANCE - WRITING' Hands (1996) Jonathan Burrows Exploration of images... After exploring a few of the SHAPES we then moved on to try and join these into a series of small movement... each time developing what we already had and developing what we had seen in the image Week 2 WHAT DOES A PERFORMER BRING TO THE WORK? This week was all about developing what we had already devised in the last session and applying the feedback we had received! Adjective
(of an adult) Having good qualities associated with a child.
Synonyms
childish - infantile - puerile - babyish FROM THIS I DECIDED TO REPEAT MY MOVEMENT PHRASE BUT EMBODYING THE CHARACTER OF A CHILD - AFTER MESSING AROUND WITH IT FOR A BIT I ALSO MANAGED TO COME UP WITH A FEW NEW LITTLE MOVEMENTS THAT I COULD ADD TO IT - AND A WAY OF REPEATING PARTS OF THE PHRASE DEVELOPING CERTAIN AREAS! WHAT IS CHOREOGRAPHY? what is composition in dance? COMPOSITIONA AS ARRANGEMENT AND COMPOSITION AS MEANINGFUL CREATION where do you find composition?
What about choreographic composition? EXPLORING THESE IMAGES Composition in that case must mean the placement/arrangement of visual elements - the organisation of movement/music etc WHERE CAN IT BE FOUND? Everywhere! More specifically in the visual arts in paintings scultptures and DANCE! This video was part of our initial reading and i thought it was particularly relevant as it highlights the idea that choreography can be something as simple as the movement of your hands Below and to the right are 2 images I chose
to explore in class - we set down all of the
images and between us took a few minutes
to explore them and take in as much as we
could. Then from our memory we moved off into a space and tried to recreate some of the SHAPES that stood out... LEVEL SIZE DYNAMICS ETC.. Feedback: I found this task particularly useful as it opened my eyes to a new way of choreographic which was using a stimulus such as a picture and focusing on an area such as the body shapes to create and develop movement. Although it was simple movement it is material that could be developed and used again. In particular I used the strong arabesque shape
and the idea of falling into the duet position to
develop.... ...taking them to a high level or travelling with it etc... By the end of the session I managed to devise a short movement phrase using these images. This could later be used as a starting point for my solo that i could develop and create ideas from. My particular phrase however was very static and at similar levels so this is something that I would definitely take into account if I were to use the material in the next session! More exploration of images... CONTACT IN DUETS
USE OF LEVELS
DIFFERENT SHAPES
FOCUS
SPACE
LIGHTING
COSTUME
RELATIONSHIPS
PROPS? Natural?
Harsh?
Does it create any
shadows? Solo?
Duet - male/male After exploring these areas a bit further, we started to ask questions such as who is this? what are they doing? why are they doing it? when and where? I found that by doing this it began to give the images context and a background which helps to further develop them! FEEDBACK A key part of this process is to show your particular movement sequence to somebody else and receive some peer feedback to help you develop it. Having created mine with no particular idea in mind other that the images I showed it to Megan and got her to answer the question we thought about earlier. Her feed back found my piece PLAYFUL with a lot of GESTURES particularly foot gestures and the whole movement almost CHILDLIKE. I found using feeback extremely useful and essential to my choreographic process and it gave me a starting point and a strong conceptual basis for the work that I could really think about and continue to delevop! Consider their LOOKS, BEHAVIOR, MOVEMENT BACKGROUND, HISTORY & PERSONALITY How does the performer impact on the creation of the work? HOW DOES EMBODYING ANOTHER PERSON IMPACT ON YOUR OWN PERFOMATIVITY? & HOW DOES IT INFORM YOUR BODILY EXPERIENCE? All of these questions are both relevant to our SOLOS but also the DUETS - in the solo you are the performer so you have to consider all of these things about yourself which I think can be difficult as it is sometimes easier to be critical about somebody else than yourself... SOLO In particular I was thinking about the weeks reading and trying to think of what it was that a performed brought to work and how it impacts the creation of the work AS A PERFORMER - I would say that we bring the work to life (personally) and what is just an idea in the choreography - when you physically have somebody to portray the idea and embody the movement it heightens the meaning of the piece and takes it to a new platform! Each individual dancer brings something of their own to the table - be it a certain flare or even an emotion. This I first realized when using the pictures as a stimulus I tried to embody the emotions i saw - however when i showed it to a peer they saw something different which is down to me. The exact movement just a different embodiment! EMBODYING present participle of EM - BOD -Y (VERB) Be an expression of or give a tangible or visible form to (an idea, quality, or feeling).
