16
May
2011

Seeds of Change

Exploration of Movement and Physical Theatre Activity 4.

This is a good end of session task.

Ask your group to think about ideas that may have come up, and where we find inspiration from.  Reflect on these creative ideas and review the outcome. How effective was the work? What was the outcome? Ask your group, what kind of seed are they, what they would like to grow up to be, if it was a plant, what would it look like grown? Get your group into a standing circle and to hold hands.

This tip concentrates on organic movements and objects. Seeds growing, flowers opening, making trees (using more than one person, maybe three) and having them blowing in the wind, etc.

Ask your group to find a space and to make themselves as small as possible as if they were a seed in the ground. You will count slowly to 10 (or 20) and they are to first put out a shoot, then a stalk then leaves and gradually to grow into a plant.

Emphasize this will take a good deal of control. Keep the movements as controlled and smooth as possible. Ask the best ones to demonstrate in the centre of the circle.

Now, in groups of four or five, they are to find a way to show the same process, but this time they will be able to make the resulting plant/flower more complex. You could possibly use suitable music to accompany this and the eventual showing.

Now, you might like to try this with the whole group, using concentric circles of students unfurling one by one to make a layered plant/flower.

Finally, you could tell the group about further references of this effect like the work of filmmaker Busby Berkeley in the thirties and forties, and how he used a huge cast to create visual effects with them and their bodies, or an artist that you are aware of that uses similar effects.

You could have all the group lying on the floor with their heads in the centre and see what sort of flower could be made using their legs as petals, and one with their feet in the middle with their arms and heads making the movements of the petals.

You can break your group up into smaller groups and one member can record this activity with a handheld camera from above or from an angle.

Review

Encourage suggestions on a variation of the Mexican Wave by holding hands and making the movement as smooth as possible. This is rather organic. They could Say Their Name shape ( Tip session 1) to make abstract waves of the sea at the water’s edge involving the whole class?  They might try this in lines of four or five. This is bound to get everyone laughing!

You can choose to ask your group the following for feedback:

  • What is Physical Theatre?
  • What are the advantages of using this technique?
  • What are the disadvantages?
  • What was your most successful/ favourite piece of work in this workshop?
  • Why?

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