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Human voice has many possibilities. We are not always aware of the expressive power of voice because we have accepted speech and language as primary means of communication. However, spoken word not only has a literary meaning but also acoustic meaning that is expressed and communicated to the audience through the creative manipulation of actor's voice.
In order to acquire good communication skills, actors need to train their vocal abilities and learn to control their voices. This control is essential for acquiring a proper style of articulation and speech. Vocal training enables students to remove all personal obstacles to correct phonation, and to get to like and accept their voice as an individual quality and a signature of their personality. Proper breathing is essential for actors and singers. Breathing properly means giving soul to each character on stage, it means freedom to play with one's breath, and the ability to activate all the available resonators.
Actor and the Voice
The audience wants to feel what the character feels and one way they can feel that is thru the vibration of the voice in response to emotional input so, in addition to the standard voice lessons, work with allowing emotional expression in your voice by rehearsing different scenes and noticing your voice in them.
Everything that has been said about physical body limitations in our last lesson also applies to the voice.
Just as emotional restriction in your formative years can have a restricting impact on your body and the way it moves, so can it impact the ability of your voice to express fully.
If you were not encouraged to express yourself freely as a child, you may have a voice that is functioning far below it s potential for strength and expression. On the other hand, if you always had to yell to get attention, you may find it impossible to speak softly with the same authority.
Actor's creativity in the process of building a character depends on his ability to discover the way his character breathes and to adjust his breathing with the needs of that character and the demands of the genre.
Breathing freely means having an ability to bring to life each character in a different way. Breathing means communicating with other actors on stage and not reciting lines, hamming, and delivering speech with an empty soul. Breathing means energy, it means not having to fake emotion, excitement, or frenzy because that is what the role calls for. In a situation when actor consciously and willfully controls his breath, it is his character that is excited or hysterical, and not the actor himself.
While analyzing a script, an actor perceives the main qualities of the character; he thinks about breath, about the way that character breathes. Each character breathes differently, in the same way that they walk and move differently; if the actor breathes properly and at a constant rate, his character can breathe differently.
Resonance & Resonators
The resonance or sound amplification depends on: established breath with the support on the diaphragm, channeling of air into certain skeletal areas, and air burst into resounding cavities. The direction of movement is towards the primary resounding areas inside the head, and its goal is to bring to life those resonators. In the same way, the resounding cavities in the chest area are being activated. Resonance, sound quality, and the emission of sound depend on the direction of air current and the intensity of the air blow into certain skeletal areas.
The key thing and the focus of vocal training for actors is learning the functions and the effects of resonators. The number of direct and indirect resonators is almost infinite, so that in this area of investigation many questions have remained unanswered.
It is commonly accepted that head resonators can be divided into two categories: the flexible (oral and nasal cavities) and fixed head resonators (skull and its parts: frontal bone, parietal bone, occipital bone, nasal bone, and cheekbone). Rib cage and abdominal areas are also natural resonators of the body, and they are responsible for the deeper frequencies of the sound. These resonators are also called "natural resonators," as opposed to the mechanical amplifiers in radio and TV studios. The collaboration of natural resonators (and actors, after all, have to rely on them) allows the formation of audible, resonant, naturally amplified voice.
Strict division into head and chest resonators seems obsolete. It can be useful only in the first phase of vocal training when it is important that actors recognize individual resonators and develop the ability to use them. Without the collaboration of both resonators it is impossible to produce the resonant, powerful voice.
An actor can play with resonators and resonance, once he has mastered their physical and physiological aspects. Actor's imagination and his ability to control the breathing will depend on the technique he has acquired and his understanding of physiological processes of voice formation and resonance. He can allow certain resonators, or resounding cavities, to become more dominant. By consciously activating particular resonators an actor can discover a vast range of different voice qualities: voice that primarily uses throat as a resonator (so called 'drop larynx' voice), one that comes from the head, nasal voice, shallow, falsetto, deep voice that comes from the chest, abdomen, diaphragm, etc. In this way, actor's voice can be transformed and adjusted to the demands of the genre.