Provide (a spirit) with a physical form. CHILD- LIKE fidget playful energetic silly fun mischievous whimsical HAPPY! I DECIDED TO BRAINSTORM WORDS THAT I ASSOCIATED WITH CHILD-LIKE FOR MORE INSPIRATION AND STIMULUS FOR MY SOLO - THESE WERE SOME OF THE MAIN ONES I COULD COME UP WITH AND JUST FROM LOOKING THEM I COULD COME UP WITH SOME IDEAS OF MOVEMENTS SUCH AS SPINNING AROUND , SKIPPING AND A PARTICULAR FAVORITE WAS FIDGETING (FOR EXAMPLE GRABBING YOUR TOES AND NOT BEING ABLE TO SIT STILL!) The next slide has a few pictures and videos of some of these which i recorded in order to remember then but also as another form of FEEDBACK which like I have already mentioned is another important aspect of the choreographic process! Week 3 WORKING WITH SPACE & TIME How do spatial parameters help form a specific movement language/ vocabulary? LEVEL, GEOMETRY, DIRECTION
DIMENSION, PLANES, SHAPE,
RELATION, FOCUS, TURNING, STAGE
SPACE, PERSONAL SPACE AND ENVIRONMENT. NOT JUST LIKE THE PICTURE BUT IT CAN BE ABOUT THE SPACE BETWEEN PEOPLE
- Personal Space! -WORKING WITH TIME - Dynamics has two main components:
release of energy and weight or force.
Dynamics is the interrelationship of
force, the release of energy and time.
How these factors are utilized
produces a movement quality Rhythm Duration Stillness DYNAMICS - RHYTHM - DURATION - STILLNESS Movement quality is the look or aesthetic of a work. It is how you would describe the feeling of the work.
Movement quality is descriptive. Examples of words that would be used to describe quality are; nervous, tense, smooth, floating, sad, sticky, prickly, heavy, grieving. 4mins21secs - In my research i came across
this and I found at this particular section of the piece the contrast between stillness and movement shows how effective it can be http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/30/arts/dance/30merc.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 This particular link is to an article about a more well known choreographer - Merce Cunningham. He talks about Stillness and Stillness in Motion which i found particularly interesting and relevant to my research! WALKING AROUND THE ROOM - FIRST NORMALLY THEN AT DIFFERENT SPEEDS/DYNAMICS
FROM THIS WE HAD TO COME UP WITH 3 DIFFERENT IDEAS OF MOVING THROUGH THE SPACE FROM A WALKING MOTIF WHICH WAS NEW AND UNUSUAL! AFTER DOING THIS WE WROTE DOWN THE EXPERIENCE WE HAD FROM MOVING IN THIS WAY AND ANY OTHER NOTES - THIS EXERCISE WAS ALL ABOUT TAKING A MOVEMENT TO THE PARTS OF YOUR BODY THAT YOU DONT USUALLY THINK ABOUT USING - ANATOMY! WE THEN ANSWERED QUESTIONS ABOUT WHAT IT FELT LIKE TO EXPLORE THESE AND CARRIED ON TO SHOW THEM TO PEERS AND HOW THAT FELT AND ANY FEEDBACK WE received... WORKSHOP CONTINUED... WORKSHOP CLASS 1) My feet not losing contact with the floor- my experience of this movement was unusual as i was doing something unnatural and tried to make it look more natural and even dance-like! & from this I was trying to suggest a meaning/reason of why I felt the need to do this! In the end I ended up leading the move with one foot and having to bring it back to the center before I could carry on! 2) I discovered an almost shuffling movement that
lead with my head (using an not typical part of the
body to lead the movement). This felt really strange and not natural at all but as I kept repeating the
movement it became a lot easier and i began to see
some possible ways to develop it (for instance taking
the head around to lead into a spin or to lead me
to the floor). I think the face that it became easier could have been down to muscle memory as my body got used to carrying out the particular
