Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland, Teacher: Elizabeth Breen
Today I ask would the students like to talk through the warm-up or just do it. “Just do it!” So we dance the warm-up and go straight through the stretch sequence as well. It’s gratifying to see how they dance the warm-up, without prompting, and engage fully in it.
With the “Sorry” sequence we add on another small section, of sweeping arm movements – throw, sweep, slice, a side gallop and “fountain” diagonal opening. The movements connect in a smooth unbroken quality, and then we connect all three sections together. Following on from last week’s skipping section, the pairs were given time to each make a 4 count phrase together. We then perform these with 2 pairs dancing at the same time, while all the others hold their poses, then repeat these with half the pairs dancing and half posing.
Across the floor we travel with side slide facing a partner, dancing in time with each other, and keeping together in space. Then we add a skip with three slides, and on the skip, changing facing, to face the opposite direction, and a new partner. This challenges that all pairs move forward together.
We then improve across the floor, with any rhythmic movement of their choice. After several times, I ask them to copy with a partner. The copyist is challenged to be as accurate as possible.
After they do this several times, each partner having had a chance to lead, the task changes to dancing their own movement, and choosing moments when they will copy, i.e. be in unison.
Then, dancing their own movement, they are to make a weaving path, changing places and using the space around each other. They are clearer in this now than they were two sessions ago.
Finally we do a cool down to Pachelbel Canon in D, a famous classical piece of music.
We discuss music, and agree a plan for the students to give music suggestions to Ms. Breen who will screen them and give me a shortlist, with a view to creating a new choreography together.
Being roughly one third into the project, I ask what they like:
Making their own movement, they would like to make longer phrases.
Doing the warm-up quickly and getting on to the other dances.
Learning new things.