Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland
Today the students came to Dance Theatre of Ireland for a visit to the Centre for Dance – and had their session in a fully professional studio. The idea being that they get to experience dance in a space designed specifically for the activity, and to dance in where there just was so much space.
The special attribute we could also offer is the opportunity to play with a set of props that were used in a DTI production, “Block Party”. These are 30 large brightly coloured foam covered polystyrene blocks, shaped like pieces from Jenga, each being approx 6ft x 2 ft x 1 ft.
We began by each student having their own block, and I demonstrated a number of ways that they could be used, laying them flat, on the long edge or standing, along with a few sample movement possibilities. With each configuration we took time for the students to explore their own movements on the blocks; rolling, jumping, hand stands, cartwheels and more.
Once they’d had ample time to see what they could do individually, we put people together in small groups, so they could build a structure with their blocks. This created different levels, possibly a ramp, and a space to go under. With the idea of “changing places” they were again set free to explore what they could make in movement, this time working together.
There was a great sense of focus and working together in the room and to finish we had a small showing of the movement motifs that each group had devised on and with the blocks. There was a good sense of appreciation for each others creations and the students were congratulated for their teamwork and creativity.