dlr Primary Arts, 3rd Class Carysfort National School  8th Dance Session, 23rd March – Smooth & Rough !

dlr Primary Arts, 3rd Class Carysfort National School 8th Dance Session, 23rd March – Smooth & Rough !

Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland

Today we started with the two dances that comprise our warm-up, and the students really DANCED them.  They are now well-versed in the vocabulary of these dances, which have been part of nearly every lesson.

Following this we revisited the Fiesta dance, which was the focus of our first several lessons, but we haven’t done since the February mid-term break.  We took some time to review the movement and revise the partnering parts, so that each pair had a 32 count phrase of their own making that included a jump, a turn, change of level and contact with each other.  Once we had a look at their phrases, one half of the class at a time, we did the whole dance from start to finish.  It was amazing to see how the students have grown into theses three dances.

After the break, we focused on improvisation with attention to texture and time…moving “smoothly” for 8 beats, and holding for 8 beats in whatever shape/pose the movement dictated.  Encouraging changing levels, and facing, the element of space could also be explored.  Smooth didn’t have to be slow, some students moved at different speeds over the 8 beats.  We then tried moving in an opposite quality…”rough”…again moving for 8 beats and holding for 8.  Rough had a more rhythmic, angular, quicker, sharper quality about it.

This led to a paired improv.  In each pair one person moved for 8 beats and held a pose for 8 beats.  While they moved the other person observed their movement, so when the first person stopped, the other person moved, taking something from the first person’s movement and interpreting / adding to it in their own movement.  After 4 or 5 of theses exchanges, they swapped, so the other person became the initiator.  We did several rounds with the “smooth” texture and then several rounds of “rough”.

We did this with one half of the pairs at a time, so they had more space and also the other half could observe.  After each round we took time to hear observations, both from the “audience” and from those doing the improv.  They observed and remarked on choices that were made, e.g. to repeat movements, when someone was or wasn’t really moving as a response to their partner, things they found humorous, and impressions they had, such as someone’s “rough” movement looking robotic.

We finished with each group copying in pairs, one person in the pair moving from choices of smooth or rough or stillness, and the other to copy in the same moment, to be as precisely the same as they could possibly be.  Again we did this in half the group at a time, followed by time for observations.  The copying overall seemed easier, as one student observed, they didn’t have to remember what their partner had done.  It required a more immediate response.

No one seemed to find it hard to improvise movement, their confidence in moving from their own resources has grown, and they seem more at ease exploring dance on dance’s own terms.

Ms. Barry has made a cool collage of photos and dance words.

Dance Collage Carysfort NS 3rd Class

St Mary`s NS Sandyford – Session 6 – Artist: Tunde Toth

St Mary`s NS Sandyford – SESSION 6

1 March 2016

This week`s session was shorter and directly followed on the works of the previous work: we had many waxed pieces to dye! Using fiber reactive cold water dyes again, the children painted all the waxed designs and pictures they prepared last week. “Re-visiting” processes and materials is always interesting and reassuring.

A very enjoyable and rewarding process – resulting in myriads of colour shades and mixes!

Truly beautiful work by everyone!

Harold Boys National School 5th Class, Dalkey Eleventh Dance Session, 18 May – DTI Studio Session

Harold Boys National School 5th Class, Dalkey
Eleventh Dance Session, 18 May – DTI Studio Session
Artist: Robert Connor, Dance Theatre of Ireland

Dance requires space.  To get a bigger sense of moving in space we met for our penultimate session at the DTI Centre for Dance, a purpose-built dance studio.

We continued to build on the “Beat It” choreography, with an additional sequence devised by each individual.  Using a process of “accumulation” each person created a phrase based on the strong energy of “punch” – fast, sharp, direct – using different parts of the body, and including 1) a level change, 2) a jump and 3) a turn.  We did this together by all starting with a first move, repeating it several times to memorize it, then going on to the second.  Then first, second ,third.  Once those three were set we added another, and another; setting the sequence before adding the next, until each person had 8 big staccato movement gestures.

These were added into the choreography, so the whole sequence went something like this: two gangs face off, taunting and circling menacingly, then they engage in the rumble with the counterbalance pairs, they then formed one group and spread out in the space, performed their own big “punch gestures”, followed by a couple repetitions of the MJ choreography.  The finalé was their own improvising back to centre for a final group freeze/shape.

They practiced the whole short dance several times; each time perfecting the various elements of rhythm, drama, and spatial tension of the start, the counterbalanced strength of the pairs work, spacing changes from small groups moving in close pairs, to a large group then spreading out to individual space, and finally to coalesce as a single group.  They were especially enthusiastic as they engaged with the sense of being able to put their “aggressive” energy into a form that was ultimately a play with movement.

Before finishing we had a discussion about the final session…They had been asking about making a performance.  Did they want to and for whom…and what would they show?  It wasn’t required of them, but they seemed keen to share their dancing with the rest of the school.  These guys like to dance and want to show it.  So a plan was made to use the school yard and invite the other classes.  And to dance the three pieces they had worked on…Fiesta, It’s Like That, and Beat It.

Finally we took a group shot before going,  thanks to Ms. O’Carroll, who has been involved in every session, helping with photo captures, organization and enthusiastic support.

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