Harold Boys National School 5th Class , Dalkey
First Dance Session, 19 March – Great Start!
Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland
On this sunny (if foggy) March Friday, we started with the first of 12 dance sessions at Harold Boys National School, a new experience for the exuberant 5th class. On introduction, we discussed space, time (rhythm) and texture and how every movement can be described according to these three basic aspects of the language of dance. We also introduced several new words – “non-verbal” – referring to the aspects of communication that are other than the words we use; e.g. facial expression, gestures, body language and voice intonation. Dance, being largely a non-verbal activity draws on the human capacity to create and communicate non-verbally. Which led to the next new word, “kinaesthetic” – the way we perceive movement in ourselves and others.
And the dancing?…well these guys love to move! Following the warm-up, (which we did non-verbally and then with music), and a stretch, we did “travelling steps” across the room, in groups of four which also included improvisational elements. Starting with walking “on the beat”, in their own style, each student had the chance to do their own walk, resulting in great diversity and fun. We then skipped, and each improvised their own upper body gestures while keeping the beat and traveling across the room skipping. Spatial directions “high and low” and “changing facing” added to the menu of task ingredients that they could include in their skipping improv. Ultimately, they were asked to weave and interact in pairs, with skipping and improved gestures.
To introduce learning/building a dance, we started a short dance routine to Will Smith’s “La Fiesta”. This has elements that the group does in unison, moments that utilise voice and changes of rhythm and texture. The intro and bridge have improvised or “free-style” moments, both their own dance moves and making quick, sharp shapes. The short video clip speaks for itself for their enthusiasm for “La Fiesta!”
Watch the short video of the boys here >>