Importance of listening:
The process of active listening involves many different aspects: psychological, acoustical, cognitive, etc. In the act of communication, listening can be a more active component than speech. The ability to listen plays a significant role in acting because it allows live and active interaction on stage. When the partners on stage really listen to each other and really hear each other, their speech can be flexible and spontaneous. In a different case, when the act of listening is neglected, the speech feels prepared and mechanical; it loses spontaneity and becomes lifeless. It is important that we really hear the sentence - the line - and not only act as if we do. How can we actively listen to the script that we have already heard dozens of times before? One of the possible solutions would be to introduce change into performance. There is always something that can be changed: intonation, tempo, intensity; to make your performance exciting and remarkable every time.
The following exercise may make you feel tired at first, do keep at it as you will begin to notice that it takes less effort to breath, less energy is used when breathing plus it helps you learn to co-ordinate the diaphragm and abdominal muscles when breathing.
To find out whether you are breathing correctly, place a hand on your belly. This area should expand first when you breathe in and then spread upwards until your chest is expanded (don't lift the shoulders or push the stomach out). If you feel you are not breathing properly, practice the following exercise.
1. Lie down flat on your back. Place your hands on your belly. Focus on filling up your stomach from the bottom to the top taking a slow deep breath. (The aim is not to fill yourself to bursting but to inhale enough air so that you can feel the difference between a shallow breath taken when breathing from the chest).
You should feel your stomach rise and your hands being raised gently up and outward until you feel your chest expanding. The expansion is not only at the front of the body but also to the sides and back as well.
Breath out slowly to a count of 5
2. Try the following exercise to help increase breath control -
Take a deep breath, now start counting numbers 1,2,3,4â€¦..out loud using one breath. Start with a small number like 5 or 10 and increase this gradually until you can manage 25 or more without straining, tensing or running out of breath.
Exercise for Warming up the voice apparatus:
Your vocal cords are muscles, and like any muscles they can become tired and damaged. The following exercises are to loosen off the muscles in the next, around the vocal cords.
1. Starting with your tongue on the RHS of your mouth, make a figure of 8, so that your tongue goes across your top teeth, to the middle, then crosses to the bottom teeth, along to the LHS of your mouth, then, up, and across the top. Keep your mouth closed for this.
2. Put the tip of your tongue behind your bottom set of front teeth. Let your jaw drop and gently push out your tongue. Repeat a few times.
3. Open your mouth as wide as you can and then scrunch it up as small as you can. Repeat as necessary.
4. Keeping your lips loosely together, blow air through them so they flap togethersomething like 'Horse Lips').
5. Stick out your tongue and roll it around. Reach up to your nose (or as close as you can), reach down to your chin, reach out to your left ear, reach out to your right ear.
The exercises for the voice are similar to those for the physical body and have the same objectives: to free you from limitations, and to increase awareness and accessibility.
Breath in by pulling in the diaphram.Â Inhale through nose and mouth at the same time and exhale normally through mouth.
Start with some deep breathing. Turn the breath into a sigh, expelling the air with a light sound. Keep the sound soft and relaxed.
Breath in deeply.Â Inhale through nose and mouth.Â Round the lips. Release air gradually through the lips in a silent whistle.
Take a deep breath again and exhale by turning the sigh into a hum by closing the lips.
Take a deep breath, slowly let out through rounded lips until it feels like you haveÂ emptied the lungs.Â Inhale deeply.
6. Inhale. hum the air out.Â Go up the scale, one note with each breath.Â Empty lungsÂ each time.
Exercises on resonance:
Stand straight, upright but relaxed.Â Pant rapidly with the mouth open, but don'tÂ inhale.Â huh-huh-huh-.Â pant seven times, pause briefly, inhale deeply.
Pant as above but with three slow huh's followed by a short pause .
Pant with strong huh'sÂ inhaling between each, as a dog.
Take a deep breath and expel the air with a "sh" sound on an imaginary count from 1 to 5. Repeat the exercise using a "soft z" sound.