action. 3) I started to walk with my legs crossing in front of one another and then tried to push this as far as I could until it became beyond normal and I was lunging across my own path this brought across many problems such as;
loss of balance
starting to twist
my arms swinging
bending in my knees
I continued doing this movement but at the same time kept bringing it back to the natural way of walking to mix it up a bit and this made me think about WHAT it was i was just doing with my body! SOME OF THE THINGS I WAS THINKING ABOUT WHEN MOVING ABOUT THE SPACE WERE DYNAMICAL QUALITIES SUCH AS WAS IT SHARP OR SOFT ETC. AS WELL AS THIS THE USE OF DIFFERENT LEVELS WAS ANOTHER MAIN THING I CONSIDERED HIGH MIDDLE LOW e.g. jumps and leaps e.g. walking and sweeping e.g. floor work and rolls HOW DID IT FELT TO EXPLORE THESE 3 WAYS OF MOVING THROUGH SPACE ? It for the most part felt strange, unusal and definitely unnatural. I felt a bit goofy and silly for instance dragging my body parts along the floor - but then when I stepped back and thought about what I had been creating it was interested as it was something new and different and unseen that will bring more to what im working on! HOW DID IT FEEL SHOWING IT TO A PEER? Showing it to a peer was
enlightening because what I
thought was completely silly
they actually found interesting
and managed to fins a rhythm in! FEEDBACK: The feedback I recieved was that what I came up with was interesting and unusual and they found a rhythm in it - but in order to take it further I needed to explore more patterns in space as it was very static and around the same point! PATTERNS IN SPACE .... THIS IS A SMALL DIAGRAM OF A FLOOR PATTER OF THE MOVEMENT I HAVE AT THE MOMENT - FROM 1 -2 IS THE MOVEMENT I HAD ORIGINALLY COME UP WITH AND FROM 2-3 IS WITH THE NEW PARTS ADDED.
WHAT IS GOOD IS THAT I HAVE MOVED AROUND THE SPACE BUT FROM SEEING IT I FEEL LIKE IT ISNT VERY EXITING AND I COULD AFFORD TO BE MORE BRAVE AND ADVERNTUROUS TO USE THE SPACE MORE USEFULLY! SOLO
ASSESSMENT When choreographing it is important to be able to have a visual idea of the floor patterns you have used and whether you have used the space efficiently and so that it fits in with your concept - That is why I found drawing one myself so useful! STILLNESS After thinking more about stillness I had an idea to instead of rushing through my movement to use this particular moment to encoorporate stillness into my piece - this also created a sense of hanging and almost swaying in the air before a dynamical change into a sharp drop! WEEK 5 FEEDBACK THE PIECE HAD A VERY GOOD PROPOSAL AND CONCEPTUAL IDEA; HOWEVER THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE IDEAS DID NOT FOLLOW THE INITIAL INTENT THE MOVEMENT COULD BE MORE THOUROUGHLY EXPLORED (EG. TAKING MORE RISKS!) THE HANGING AND SUSPENSION MOVEMENTS NEEDED TO CONNECT BETTER WITH THE REST SAME WITH
FACIAL EXPRESSIONS BE MORE DEMANDING ON YOUR OWN
COACHING AND SEEK STABILITY AND
CONFIDENCE IN THE MOVEMENT I ORIGINALLY PROPOSED FOR CHOREOGRAPHY WEEK 4 YOU WILL USE THIS SESSION TO INDIVIDUALLY WORK ON YOUR FIRST CHOREOGRAPHIC ASSIGNMENT (SOLO) AND RECIEVE FEEDBACK FROM YOUR TUTORS... IDEA
CHANGE Over the week leading up to this
session I had been thinking about my solo
and how the material that I was working
didnt feel like it was connecting to my
concept anymore - rather than it feeling childlike the movement portrayed more of an impules that you cant resist that builds up and is then released. So i made the risky decision of changing my direction and working on this new concept... IMPULSE: a sudden strong and
un-reflective urge or desire to act FEEDBACK FROM TUTOR: POST ASSESSMENT I need to heighten the diagonal moments; how far can you take it?
