Day 1 "Strange tools" 11.10.2021
Updated: Oct 13
In a period spread on two weeks, I will meet two different groups of dance students for working sessions of 90 minutes each six times.
The first group is the 3rd year students of the education program Danceworks Berlin and the second group is the 2nd year students.
The 3rd year group has 16 students and the 2nd year has 25. The age of the participants is varied from 18 years old to 30 years old.
In an email sent out before the workshop began, I have asked the students if they play a musical instrument. Also, would they be willing to bring it with them in case they possess one? The use of musical instruments is an essential part of the workshop.
The session began with a name introduction round to familiar myself with participants,
I have shared with the students a biographical background and how I came upon the idea of the "Strange tools" workshop.
We have discussed what is music? In what ways dance and music are interlinked and the purpose of choreomusical research.
I have told them about the theme, subject, and aims of the workshop. Mainly to create own composition using musical instrument and choreography.
I have talked about Emil Jacques-Dalcroze's pedagogical method named "Moving plastic".
Dalcroze's main idea is that for every movement there's a sound and in every sound, there's a movement. Meaning that it is not possible to produce a sound without a physical action and vice versa-in that I draw the student's attention to the idea of intertwined and intimate connection that sound and movement have from their nature.
I handed out the students the following tableau describing Dalcroze "The elements common to music and moving" -taken from "Rythem Music and Education "(1919) p.164-164 by Emil Jaques Dalcroze, and read it together in the group.
I have asked the students to stand up. I have asked one of the students (Cosma) who plays the violin to play a rhythm of 4/4 while instructing the students to walk on the beat. Another exercise inspired by Dalcroze's idea was to add pauses to the walking, different speeds, and tempi changes from 4/4 to 3/4. The following task opposed the former idea -as the beat as in hearing 4/4 rhythm while performing a waltz step of 3/4. The idea was to experience and attend to various rhythms through the body.
2nd-year group: t
I have repeated with the students the same procedure. Since we have worked in a different studio, a piano was available so I could accompany the students while instructing them on the following exercises based on Dalcroze Tableau:
Walk with the tempi of 3/4 and 4/4 with rests. As a modulation, I asked the student to touch the floor when the music paused.
Walk with pauses: for example, stepping in a waltz rhythm then stepping on 1 2 3 notes, pause on the 4,5 notes, and walk again on the 6th. The second time around was double in the speed, meaning each bar contains three notes had six steps. Here we have examined the meaning of the duration, accent, and meter.
Intensity -muscular dynamics- referring to volume by Dalcroze. In musical terms -forte and piano or loud or soft. While the students heard a "forte" or "piano", they physically react accordingly. I was interested in how they would translate these qualities into actions. After a short feedback cycle, the students have realized that we instinctively and intuitively react to different volumes.
Lastly, we have tried opposition reaction. I asked the students to respond differently to the heard music or to go against the played dynamic-dance "piano" while listening to a "forte".
If to conclude, the first day was dedicated to sharing theoretical information about the subject of choreomusical research and experimenting with exercises inspired by Dalcroze's idea of "Moving plastic".