5. Ga-ga! - Make baby noises up and down randomly within your range with all the vowel sounds, e.g. ga-ga, ge-ge, gi-gi, go-go, goo-goo
6. Bzzzzzz! - Make buzzing noises like a bee. The idea here is to find resonances in your mouth and sinuses. Try changing the shape of your mouth.
7. Innnnnnnng-uh!. This is mainly to find natural resonances in your sinuses. Try words like: Ding, Ping, Zing, Ting. Hold the 'i' sound so that it makes your sinuses tickle.
8. Mmmmmm! - Close your lips, but pull your lips back into your mouth over your teeth. Make a humming noise, and allow your lips to relax, so they are just closed. Change the pitch of your voice until your lips start to tickle. Hold this note for a while and then find other notes / frequencies where this happens.
9. Hah! - Imagine you are digging a hole (you have to do the actions too!): as you dig into the ground, exhale with a "HUH!" sound. Lift the soil, and as you chuck it over your shoulder, make a "HAH!" noise. Repeat until it gets too silly. You can also practise this by pretending to do Kung-Fu moves - punches and kicks and the likes.
10. Oooooh! - Inhale deep and while exhaling you have to produce this sound in one go, you have to move your arms for this one: high notes - arms up in the air, low notes, bend your knees and hang your arms like a monkey.
11. Wow! - Start as low as you like, and go up to as high as you like within your range, then back down again. Wwwww-aaaaaaaa-oooooo-wwwww. You gotta open your mouth as wide as it needs.
12. Ha-Ha-Ha - Try using different scales, ascending through natural major / minor scales, and also chromatic and triadic (chord) scales, or just mess around with arbitrary notes or pitches. Try this with ah-ah-ah-ah..., and then all the other vowel sounds, instead.
Maintain a good posture is very essential for getting the best results in voice training. Following is a list of do's and don'ts for the same.
Be relaxed and natural
Keep your movements fluid
Keep your chin level
Keep your knees loose
Keep your head up
Keep your shoulders sloping and relaxed
Keep your toes pointed forward with your weight on heels and soles
Keep the front of your neck loose - don't stretch it
Keep abdominal muscles relaxed
Keep your back muscles relaxed
Drop or hunch your shoulders
Move stiffly or jerkily
Drop or tuck in your chin when trying to sing low notes
Stretch your head upward when trying to sing high notes
Strain or push your abdominal muscles
Lesson 4: Mime and Movement
What would an actor do when h/she is asked to act but is not provided with ant script or any written material? Well you can still act using some sound. What will happen when you are not even allowed to open your mouth and still enact a scene? Sounding difficult, well in this case you still have your body and your face. So in this lesson our aim is to learn how to make use of your body and face for expression and communication.
An actor, whatever his artistic ambition might be, must, before all, be present, "be" on stage and this presence is shown through the body. The body is what sustains the costume, what the spectator sees, what carries the voice. It is the skeleton, the hand in the glove.
Whatever you want to be on stage, it is the effectiveness of your expression that determines whether you are able to connect with the audience. Â Traditionally, in drama, the spoken word has taken center stage, to the extent that the rest of the body's ability to express has been virtually ignored. Â Similarly, in various dance movements, the hands or feet often end up drawing most attention.
The goal is to place drama inside the human body's movement.
The main principles are:
surprise Â Â Â Â Â
Stretching and Flexibility
Students often underestimate its physical demands on the body's condition. The level of conditioning that is needed to use, control and harmonize the entire body is very high. Â In this module, the goal is to improve the body's overall range of motion.Â
Stretching will help:
to improve your sense of balance
to relax both physically and mentally
to coordinate mind and bodyÂ
to reduce chances of injury, muscular cramps, strains and tearing
Flexibility is relaxation and the key to relaxation is proper breathing. Â Breathing reflects emotion and is expressed through the chest. Â
The human body is the movement actor's primary instrument of expression.Â Therefore, training the body, understanding how the body works, can help the performer maintain his condition, improve his performance, enhance his stage presence, build up self-confidence and lengthen his performance career.