When running I need to let the body go - risk it!
RELEASE THE URGE - Show my concept clearer!
DEVELOP - at the moment the movement is organised/ structured but I need to take this a step further and explore the different body parts that can try to break free More repition - what I have is good but need to use repition so that I can take what I have and show that it has been developed!
Look at the floor patterns and how effectively I use the space
Connect facial expressions to the concept - to add a performance element! impetus - impulsion - urge - stimulus - incentive - spur Characterisation Where before I was characterising a child - I had to work hard on breaking out of this and embodying the mind of somebody who feels held back by an impulse. One of the exercises I did was trying out some of my phrases but with different dynamical qualities and using an edge of tension in my body to show this resistance. This was effective as I found what felt better and what fitted more to the concept! In order to explore this further I looked at a chapter on 'Style' from "The Intimate Act of Choreography" which looks specifically at Improv: Fall and Recovery... 'Standing, centered, erect, serene, no movement - a death. Begin to feel the movement within standing still, the little corrections for balance. Let them grow into fluid shifting, a flexible sway. Let the movements increase till you lose your balance and you need to move to recover from it- movement, life. Play with moving in and out of the stasis or balance of standing still. Find that moment of hesitation when you are off balance but not yet falling, the suspension before the fall through space.' Blom, L,A and Chaplin, L, T. (1982). Style. In: The Intimate Act of Choreography. London: University of Pittsburgh Press. 148-149. So I did exactly what the book and Doris Humphrey said and it worked and took my moment of stillness into a series of fall and recovery! FEEDBACK : I thought that by using this practice it brought more feeling in to my movement and gave me an instruction/ feeling to work on! It was very effective and I think it shows in my solo! WEEK 4 CONTINUED... Starting at the green flat;
run along the diagonal to 1 and stop suddenly with the right hand stretched out in front of the body
take 2 sharp steps back
left hand pulls the right hand into the bottom left of torso and pulls around into a spin that brings you back onto the same diagonal
slide into a side lunge towards stage right
kick round to lunge stage left and spin out to hanging position
using Humphrey technique fall then recover onto 2 knees (suspending hanging moment)
left drop out to the side and turn around onto knees facing upstage
switch onto knees and kick up to standing
use momentum to pull back into hanging position
REPEAT... HANGING POSITION OPENING SEQUENCE Looking into dynamics... DEVELOPING CHILDLIKE MOVEMENT CONCEPT - Impulse - although new from originally the concept was still thought through and developed Particularly exploring Humphreys
text and applying it to my own work Space and time well explored before I am confidently finished I need to tighten up the dynamics SOUND AND PROPS (etc) By this point in my process I chose that no musical accompaniment or props was the way forwards, firstly because it would take away from the concept of the piece but also because I had already set a rhythm and dynamical qualities and it is too late in the process to be changing these. SOLO CRITERIA CHECKLIST:
Strong conceptual basis for the work and thought through idea
Creative and systematic movement investigation
Compositional skills (space, rhythm and dynamics)
Clear structure and integrating
sound, props etc when appropriate
Ability to coach yourself PROGRAMME NOTES I wanted to take some time to experiment with different dynamics that I could incorporate into my movement - in order to do this I took my original phrase and played about with the dynamics and wrote down what effect it had on the movement... The most effective movement where dynamics made a huge difference was the stillness with the hands in the air hanging followed by a drop to my knees:
The first time I experimented I tried to go for a SHARP dynamic... in order to do this I made the drop staggered isolating different body parts first the knees would bend then the head drop then the hands followed by the rest of the body. Combining this with fast sharp movement was effective as it contrasted with the stillness of the hanging and engaged the audience!
The second dynamic i decided to explore was to look into a SMOOTH and GRADUAL drop to the grounds - this way of looking at the movement reminded me of how we in contemporary have to roll down our spines starting from the top of the head moving down for vertebrae to vertebrae. My head was the first to lead this and it took some time - i wasn't as moved by this approach because it made it look as though the drop was connected to the stillness and took away from the effectiveness of the stillness/hanging movement!
