In this lesson, students work with a source (e.g., writing/poetry/visual stimuli /music, etc.). The activities provide an experience in composition where the students explore material in an imaginative way. This helps students develop a better understanding of dance composition and its role in everyday activities. Students continue practicing and experimenting with compositional forms and manipulations. Finally, this lesson further develops students’ artistic expression and individual strengths. Again, all activities should be adapted to the dance form(s) being studied in the course.
- Explore literacy sources to develop movement sequences
- Prepare observational checklists, and compositional rubrics.
- Prepare warm-ups and exploratory activities around a source (e.g., poetry).
- BLM#2 Approach to Class Work Checklist
- BLM#4 Assessing the Creative Process
Minds On (Approximately 10 minutes)
The Daily Practice - Warm-up
- Lead a warm-up of steps and simple combinations in the form(s) being studied.
Action! (Approximately 40 minutes)
Working with a Movement Phrase
- Students are asked to choose a short section (movement phrase) from the warm-up and repeat movement phrase several times (call this study A).
- Students record their movement phrase A in their journals.
Working with Poetry
- Hand out poetry to be explored (i.e. BLM#5 Poetry: Running Song)
- Students read poem silently first; then, in unison, they read the poem aloud.
- Students write down any four lines from the poem in their journals.
Movement and Words
- Students combine steps using the words from the four lines in their journal as stimuli for creating a new phrase of movement (call this study B).
- Students have 5-10 minutes to complete individual study.
- Students record the new movement phrase in their scrapbook using their own strategies to do so.
Sharing the Studies A and B
- Students present the two studies: Study A = Steps, Study B = Steps and Words.
- Students present these individual studies in two large groups.
- Students gather in a circle on the floor and discuss their impressions of the two studies.
- Students respond to the following questions:
- What is the difference between what you see in Study A and what you see in Study B?
- What else could they do?
- In partners, students:
- Use words/phrases from the poem, Running Song, to create a short movement rap with sound (voice, stepping, or both) using repetition, space, and dynamics, (e.g., “They are thinking, thinking, thinking something’s wrong.” Students use a floor pattern (space) and vary travelling steps with dynamics - sharp, jarring movements with a glide)
- Create a soundscape with your body as the instrument using canon, shape, and dynamics. Play with non-vocal sound like stomps, claps, and snaps, (e.g., students begin in different shapes using different qualities and follow one another’s movement (canon).
Poetry and Movement
- Students choose any six words from the poem Running Song (e.g., running, pounding, rivers, travel, grass, whizzing) which they feel translates into interesting movement.
- Students create movement to match the symbols and incorporate the dance elements.
- Pounding: = a strong curve (energy and body)
- Rivers: slow flowing arms (time and energy)
- Travel: = a gliding move on a medium level (energy and space)
- Grass: = a quick jump (time and energy)
- Whizzing: = a spiral to a low-level shape (space and body)
- Maybe: = a quick glance towards the ceiling (time and energy)
- Students individually create a movement sequence to be used in the final group study (using their recorded movement notation). It should not exceed one minute.
Consolidation (Approximately 25 minutes)
- Students meet in a group of four or five and share their poem movement sequences within the group.
- After students have shared in their small groups, they gather in a circle on the floor as a whole class.
- Facilitate a discussion on movement, words, and symbols.
- Assess the Approach to Class Work and the Creative Process (BLM#2, BLM#4)