Improvisation and Choreography

Today I finally wrote down in words an idea on Improvisation and Choreography that I have had in mind for a workshop plan. The act of writing it down made me revise my ideas, which is always good, and I looked around a bit (i.e. Googled) for some resources that have to do with learning objectives in the area. I found a few things that were useful and seemed to validate the idea I had in mind. The plan I came up with is below.

Improvisation and Choreography

Learning Objectives:

1. Increase understanding of choreographic principles, processes, and structures.

2. Improve improvisation skills in partnered dancing.

3. Develop cooperative skills in improvisation and choreography.

Activities

Impro Challenge # 1: Use three basic movements — twisting, stretching, and bending Dancers improvise movements with these ideas on their own (to music). (3 mins)

Partner work. Partners stay in couples for this activitiy without rotating. Dancers take it in turns to incorporate twisting, stretching and bending movements into their dancing. Follows improvise for about 1 minute while leaders dance basics and observe. Leaders improvise while followers observe for about 1 minute. Then try to incorporate these movements (together) into regular social dancing for 2 minutes. Try to remember 3 of the movements your partner did during the improv. (5 mins)

Revision. Partners change. Each person should demonstrate their 3 favourite movements that your previous partner did during the improv (they don’t have to be 1 twist, 1 stretch and 1 bend). (5 mins)

For the next song, the new partners should incorporate the learnt movements into their dancing. (3 mins)

Impro Challenge # 2: use 3 dynamics — high vs low, use space vs be stingy with space, move with vs against music.

Using these ideas, and working in partners, take 5 mins to improvise. Start with trying out all 3 ideas. Choose your favourite and select any 3 movements you like that come out of the improv. (5 mins)

Choreography: Spend the next song coming up with a sequence of 3 or 4 steps that you will teach the rest of the group. (3 mins)

Review: Each couple spends 3 mins teaching the group their sequence of 3 or 4 steps (12 mins)

Incorporate: Partners change and incorporate their favourite sequences into their dancing (3 mins)