The final approach I took was to go for a HEAVY dynamic looking at the weight of the movement more... again I found that this lead from the head but was a lot faster and weighty. According the 'The Intimate Act of Choreography' all of these elements make up what we know as space - and even these can be divided into further sections that determine out movement vocabulary and language! EXPLORING YOUR 'BUBBLE' As I neared finishing
my solo, we did a
workshop about
exploring our
personal bubble
spaces. This helped
me to focus on my
own personal space
within a dance rather
than just the stage
space at things such
as levels and make my
bubble bigger through
using movement and
bringing it back
down but also
breaking out
of the bubble! I do a motif where I am sat with my legs straight ahead in a piked position and I reach forwards and grab both my foot and one leg at a time being them in so my knees are bent and then push them out again - mimicking when babies grab their feet ! I took the movement idea of hugging a bear but changing it to hugging your self and incorparated it with some spins to create a childish movement I was helped a great deal by this YouTube video which is a toddler observation and it gave me inspiration for movements such as crawling and pushing things along the floor DUET DUET
ASSESSMENT Find on the internet 2 videos of 2 duets that are different in style / quality / concept, and reflect in writing considering the following aspects:- How do the dancers of each duet share space and time? What are the compositional principles of each duet in terms of the use of space and time?- Is there any touch or weight-sharing involved in each one of the duets? Is there any unison / shared movement material between the dancers? If so, what is the purpose of the touch, weight-sharing, unison or shared material? How would you describe the relationship between the two dancers in each duet? Pick 2 sections from 2 different readings of the ones given to you, which propose two different ideas or approaches you could use for your duet choreography: one of these passages you will agree with or find similar to your way of thinking, and the other should be an approach you don't feel so familiar with or that is quite different from your way or creating choreography. 1) The first of my two duets is choreographed by Raiford Rogers Modern Ballet, Duet (from Cabin Fever) - this piece looks at the relationship of a male and a female - the movement is quite slow and sustained and really uses up the time. There is a close relationship with lots of contact which adds to the feel.

2) The second of my duets is a dance from the famous dance show So You Think You Can Dance - this piece shows a female/female relationship. The movement is dynamic and shows a lot of technique there are moments of contact but without the intimacy of the previous piece. This duet uses the music and the timing to emphasize movement and to highlight the beats and dancers abilities. USING DIFFERENT PRINCIPLES - MIRROR DYNAMICS ETC MY CONCEPT BREAKING
BOUNDARIES At this stage my duet is complete and I am at the stage of rehearsing it over and over again - the main thing i would say about it is that I feel that I haven't disciplined and instructed my dancers well enough as the movement isn't as sharp as I would like and the timing not completely together! However, from watching it I can see a clearly that it follows my concept and an audience will be able to understand what I have attempted to create. My next step is going to be to carry on rehearsing it so that hopefully the movement will become natural and this will make the choreography easier to watch! As part of the feedback process for my dancers I have taken many approaches; the first of these was to have the learn and practice the movement in front of a mirror - firstly so that they get the timing correct and the shapes but more importantly so that can visually see one another and keep an eye on their spacing. Another form of feedback I used a lot was to film them doing a phrase and then playing it back to them so that can see and analyse their own performance and pick up on which areas need more work! The final way I mainly used was receiving feedback from peers - this initially is for my own benefit as I get an idea of whether or not people understand/ appreciate my concept! Yet it also gives us a chance to work on certain areas of the piece that need work and change/develop sections that don't quite convey my concept. Although the process is rather long it was very beneficial and increased confidence for the actual exam! TASK 1 Exploratory Work: Pair Walk
Everyone picks a partner. The pair walks at a medium pace side by side, in a direct line, across the space, both facing in the same direction. Dancer A has the option of stopping at any instant in the walk, remaining stopped for an intermediate period of time, and starting forward again. Dancer B's task is to cue in on and match his partner's starts and stops as accurately as possible with out looking at her. After exploring more images of duets we did more of the workshops where you walk around the room in pairs - trying each time to explore a new space or level etc EASTER
TASKS Blom, L,A and Chaplin, L, T. (1982). Speaking Body. In: The Intimate Act of Choreography. London: University of Pittsburgh Press. p19 I decided to include this particular
video to research as it looks at the
different ways in which people walk-
pedestrian movement that vary so
much! It is relevant the this stage of
my development as I have been
thinking about different ways of
moving around a space and it is clear
in a video such as this that everyone
is unique! This also ties back into my solo exploration where I was experimenting with different ways of walking using unnatural movement. Similar to that, I have stepped it up a level and began to think about how 2 people move together but each in their different ways - personality is a huge influence on this as one can walk with confident or be really shy! Particularly on stage you find that people move with confidence in order to have a presence on stage however I feel this should come into the characterisation rather than the performance. Things as minor as the swing of the arms that can be developed into a whole other movement are areas that I have been looking at for inspiration! INTRODUCTION TO DUETS... What is a duet?
