The METNs 6th Class Second Dance Session – Navigating a Changing Landscape

dlr Primary Arts Blog, Session 3, 7 April 2014
Monkstown Educate Together NS 6th Class
Artists: Robert Connor & Loretta Yurick, Dance Theatre of Ireland

Today we reviewed and built on some of the movement and ideas we started last week.  We added on to elements of the warm up — for example, asking the students to improvise their own quick upper-body shapes while the legs kept turning in & out involving two different processes and two rhythms at once!  We clapped high and low, learned a simple swing – highlighting how the swing of the arms coordinates with the bend/stretch of the legs and we revisited balancing; on one leg, in a horizontal, in a lunge and at a low level.  We did a full turn on our seats!

That last move was part of the crab dance (moving sideways at a low level, using hands and feet, near to the floor), to which we added seated leg swings, and a full spin, different freezes or sculptures when we arrived– and moving back again.  It now includes the six-step breakdance move, a starfish, quick looks, “snakey” hands and some staccato moves to get up.  It starts and ends with a balance which challenges one to find a calm finish after some very vigorous movement.

Today’s Action Words across the floor included jumps, squiggles, skips, and sideways slides with partners (Can you tell the colour of you partner’s eyes?).  The skipping included changing facing, meaning they could explore going sideways, backwards or forwards while travelling across the length of the hall, and then each group of 4 improvised weaving around and through each other, utilising all those directions while moving through the spaces around one another.

The last thing we did was in two groups.  One group spread out and stood still while the other group skipped around and between them, passing through as many “doorways” (the spaces between people) as possible, taking this weaving motif to a larger scale with people who were moving and people who were still in the space.  Quick reflexes and open peripheral vision are key tools to navigating this changing landscape.

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