Dancing with D'Arts - 7. Creating a dance program - props and stuff

Duration: 3:26

Transcript – Dancing with D'Arts - 7. Creating a dance program - props and stuff

VIRGINIA FERRIS: Props and other stuff.

Props can be a good way to add dynamics to a dance performance. It can also be a great way to add confidence to a student who dances. Adding a piece of fabric that is shiny or coloured or textured can be exciting to use in class. Have enough different pieces of fabric to share between 2 or 3 students.

Hats and other character props can add depth to a performance. However, it can also hide a student. So take care. Using props such as ribbon sticks, canes, glow in the dark batons can be effective, particularly if done in synchronisation.

Choose a piece of fabric about 2 and a half metres in length. Create a circle with the fabric being stretched between people in the circle. This can be broken down into smaller circles if needed. One or 2 students can be in the middle of the circle underneath the fabric.

Create as many different shapes leaning different directions and using different levels. The person or people underneath can use arms, body parts, creating further shapes and abstract movement. Add a variation of slow motion, sharp, quick actions with the fabric. Now, travel around the space but keeping everyone together in their group. As the group travels, explore different levels and tempos.

Add stimulus such as creating a dinosaur shape or a mountain shape. Although this is a simple task it engages everyone in the class. This can be very helpful for certain students who don't want to be creative or leaders in dance, but are happily following along and want to be part of the crowd.

The fabric is kind of like a safety net. It can make some very interesting shapes and abstract movement. To add variation, it can be part of the beginning of a story or a way to add dynamics into a dance piece.

Another creative task using props is to surround the floor with coloured paper. Students can use a simple locomotive movement to pick up 2 different coloured papers. They must pick up both papers from different parts of the space within a time frame, say 4 minutes.

The teacher then adds abstract or descriptive words such as 'move like a super person' or 'move like chewing gum' or 'freeze like a snowflake'.

[music playing]

Once the students have both papers, they can then perform with the papers, creating different shapes on the spot as supermodels or super shapes. Once the sequence has been created, such as a locomotive movement plus a super paper shape, refine this then add timing. Plus some music. Maybe give it a name like a paper chase.

[students cheering]

Frozen! When you get to the floor you don't move you're frozen. When you get to the floor you're frozen.

This paper chase sequence could be part of your performance grab.

And relax. Give yourself a big clap everybody. Well done.

[cheering and applause]

In the next session, we explore ways to create a dance.

End of transcript