In music a duet is a musical composition for two performers - similarly in dance it is the composition for 2 dancers working together in a choreography! As an introduction to duets I found this task really useful as it introduced me to working with someone else in a situation where I had to think about what my partner was going to do and anticipate any kind of change- be it dynamics
or levels etc. As well as this it gave me an idea
of what I needed to explore in order to create
a relationship in my duet - and opened my
eyes to different ways of moving! Also, it was
interesting to discover that these same/
similar tasks have been used in published
books such as the Intimate Act of
Choreography! RELATIONSHIPS We spent this workshop session looking at RELATIONSHIPS and WORKING IN A DUET. So what is a relationship in dance? There are different kinds of relationships within a duet... (these are a few examples) DUET contrast act and react mirror lead and follow copy over/under
through/around counterpoint compliment In order to look at more relationships we did a workshop where in different partners we explored 4 different movement qualities to create movement ... THE FIRST OF THESE 4 WAS TO MOVE AROUND WITHIN A CLOSE PROXIMITY OF ONE ANOTHER BUT NO TOUCHING! This involved traveling around the space keeping a short distance between you and your partner but do contact;
Sometimes I found we were in each others breathing space
I made sure to keep changing directions - to keep mixing it up for example crossing in front of one another!
It was interesting changing speed and tempo as your partner would have to correspond with these THE NEXT RELATIONSHIP WE EXPLORED WAS SLIDING - THIS INVOLVED CONTACT BUT NON WEIGHT BEARING AND IT IS ALMOST BODY PARTS SLIDING OVER ONE ANOTHER... THE THIRD RELATIONSHIP WE EXPLORED WAS WEIGHT BEARING MOVEMENTS - THIS INVOLVED CONTACT BUT WITH WEIGHT - SUCH AS LEANS SUPPORTS ETC WITHOUT PHYSICAL CONTACT (GRABBING) THE FINAL RELATIONSHIP WE EXPLORED WAS FULL CONTACT! THIS IS ANYTHING FROM GRABBING A SHOULDER TO A FULL BODY LIFT! DIAGONAL PATHWAY FOLLOWING ON... We carried on doing this exercise switching between the different relationships until we added another element to the task - CARRY ON EXPLORING THE SAME RELATIONSHIPS BUT DO IT FOCUSING ON SOMEBODY ELSE IN THE ROOM. This was particularly interesting as FOCUS has a huge impact on how the movement looks and is perceived and so by changing this it adds something new to what you are doing and mixes it up! I found however that it made it feel more like a trio as by bringing in the extra dancer it added them into the piece.

AND THEN WE MIXED IT UP EVEN FURTHER! - Not just focusing on the other person but we now were trying to copy exactly what they were doing with their partners! This was especially hard and really awkward as everybody at first was trying to copy someone else and getting in the way but surprisingly to everyone as we all started to copy one another - we ended up doing similar movement and all of a sudden we were all trying to do the same thing!