Mime is the silent art of acting out a scene or expressing feelings with gestures and facial expressions. Although many people think of the French when they think of mime, mime as entertainment dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans. Mime was then popular in Italy before it reached France. Mime was so popular in France that schools of mime were established and traditions of great French mimes followed. Twentieth-century American Mime is very different from the French version.
Mime has two main types: abstract and literal. Abstract mime often has no plot or main character, but rather is an expression of feeling used to provoke interpretive thoughts about a serious subject. Literal mime is often comedic or is used to tell a story. Gestures and visuals show a clear and usually hilarious tale of the conflict faced by the main character.
Fundamental Constructs of Mime: While there are many 'tricks' that form the basis of mime training, there are a few underlying 'building blocks' that make up most techniques:
Fixed Point: This may be more commonly referred to as 'pointe fixe', however that is simply the original French wording of 'fixed point'. This is an incredibly simple idea: The mime locates a point with his body, and then keeps it motionless in space. This technique is the basis of all illusions a mime can create.
Line: The line builds upon Fixed Point, at first, by simply adding a second fixed point in space. What makes this a unique technical skill is the added difficulty of keeping two points the same relative distance from each other. Also, the relative distance between the two points becomes the definition of this 'construction block'. As such, the line may become 'un-fixed' as long as the two points are kept steady in their relation to one another. A good application of this concept is the 'mime wall'.
Dynamic Line: Whereas the Line did not apply force to its points, the dynamic line adds that element. This is the idea applied to 'pulling the rope', but it can be applied to virtually any use of force in an illusion. The secret to this concept is synchronizing the impact of an imaginary force throughout the body. In that respect Dyanamic Line is essentially an understanding of physics applied to the human body. This may seem complicated but you can get a sense for it very easily:
Find a wall and place both of your hands on it at approximately shoulder height. Push lightly into the wall with your hands. As you push try to feel where pressure builds up in your body. You should feel pressure in your hands, of course, but you should also feel some tension in your shoulders and hips. If you can't feel anything, gently increase the pressure until you do. Also try different positions and feel how they change the pressures in your body.
Dynamic Line calls upon the memory of forces like the ones in the above exercise to create realistic illusions of imaginary forces.
Space/Matter Manipulation: This is a fancy phrase for "making things out of thin air". This is the most complicated technique to explain because it makes use of many of the elements from the previous three. It is best served by an example illusion: dribbling a basketball. Using only one hand, the mime imitates much of the idea behind Dynamic Line, however by using only one hand, he only uses one point. Instead of two points, the mime transforms his remaining point into a shape: a rounded palm with fingers gently curled over it. This shape defines the 'space' where the illusion exists and allows the basketball, the 'matter', to exist in the illusion.
Space/Matter Manipulation can be used to create any number of objects, characters, or events by utilizing this principle.
In the technical part of the class, one will study corporal articulation. As for voice, articulation is a condition for the clear enunciation of thoughts. To move the head without the neck, the bust without the legs, to stop a movement on a clear line. By concentrating on clarifying the movement, the student will be able to choose what is moving and what is not, and therefore, to enhance the clarity of his/her expression.
Another part of the class will focus on walks and displacements on stage. Walking and displacing are also about articulation in space, choosing an angle, knowing where one is, how and when one moves.
Finally, one will study the placement of the weight, the use of counterweights and the dynamo-rhythms.
Basic mime exercises:
There are some fairly standard techniques that most mime artists begin with. These include manipulating imaginary objects (such as walls, balls, ropes, etc.), walking in place, climbing imaginary ladders, leaning, and so on.
Imaginary Objects & Use of the Imagination:
Using the imagination cannot be overemphasized in creating illusions. Most important is for a mime to truly believe the illusion is real. Naturally the more real the illusion is for the mime, the more realistic it will be for your audience.
This can be accomplished through practice. Practice all illusions in this same manner.
e.g. (in practicing a wall) Pretend the wall is real. See the wall in different colors. Feel the wall in different textures i.e. feel it rough, smooth, wet, dry, cold or hot.
