BLOG 4 UNIT 10 & 11 MOVEMENT AND DEVISING

Monday, 22nd March 2021

LEARNING OBJECTIVES:

Our learning objectives for today we’re to contribute, discuss and explore performance ideas and create and develop a devise performance that explores space in movement.  

IDEAS/RESEARCH/DISCUSSION:

In our groups this week we got together and discussed different ideas that we could possibly put into our piece. For example, we discussed in detail how the ending is going to go and how we wanted a plot twist at the end, we also discussed about that we want to put more detail into Connie’s depression story and focus on how she’s going to pretend to be happy in front of her friends and family. I gave out a few ideas one being that her death could be her overdosing on pills, we also want to show more of Connie’s and her mums relationship with each other.

DEVELOPING OUR PERFORMANCE:

In this part of the lession we had to add onto our performance, we had to add the following: different types of shapes and the elements of space.

SHAPES VIDEO 1:

VIDEO 2:

Shape is an aspect of the element of space. Shape is perhaps the strongest visual component in dance. The term shape may refer to individual body shapes (the way in which 3-dimensional space is used by the body) and group shapes. Body shapes are present in all actions in dance.

TYPES OF SHAPES: 

  • shapes with straight lines and angles  
  • curving or organic shapes   
  • open and closed shapes 
  • symmetrical and asymmetrical shapes 
  • harmonious and contrasting shapes   
  • centred and off-centre shapes
  • shapes with straight lines and angles

When we got back into our groups we then discussed on how we are going to add different shapes into our performance. We all thought of the idea that in Connie’s story she could create a shape on the floor with her legs and body huddled together, as this could portray her getting sad and could show her depression building up within side her.

4TH PICTURE OF THE SHAPE WE CREATED:

DEVISING OUR PIECES MORNING SESSION:

DEVELOPING OUR PERFORMANCE:

In this part of the lession we had to add onto our performance, we had to add the following: applying levels, audience boundaries, planes and lines.

APPLYING LEVELS VIDEO:

PLANES OF MOTION VIDEO:

AUDIENCE AND ACTORS BOUNDARIES:

We read an article about breaking the fourth wall:

THE ARTICLE:

*FOUND ARTICLE ON ONENOTE BY LIZ*

When to break the fourth wall   

The half-hearted efforts of La Cage aux Folles fall flat. Maybe there’s a time and a place for audience participation   

Natasha Tripney  

Thu 10 Jan 2008 13.00 GMT First published on Thu 10 Jan 2008 13.00 GMT   

  
Shaking a leg … La Cage aux Folles at Menier Chocolate Factory. Photograph: Tristram Kenton  

In front of me, Philip Quast is caressing a man’s head and, I believe, whispering something filthy in his ear. This is one of the more amusing moments in the illness-beset revival of La Cage aux Folles, a 1983 musical set in a St Tropez transvestite club, currently playing at the Menier Chocolate Factory.   

At the front of this mid-sized studio theatre, the bench seating has been replaced with a scattering of cabaret-style tables. During the show, Quast and his troupe of corset-clad dancers exchange innuendo-ridden banter with the people who have taken these seats, as well as perching on their laps and in one instance popping an olive into someone’s mouth.  

It can be refreshing when a production breaks down the barriers between audience and performers in this way, puncturing the fourth wall and encouraging interaction. It makes you feel actively involved in what you’re watching, makes you feel part of the performance. But it needs to be managed imaginatively for it to really work, and there is a tepid quality to the way it is done in La Cage. These interludes felt a little too rehearsed – ironic in a production that otherwise has a distinctly rough-around-the-edges appeal. There was no danger, it all felt a bit forced and half-hearted. They’d tweaked the rules, but only superficially. You got the feeling that any genuine interaction with the performances would be unwelcome.  

It is understandable why they’d want to minimise the uncertainty that comes with audience involvement. After all, by drawing the audience into things in this way, they’re introducing another volatile element into the already precarious experience of performing live. I just wish they’d been a bit more daring and pushed this aspect of the show a little further.  

Over in New York, a more ambitious audience participation sequence is a vital part of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee where, according to the West End Whingers, “part of the genius of the show is that four members of the audience are selected to sit with the other ‘children’ on the stage and actively compete in the Spelling Bee”.  

I’m going to have to make the now obligatory reference to Punchdrunk and their production of The Masque of the Red Death. Here, audience members are pulled into the production in a literally physical sense. They are taken by the hand and led into rooms, or, in my case, after I had inadvertently stood in the space where an acrobatic fight sequence was about to begin, shoved rather roughly aside. And as the audience move through the BAC’s corridors, caped and masked, they inevitably add yet another layer to the production’s considerable atmosphere, blurring the very notion of what it means to be a spectator.  

This blurring was even more evident in Soho Theatre’s ambitious but patchy Moonwalking in Chinatown, where, by taking the audience and the show out on to the streets of Soho, the audience became part of the production, drawing curious stares and an audience of their own.  

BREAKING THE FORTH WALL:

Breaking the forth wall is simply when the characters acknowledge the audience’s presence, eluding to the fact that the characters know that they are in a book or a play. When breaking the forth wall I would consider putting this into our performance, I thought of the idea of maybe saying something about mental health to the audience and how you can get help if you need it.

DEVISING OUR PIECES AFTERNOON SESSION:

When developing our performance in the afternoon we thought of different ideas on how we’re going to extend our performance more. We came up with a variety of ideas such as the ending and how we’re going to put a plot twist, we thought about maybe right at the end we could show that instead of it being real, it could be a dream instead and we wake up playing the game like we do right at the beginning. We also started to develop ideas for Vicky’s story and how we’re going to put this into place, but we are going to focus more on Vicky’s story when we come back to college next week.

THE PERFORMANCE:

PEER FEEDBACK:

The strengths that our peers gave back to us is that they liked the plot twist at the end and how we’re repeating by playing the game again like at the beginning. Our peers also liked how we developed and explored on Connie’s story and how she is feeling during lockdown COVID. What we need to develop on for next week is the transitions when moving from scene to scene, as this looks messy and not very clean in my opinion. One other thing that we need to do for next week is research at home about social anxiety so we can develop onto Vicky’s story.

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