This was all really useful as it made me think deeply into focus and what it brings to the choreography - especially in a duet as there is so much possibility for strong eye contact and showing off the close (or not) relationship!) This session heavily focused on the workshop and working with your partner in preparation for the duets! Following on from these tasks we split off still in our pairs and devised the sequences I talked about in the last phrase - these only really began to make sense when it came time to show them and receive feedback! First we showed our original sequence and then the one which we added some choreographic structures too (mirroring, dynamics etc). What stood out for me was how much more interesting the second sequence was in everybody's phrases - however it became evident to me that both of the phrases could be used withing a duet but the second would show a development in the first motif... something I thought about adding to my own choreography! The other thing that jumped out to me was how people had experimented with different parts of the body to create the balance and supports - more specifically a lean where they both balanced from the side of each others heads (see the stick man diagram!) It was particularly beneficial as during the session we created a fair bit of movement material - some stuff that I could use within my duets! But also it has given me the confidence to explore the relationship more and the knowledge that you don't need huge lifts to create a relationship! In order to develop and expand my concept I wanted to not only focus on the diagonal pathway but think of it as a boundary that is restricting the dancers from leaving the pathway! I decided that I needed a motif to represent this so I came up with this- the arms stretching out to the side with the palms flexed literally makes it look like they are trapped (almost mime like) while the stretched out arms and occasional relove add to this! The Intimate Act of Choreography - Improv : The Powerful Diagonal 'Improvise along the up right and down left diagonal, using its power to the fullest. Take time to establish yourself before you start to have a definite ending when you reach down left. This improv is to be done one at a time, but organized such that as one person finishes the other is in position up-right and ready to begin. The dancer may choose whether
to begin and end onstage or in the
wings' Blom, Lynn A. and Chaplin, L. (1982). The Intimate Act of Choreography. Pittsburgh: Pitts Press. P53 To start of this half of the module we began by talking about what a duet is, the importance of relationships and then we went straight into a workshop - like we had been doing in previous weeks for our solo we now developed for a duet. Starting by walking around the room, thinking about how you are moving and what your body is doing - paying attention to the people around you and being wary not to walk in circles or into somebody else. The we added another element - you had to choose somebody in the room that you wanted to stay close too and somebody else who you had to try and stay the opposite side of the room! This was interesting as we all ended up crowded in the middle of the room running around quite frantically but I can understand how it gets you to start to think about focus and relationships! After doing the workshop in class it reminded me of a passage I had seen in one of the suggested reading books about exploratory work in pairs - a similar exercise but this time working solely in duets - we had done another similar class to this as well where in pairs we would move around the space keeping close to our partners moving in and out of spaces changing speeds and dynamics levels etc. We had to bring along to class something that inspires you or makes you see some reference of two - people or things - in dialogue or in relation to each other. I chose to bring in this particular picture (see
left) from Matthew Bourne's 'Nutcracker!'.
This is a way to start reaching out to what (in the outer world or our own inner world) inspires you to move and compose dances. This picture inspires
me because initially a huge fan of Bourne's works but then I find this duets specifically interesting as
there is such a huge contrast between the two
characters. EXPLORATION OF DUET LEVELS PROPS CONTACT FOCUS SUPPORT/
LIFT SPACE UNISON CANON CONTACT MALE/MALE MALE/FEMALE FEMALE/FEMALE WHAT I HAVE TAKEN FROM THIS SESSION IS THE IMPORTANCE TO KEEP AN OPEN EYE WHEN NOT IN THE STUDIO AS AT EVERY POINT IN TIME YOU ARE CHOREOGRAPHING OR GETTING INSPIRATION/IDEAS FOR POSSIBLE WORK AT A LATER TIME - THIS COULD BE AT A DANCE SHOW , ,JUST WALKING DOWN THE STREET OR EVEN A OLD PHOTO OR MEMORY. MY DUETS The relationship has an interesting quality not much because of the amount of touching, but the type of touch. As they use different focus relationship, sometimes both looking, sometimes only one looking at the partner and the partner looking away. This is a very important type of relationship to acknowledge and use in choreography. And you can see that it brings a considerate difference to the dance piece. The focus and the way in which they have a passive against an active relationship (as one is grabbing and the other is not moving at all and not responding) bring a special and quality to the piece.