Use these same techniques while practicing ALL illusions. You will also find your body reacting naturally to the illusion if you are convinced it's real.
Consider what you might do and how you would react if interacting with the real thing.
Grab a rope. Pretend to have a rope dangling before you and attempt to climb it. Slide down and clamber back up for best effect. When you reach the top, wipe the perspiration off your brow.
Rope NOTE: Climbing a rope is a very difficult illusion if done correctly. Imagine and feel your full body weight. If you are really climbing a rope, your muscles will stretch and strain. Your face will grimmace in painful effort. Wiping sweat from your brow will be a natural reaction. If you have never climbed a real rope, do so with supervision in a padded gym. Make mental notes of your actions and reactions even though many illusions may not be done with the exact movements as used in reality, the mental attitude (a.k.a. imagination) should be the same as the real thing. (See first note below under "Warnings" and be sure to warm up before attempting this illusion.)
A ladder. To show climbing a ladder, grab at imaginary ladder rungs going up in the air. Place the ball of one foot on the ground, as you would put it on a ladder rung. Pull down on the rungs (keep the hands moving together!) as you go up on your toes, and then drop back down with the opposite foot now "on a rung." Alternate feet and hands each time you "climb." Keep your focus upwards, as though you were looking at the place to which you are climbing. (If it's a tall ladder, look downwards occasionally for comic effect - tilt your head slowly and carefully, just enough to look downwards, and then look forward quickly, with an expression of alarm!) Make your legs do the same movements as if your feet were clambering up a real ladder
Pretend to be in a box. If you are in an invisible box, you can press the air out in front of you with your hands, first your palm and then your fingers. Act as if you are trying to find a way out of this invisible box by identifying its corners and sides. Run one hand across the "edges" of your imaginary box, as you try to find the lid and your way out. If you want, you can eventually find the lid and flip it open dramatically with both arms, in a triumphant gesture.
The lean. Pretend to be leaning against a lamp post, wall or a counter. It might sound easy but takes quite a lot of strength and coordination to "lean" on nothing. The basic lean has two parts. Start with the feet about shoulder-width apart.
For the top part: Hold your arm slightly away from your body, with the elbow bent so that your forearm is parallel to the ground and your hand (wrist relaxed slightly) is near your torso. Now raise your shoulder as you move your chest towards your elbow (keeping the elbow at the same point in space!).
The bottom part: at the same time, bend your knee slightly, taking your weight onto the bent leg. The net effect should be that your elbow stays where it is, but it looks as though your weight has settled onto the imaginary place where your elbow rests. Make sure you only bend the leg under your raised arm. Keep your opposite leg perfectly straight as this adds to the illusion.
For a more active show of leaning, the act can also incorporate stumbling, sliding off and missing the leaned-on object altogether.
Take on the wind. Pretend that it is very windy and that you are having a hard time standing up in it. Let the wind buffet you to and fro. For added amusement, include a struggle with an umbrella that keeps turning inside out.
Mime eating. It can very amusing to watch a mime of eating. Pretend to be consuming a very sloppy hamburger or hot dog, with all the contents slopping down the front of your clothing. Accidentally squirt some ketchup towards your eye. Or try peeling a banana and then slipping over on the peel.
Walking in place One of the icons of mime is the stationary walk. It also one of the most physically demanding feats. There are two major versions, the simplest of which is the 'impulse march'.
It is very important to begin with a good posture. You should hold your abdomen in fairly tightly as it will be prone to moving when you're not paying attention. Keep your shoulders up and back - don't slouch, your chest and neck should be erect as well - not puffed out.
To begin, place your entire weight on the ball on one foot. This is your 'forward' foot. Bend the knee over the forward foot slightly as you do this. With your other foot (the 'trailing' foot) position the toes parallel to the toes of the forward foot. However, keep your trailing foot from touching the ground while maintaining the sole of the trailing foot parallel to the floor. Keep this leg perfectly straight.
