dlr Primary Arts, 5th Class Scoil Cholmcille, Ballybrack 14th Dance Session, 8th June – Blocks at DTI Centre for Dance!

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.

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