On the second choreography, you can see that focus is not used and the relationship they used is very basic. However it has more of the compoistional elements of relationship, which we will see today in class. TASK 2 Blom, Lynn A. and Chaplin, L. (1982). The Intimate Act of Choreography. Pittsburgh: Pitts Press. Pp. 1-57. Preston-Dunlop, Valerie (1998). Looking at Dance, London: Verve Publishing. Pp. 139-143. SLIDING: To move over a surface while maintaining smooth continuous contact. SMOOTH CONTINUOUS CONTACT was the key to this part of our exercise - we wanted to try to keep the movement as smooth as possible and in order to do this we couldn't stop moving
Surprisingly however I found that this section caused us to travel far less that any of the others - i think this was down to the concentration needed to find different body surfaces we could use to create this sliding
Common ones used were the arms, legs and the back - but we tried to mix these us and even managed to use the head
To develop this one further we would have needed to make it travel more as that would make the movement even less static! Weight is a key factor to the definition of dynamics - this task helped to control the distribution of weight as well as inventing some supports and leans that we could use... the main thing we had to remember for this was we could physically grab the other person - so we tried to use body parts with larger surface areas to have the maximum body support
but also we were encouraged not to THINK about it all just to MOVE as that is when you start trying new things! There was a lot more room for experimenting here as we weren't limited to body parts or contact!
Anything went from hand contact - holding body parts to lifting your
partner in the air! This is a clip of one of my movement phrases that shows and highlights the diagonal floor pattern! At the moment it is a bit rough and I am still rehearsing it with the dancers - I like it because it repeats a couple of motifs but still highlights a clear floor pathway! This clip is showing the boundaries I have talked about- especially highlighted by the hands spread out to both sides at full span. I tried to make the shape as wide as possible to exaggerate the movement and concept While the lunges to either side show them trying to challenge the boundaries to see how far they can push them. At the moment its just simple looking back I feel i need to develop this and make it clearer. Unfortunately , I wasn't able to show my choreography in our final feedback session as one of my dancers couldn't make it so I had to rely on my previous feedback and peer feedback to make any final changes needed. MAJOR FLOOR PATTERN MOVEMENTS After creating our short movement phrases we then we asked to make them more interesting my incorporating different choreographic structures such as levels , mirroring , dynamics etc. This helped us to work on how we develop movement phrases and using the different principles to make phrases more interesting and change the relationship within a duet - focus played a huge roll in this I set this as a improvisation
task to the dancers in my duet- it
was interesting to see what they
came up with before adding my own
input - because I think its
important that the dancers bring
a bit of their own style and
individuality to the piece!
SO AFTER CARRYING OUT A FEW WORKSHOPS WITH MY DANCERS AND WITHIN CLASS I FINALLY DECIDED THAT MY CONCEPT WOULD BE THE IDEA OF BEING STUCK ON A DIAGONAL PATH AND THE EFFECT THIS HAS ON THE DANCERS MOVEMENT - AND TO DEVELOP THIS THERE WILL BE A MOMENTARILY BREAK OUT OF THE PATHWAY WHICH THEY THEY GET PULLED BACK IN TO. IN ORDER TO EXAGGERATE THE DIAGONAL SHAPE I NEEDED TO EMPHASIZE THE BOUNDARIES... MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT... I have chosen to use
an excerpt from
Siobhan Davie's
Wyoming for my
musical
accompaniment as
when i listening to it
the dynamics and sections fitted well with my already created music - STAY ON THIS SLIDE TO HEAR THE MUSIC. Space as Symbolic
Symbolic space has a power of suggestion that adds overtones and lends impact to the idea of the dance. It can be created with movement or with sets of special effects. Blom, Lynn A. and Chaplin, L. (1982). The Intimate Act of Choreography. Pittsburgh: Pitts Press. Page 46. Part Two : The Craft I should say there are at least eleven lines converging on it, plus the psychological security of the symmetrical design. This, commonly call by its misnomer, "dead center" is without doubt the most powerful single spot on the stage. Preston-Dunlop, Valerie (1998). Looking at Dance, London: Verve Publishing. Page 76 I AGREE WITH THIS - THE CENTRE IS POWERFUL! I DISAGREE WITH THIS ONE AS I LIKE THE MOVEMENT TO ADD THE POWER OF SUGGESTION
- HOWEVER I AM
OPEN TO USIN THE
SYMBOLIC SPACE IN THIS WAY! IN ORDER TO DO THIS I WILL CARRY ON READING THE EXCERT AND SEE WHAT TASKS IT
RECOMMENDS. AMY LEAH SHARKEY
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