It is helpful here to explain the illusion. This walk reverses the pattern of actual walking. The 'trailing' foot in the mime walk does not support any weight, but it represents the weight-bearing foot of a normal walk. This is why the leg must remain straight in the illusion - it appears to be bearing the weight.
With your forward foot, slowly lower your heel to the ground and straighten the leg. As you do this, move your trailing foot backwards while keeping the sole of the foot parallel to the ground and the leg straight - you should feel an intense stretch along the back of your leg. Push the trailing leg as far back as you can while maintaining all of the above qualities, and your balance.
Once the trailing foot is as far back as it can go, bring it back to parallel with your forward foot. Try to pick up the heel on your trailing foot first, like a natural step. Bend the your leg as you bring the trailing foot forward.
Now touch down with the ball of your trailing foot. If you look at your feet, they are now in an exact reverse of their starting position. The 'forward' foot is now in the 'trailing' position and vise versa.
The transition of weight between these feet is the most crucial aspect of the illusion! You must smoothly transfer weight from your former 'forward' foot to your new 'forward' foot. At the same time, you must lift the newly freed foot and begin trailing it behind you. This will take quite a bit of practice to master.
With all of the activity in your feet, don't forget to move your upper body! Swing your arms so that the forward foot is always opposition to your forward hand. Also, inhale when you lift your trailing foot to come forward; exhale as you slide your trailing foot back.
Now, repeat the process.
Side Note: If you don't bring your trailing foot back to parallel with your forward foot, you can simply transfer your weight to it and begin moonwalking!
The study of technique is meaningless without its immediate application in improvisation. It can be done in various ways. Sometimes, the subject of the improvisation can be a situation, a context from which the actor, alone, in a duet or in a group, will be free to let his/her imagination flow. And sometimes, the subject is limited to a set frame or path.
The aim of all improvisation is to extend the vocabulary and to allow the student to make mime his/her own language.
Acting is physically demanding. The rigors of long rehearsals, daily performances (often times twice a day), rushing around trying to fit auditions into a busy schedule and all the stress related to these activities can really wear an actor down.
It is important that an actor stay in good physical shape and also learn relaxation techniques to reduce stress and to properly prepare his/her body before each rehearsal or performance.
The idea of movement is to make the actor aware of his body and also explore his body for the purpose of expression. The objective of the movement class is to make the student understand the body dynamics. The actors should be able to think beyond the boundary of words when it comes to acting or expression. h/she should be able to communicate to the audience and also to the co-actors without using any written script. This will also enrich the students to develop their own way of alternate expression. This will be also a starting point for the actor to get into the physicality of the character. This gradually will develop into finding psychological gesture of the character and also the movement of the actor in the scene.
The main thing to remember is that these are gentle exercises. You should not feel pain of push yourself to the point where you feel pain. These are relaxation exercises, not muscle-building exercises.
-Developing a working process for creating movement
-Practicing body listening
-Focus on character- movement stemming from impulse- go back into the physicalization - work to create a repeatable sequence
- continue the idea of allowing movement to come out of the body.
Play with exaggerating the quality, the use of body parts,
Allow the quality to influence what you are doing-play with the extremes and the opposites.
Let your body explore.
Possibilities of working with a prop include transformation -allowing the prop to act upon the character- exaggerating the way the prop is used
creation of abstract movement
The creation of abstract movement is a useful way to access the inner life of the character. Abstraction allows the actor to view and experience the essential qualities of what makes this person tick. Asking the actor to perform a scene 'outside of the play' also gives permission to engage in an imaginative exercise that plays with exploring the subtext of the character, some of which may never be totally revealed in a play. Playing with many possibilities, creative play, and imagination before 'locking in' to the reality played out in the script, hopefully, will allow for greater depth and understanding of motive and objective of the character within the play.
Basic Movement exercises:
Bobbing: Stand with your feet apart. Hang your trunk and arms down from your waist. Gently bob down, stretching your fingers to touch the floor if possible. Slowly stand erect.
Swaying: Repeat, but this time sway gently from side to side, rhythmically. Slowly raise to erect position.
