dlr Primary Arts Blog, Session 4, 11 April 2014
Monkstown Educate Together NS 6th Class
Artists: Robert Connor & Loretta Yurick, Dance Theatre of Ireland
Following the warm up today we focused on learning to sequence movement using a number of action words – we took four words: slicing, chopping, kicking, punching and the children first played with exploring many ways of slicing, chopping, kicking and punching (individually) using different body parts and different facings. Then we began to sequence movements—that is string them together and remember them in a repeatable order. First we worked in half-time (slower) and eventually we worked at a faster tempo. By the process of accumulation, they first made one movement; then added a 2nd movement and repeated one and two. Gradually we worked up to 8 movements. At first we did them only in a slow tempo, with a move (then a pause) a move (then a pause), but eventually we did it twice as fast without the pause. This was a challenge, but by doing a lot of repetitions, and really trying to hold to what they had made, they began to master both choreographing something and “remembering” it: Creating their own phrase. When you first devise your own movements, sometimes they don’t fit together well, but by working with it, repeating it a number of times, you create a pathway, a repeatable smooth way to join the movements together. This too your body will remember after lots of repetitions.
We added the elements a turn, a jump and a change of level in their eight counts of slashing, kicking, punching or chopping. When they were performing their moves altogether, they looked like tree cutters in a whirlwind of action.
We also then broke into two groups and we built a human moving corridor. Two lines faced each other to make the corridor while one person walked forward through it. As the walker moved forward, two people constantly had to quickly peel off and move from one end of the line to the other, extending a magical corridor for the walker to move through, just through teamwork and timing together. If you were a person building the corridor, you had to run very quickly to create the corridor at the other end. (no pictures of the corridor today, we were too busy!)
At the end of the day we gave an assignment to do over the Easter Break: We asked the students to make their own outdoors experience, in a local park, at the beach or even their own garden. To take time to be in their surroundings, to observe, and to note what they see, what they hear, what comes to mind (thought) and what they felt. Also, to “collect” any action word that they can see in nature. And then to reflect in a poem, in a paragraph or even in a sketch what their outdoor experience is.
Lastly, there was a huge outdoor Easter Bonnet parade today at Monkstown Educate together…the school rocks when it comes to parades! Such amazing creativity displayed in all the colourful bonnets. Happy Easter and happy holidays to Everyone!