Non-Narrative Content and Communication
OR How to communicate something in your dance without telling a story

Choose one idea as the seed for your creative research this week. 
Some examples include: completeness, control, loneliness, longing, hesitation, surprise, hope, love
If you wish, you could choose an idea that you started to explore in your weight study and draw on that material. 

Explore ways of communicating/expressing this idea through dance without making a narrative sequence of events.

You may use:
Relationship between Audience and Performer
Physical Metaphor
Movement Qualities

You may find that Props, Costumes, Music, Text, Location, etc. can be useful to you in this endeavor.

While it is not always necessary (and in fact it is often not preferable) for your audience to "get" exactly what you intended to communicate, for this assignment develop your ability to accurately communicate...WITHOUT being painfully obvious. This is not so easy.  What do people see when they see your work?  Do they see what you think they see? What you want them to see?  And how can you communicate accurately (when that is important to you) AND still have the subtlety and surprise that make the work art? Certainly, we've all seen dances that are clear...and so obvious that the message arrives like a blow to the head from a frying pan. 

Play. Make experiments.  Look at your videos.  Throw out material that is not working.  Embrace accidents.  Harvest from your experiments your strongest material and shape it into a short piece.

If we'd had time in class, we would have taken one of the above sample topics and used it for the following process.  You may use this process in your studio work if it helps you.  What would have been especially interesting in class would be to see our range of responses to the same prompt...thus revealing the diversity of angles contained in a single idea. 

Step 1:  FREE-WRITE for 5-10 minutes about your chosen topic.
Step 2:  Go immediately into moving with the goal of cultivating a MOVEMENT QUALITY that comes the writing.  Find a vocabulary of movement in this quality.
Step 3: Go back to your text.  Circle all the VERBS.  Make a phrase that uses only these actions.  Use the verbs as many times and in as many different ways as you want. 
Step 4: Think of a way to use SPACE to express your idea.  Where are you in relationship to your viewers?  How does your place in space change over time?  What is the performer's awareness of space?  Use any movement from previous sections or any simple movement that allows you to put the focus on space.
Step 5:  Create a SITUATION (task, physical metaphor, etc.) that invokes the idea you are trying to communicate.
Step 6: Try combining material from some of the above steps to create a study.  What do you need to add for contrast or transition?  How does your material develop during the course of the piece?

Question:  Does your movement in each of the above steps make you feel ______ (complete, lonely, surprised, etc.)?  Does it make your audience feel _____(complete, lonely, surprised, etc.)?  Does it show the idea of ________(completeness, loneliness, surprise, etc.) without either you or the audience feeling it?  Which of these effects do you desire in your study?  Do you use more than one? 

Last modified: Monday, December 19, 2011, 9:18 AM