Circling: Begin as swaying, but build sway up to a vigorous swing that takes you in a full circle. On the rebound, continue with two or three strong swings, then a full circle in the opposite direction.
Arms: Stretch out each arm to the front in turn, fists clenched. Drop each heavily to your side. Rest
Feet: Clench your feet, arching them as much as possible. Release them. Rest.
Knees: Lock your knees back. Release them. Rest.
Shoulders: Round your shoulders, keeping your arms loose. Release them. Rest.
Neck: Hang your head. Gently swing it to the right and the left. Let it flop backwards. Swing gently to the right and left again. Let it fall to your chest.
With your head hanging,
Close your eyes tightly. Relax them. Let them open. Rest.
Open your eyes as wide as possible. Wrinkle your brow. Relax. Rest
Frown. Draw your brows together. Relax. Rest
With your lips closed, smile as wide as possible. Relax. Rest
Open your mouth as wide as possible. Inhale deeply. Sigh and slowly let out the air. Rest.
Repeat yawning - vocalize gently by say "Aaaah" on each yawn.
The process would also take the actors to the level of performing a scene only by using the body, individually, in a group of two , three and in a bigger group. Thus they will also learn how to co-ordinate the movement with others, and will develop a new language of communication.
A Name Game
Name Game can be used to introduce students to each other, and to allow them to feel comfortable moving in front of each other. Have students stand in a circle, facing the center. Teachers and/or assistants in the room should also participate. The person who is chosen to start should say their name while doing some kind of movement - circling the arm, turning around, touching the toes, etc. Once the lead person has completed their movement, the rest of the class will repeat the person's name and movement together After the class mimics the first person, the second person in the circle will say his or her own name and perform a movement. The class then repeats the first person's name and movement, and the second person's name and movement. At that point, the third person adds their own piece.
By the end of the circle, the entire class should be able to repeat each person's name and movement in succession. This is something that can also be repeated at the end of class, to see how well they can remember each person's name and movement.
Follow the Leader - The Skipping Dance
One student, or the teacher, is chosen as the leader. The rest of the class should be seated, in a circle if desired. The leader should begin by skipping around the circle, and should tap each student on the head in succession. When a student is tapped, he or she should stand up and get in line behind the leader. When the leader has tapped all students on the head, the entire class should be skipping around the room in line. The leader can choose to change the movement at any time, or the teacher can call out a movement. Once the leader has changed, the rest of the line should follow, so that everyone is walking, galloping, step-touching, etc.
An option to this game is that students can sit when they feel tired or choose to stop. They must not get up again until the leader taps them on the head. When they are tapped again, they should stand up and fall in at the back of the line.
More exploration of body and movement will include the re-play of everyday life, the mask of discovery, dynamics of nature - elements, materials, animals, the masks of evolution, expressive and found masks, mask-making, your own mask, characterization, the passions, transferral of poetry, painting, and music into theatrical imagery.
We will undertake an exploration of the language of gesture and storytelling, dramatic imagery, melodrama,
Recognition or awareness of different spaces, whether natural or artificially constructed, places the physical body in the position of a first-hand witness of observable phenomena.
Movement is studied so as to gain a better understanding of the forces at play which determine a given space. The body, as a means of dynamic and dramatic expression, is the key instrument.
The next stage is the analysis and discovery of an open space, e.g. a railway station, a street or a public square, and of an enclosed area such as a house or a store, the purpose being to sift the "emotional sediment" from it.
The learning process starts with the analysis of simple movements, transposing and constructing them in a workshop situation. By re-enacting certain movements of real life, the student embarks on a meaningful stage of recognition needed to pursue the study and contributes experience as a complement to the spoken word.
Note that the above exercises, while being carefully designed, are not set in stone. They can and should at the discretion of an able practitioner be combined or modified to suit the need at any given moment. After learning these exercises from trainers and noting the guidelines (especially regarding safety of body), make it a point to practice these exercises well. You may even devise exercises for yourself keeping the guidelines in mind.