Form and/or Function
This improvisation serves as a global warm up. The dancers explore their possibilities around extending into space, lowering towards and rising from the floor and moving across the space. They do this by reaching and leading with different body parts.
Warming up with games, improvisation, introductions and explorations flexes the format of the traditional ballet class. See notes: general ballet class principles and structure – considerations for the grade 2 research.
Notes on our approach
We called this the roller coaster exercise, as different body parts go on a ‘ride’, extending, traveling, lowering and rising. Although it’s a warm up exercise, the dancers got very involved and it becomes a dance rather than a movement practice. This task gives the teacher a chance to observe the inherent movement choices of the dancers, a range where they move freely and with confidence.
Exploration and Setting:
Guided through verbal prompts and demonstrations from the instructor, the dancers explored the possibilities of different body parts to extend into space. In this group the dancers shared the same sequential score (see below). This can easily be changed to four different body parts the dancers choose.
- Lead from low to high with the right arm (8 counts for each element)
- Repeat left
- Lead low/away and high with the right leg
- Ditto left leg
- Go low and high with the whole body
- Move through space initiated by different body parts (2 x 8 counts)
- Use different body parts
- Change the order, duration and/or quality of the elements
- Play low and high – different set up – drop and join
- What movement possibilities are the dancers using?
- Where do they have clarity in the performance?
- What dance skills are they practicing?