Today I will continue to talk about THE CREATIVE PROCESS FOR THE LITURGICAL DANCER.
First, let me tell you that I am a big proponent of Technique! With that being said, technique in and of itself can get in the way of your creative process because you might rely on your technique/steps and be closed off to creative movement and ideas.
Understanding how to manipulate movement is the basis for choreographic elements space, time, energy and shape. Movement occurs in space, takes time, is propelled by energy and and goes through specific shapes as it is performed. In order to successfully navigate these choreographic elements you must have and an understanding of Choreographic Craft.
A. Understanding Choreographic preparation.
Choreographic preparation involves learning about the craft of choreography.
Preparation involves gathering your resources together so that you may begin the process.
Choreographic Craft includes;
1. Understanding use of ministry space - You need to have a clear idea of the space or spaces that you will dance in which determines your movement patterns. You can go forward, side to side and backwards. As humans we can also move in diagonal directions including two front and two back. These eight directions are used as points of reference because movements can fall in between the eight.
Direction (Space) Exercises;
i. Walk across a room using a variety of directions such as forward, backward, sideways or any diagonals. Now do this same exercise with a dance ministry movement or phrase.
ii. Do this and change directions on specific counts - 8 or 16.
iii. Use different locomotor movements such as run, hop, skip, jump, leap, gallop and slide.
iv. Practice changing directions on each count or every other count.
Tune in tomorrow for more!! Please share with your friends!
Today I want to begin to cover THE CREATIVE PROCESS for the liturgical dancer.
1. First step - Pray! God will open up your creative avenue so that you will be receptive to HIS message. Jeremiah 33:3 says- "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’NIV
Stuck and don't know what to do next? Pray! As liturgical dancers it is our responsibility to go to The Father and receive the dances from heaven.
2. Second step - Decide on the intent and purpose of the message. There are many directions that you can choose to create your chorepgraphy after you receive the message.
a. Begin with music and create movement to interpret the words.
b. Begin with the message and find music and movement to visually tell it.
c. Begin with movement and find the message and music to compliment it.
d. Find a biblical story and research it. Expand upon it and tell the story.
e. Find the mantle and or vision of your church or ministry and from that starting place create dances that express or convey that purpose. It is our job to support and reiterate the purpose of our church home and pastor.
You must have a place of motivation when you choreograph, but you can always alter or adjust as needed through the process. Habakkak 2:2 "Write the vision and make it plain so the runner may run with it."
The Creative Process continues tomorrow!
Please share this blog with you dance family and friends!!
Please comment below if you desire!
As promised here are additional choreography exercises to help you create dynamic ministry dances!
1. Spread students out over the room and turn on the music. Encourage them not to think about doing steps, but instead to just move. They may feel uncomfortable at first but as you continue to encourage them, it will get easier.
a. Tell them to move freely as they are lead with the music.
b. Use 2 different songs with different speeds - like fast and slow.
2. Choose a Scripture and have the students dance it through using
a. Specific Movements that demonstrate the words.
b. Do it again and have the group all on different levels and demonstrating/ interpreting the words.
c. Non - specific movements not interpreting the words, but instead demonstrating hoe the words make you feel and move.
3. Give each student a word or phrase to create movement to then put it each person or groups movements together to create a dance.
4. Have all the students pick one of the eight basic loco-motor movement. You may have to assign them one. As the students move across the floor with the different loco-motor movement have them to:
a. Use different arm movements for praise, worship, inviting the Lord
b. Change directions on your command
c. Stop and freeze in a pose then start again.
5. Have students move freely to music using;
a. Different levels - high, medium or low.
b. Space - restricting how much they move and letting them use the whole space.
c. Rhythm - fast or slow.
d. Combination of 2 or more. Using two of the above exercises create a movement phrase.
6. Have students start dancing as;
a. Singles (one person)
b. Duets ( two people)
c. Trio (three people)
d. changing on command (either of the above groupings)
Exploring movement is enjoyable, fun, and can contribute to your creative process. Throughout these exercises remember to pray and allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and direct you. When you submit your mind and this process to the Lord, the ONE who is THE CREATOR will give you what you need.
Today, I will continue to give you keys for Kingdom Khoreography! My focus is choreography exercises that will stimulate your creative process. These exercises are designed to help you explore movement and should be used as movement experiences. Make sure that you have space and have others do it with you so that you have FUN while you create! It's a great idea to videotape too!
1. Have students spread out over the room/space as individuals;
a. Have them start in a pose.
b. Have them to move, at your command, using different locomotor movements, levels, body moves, rhythm and time.
2. Mirroring (each other)
a. Have students face each other two at a time. Make them take turns following each other and doing exactly what the other person is doing on the same side.
3. Opposition (each other)
a. Have the students face each other two at a time and take turns following the other person, but they must do opposite of the person they are following. (the other side)
a. this is when a group of dancers follow each other doing the same movement but following the leader. This is like row, row, row your boat. Usually done in groups.
b. Use different speeds of music; slow. fast and medium.
c. Have the groups each do their own movements and then do them in cannon.
5. Break class up into groups of two or more.
a. Give them 8 counts to choreograph to one word (example - Calvary or worship)
b. Give them a short sentence/phrase to choreograph movement. (example- I choose to worship)
c. Let them listen to a section of music to choreograph movement.
6. Have the students sit and listen to a selection of music then;
a. Have them write down;
i. What they felt as they listened to the music
ii. What they see - like colors or other images
iii. Have them express what the above looks like in movement
More exercises tomorrow!
Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, so that a runner may read it. For there is still a vision for the appointed time; it speaks of the end and does not lie. If it seems to tarry, wait on it; it will surely come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:2
Many times when we choreograph, we come to a place where ideas are hard to come by - sometimes called writers (dancers) block. We have used all of our favorite steps; the music isn't moving us; the visions have stopped! What do we do to get moving again?
Collecting ideas for choreography
1. Look at nature - many times the movement of the trees, animals, the clouds in the sky, or even the rain will inspire you and paint a canvas of movement.
2. Take a dance class - discovering new steps or even revisiting steps that you know will invigorate your choreography.
3. Watch children play - Children are so creative and free. Watching them will give you movements that are uninhibited and uncluttered.
4. Watch your pastor preach - Most pastors are very expressive and lend themselves to great movements.
5. Do one of your dances backwards - crazy right? But if you reverse your movements completely, you will discover some wonderful movements.
6. Turn on the music and just move! (Improvisation) - Many of your greatest movements come from NOT thinking and just doing - so just move!
7. Go to an art museum and look at paintings - many paintings may inspire you to create stories or even movements. And when we relax and enjoy ourselves we stop blocking our own creativity.
Directional Movements - There are many directions that we can use as dancers, in any space that we are in. Experiment with different directions and see how that effects your dances. Note that the prospective is from you looking out to the audience, so your right and left.
Back of stage = Back Curtain/back of the room
Front of stage = Audience
Upstage Right (USR) - Moving from the center of the space towards the back -your right.
Upstage Center (USC) - Moving from the center of the space towards the back staying center.
Upstage left (USL) -Moving from the center of the space towards the back - your left.
Stage right (SR) - Moving from the center of the space towards your right side.
Center Stage (CS)- Staying in the center of the stage/space.
Stage Left (SL)- Moving from the center of the space towards your left side.
Downstage Right (DSR) - Moving from the center of the space towards the audience going to your right.
Downstage Center DSC) - Moving from the center of the space towards the audience staying center.
Downstage Left (DSL)- Moving from the center of the space towards the front/audience going to your left.
These are some of the directions that you can move when you are dancing. Keep in mind that dancing in different areas like a sanctuary may affect your patterns and directional movements. Note that some movement patterns are stronger than others as addressed below.
1. Direct and intentional
a. Upstage to downstage – strong
b. Move simultaneously (at the same time)
2. Diagonal – moving from corner to corner
a. USR – DSL
b. DSR- USL – 2nd strongest
c. USL – DSR
d. DSL – USR - weak
3. Side to side
a. SR – SL: strongest we read left to right
b. SL – SR: weakest
4. Circular movements – weak
6. Figure 8
So, there are several things that you can do to stuir up your gift of choreography. Use them! If nothings happens then use the tool that should actually be first; PRAY AND WAIT! It will surely come.
Creating a Dance Choreography incorporates movement concepts that give it texture which in turn gives it increased visual appeal. People are attracted to interesting movement. We need to keep the interest of the people watching in order for them to get the idea, message and ministry that is being conveyed. There are many ways to give texture and variety to your dance;
1. The definition of dance forms is the organization or plan for patterning movement; the overall structural organization of a dance or music composition. Below are the different forms that can be utilized in a dance ministry:
a. Theme and Variations – main steps and the others are variations of those same steps.
b. AB form. A two-part compositional form with an A theme and a B theme. The binary form consists of two distinct, self-contained sections that share either a character or quality (such as the same tempo).
c. ABA form. A three-part compositional form in which the second section contrasts with the first section. The third section is a restatement of the first section in a condensed, abbreviated, or extended form.
d. Rondo - ABACADAEAFA - where the first section is followed by a different section each time.
e. Call and response – first group or person leads and second group repeats or answers with a response. This can be a repeat of the Call or a different response.
f. Suite – a multi part movement with a Moderate beginning, slow second part, fast third part or a combination of those sections.
g. Canon/Round - A passage, movement sequence, or piece of music in which the parts are done in succession, overlapping one another, like Row, Row, Row your boat.
h. Interrelationships - of movements within the overall structure.Connection between multiple people or groups or parts of a system among other people, people or groups.
2. Entrances and exits - Gives the audience a beginning and ending for the dance which serves as a finished product and a complete story.
a. All enter from one side before or after music begins..
b. Divided to enter from right or left of the stage.
c. Divided to enter from all points of the stage.
d. Placed onstage in a pose before the music starts.
e. All leave at the same time.
f. All leave at different times.
g. Divided leaving at separate times.
h. Posed onstage at the end of the dance.
3. Levels - High, Medium, Low (and 5 other levels that are derived from these levels)
a. Low level
i. Prostrate – lying down flat on the floor - lowest you can possible go – position of humility
ii. Any position where you are resting on your legs but not flat on the floor – position of submission iii. Lifted up on the knees, not off of the floor position of surrender
b. Medium level
i. Deep plie’ - position of yielding, any position we are bending at the knees
ii. Flat feet on the floor – position of restoration any position were you are standing straight with your feet are flat on the floor.
c. High level
i. Releve` or eleve` were heels are lifted off of the floor – position of seeking
ii. Rejoicing – jumps, hops, leaps
iii. Position of ascension – balancing your weight on something or someone else.
4. Beginning, Middle and an End. - For clarity, your dances should have all three (3). This presents a complete dance.
5. Narrative – gives the theme, tells the story interprets and moves it along.
6. Collage – pieces of movement that are unrelated but are brought together to create a dance. It may seem disconnected and needs to have a point of focus to make sense.
Continued in tomorrows KK#3
I want to share with you some tips and keys to expanding your choreography vocabulary and creating dynamic dances for your ministry!
Key #1 - What is Choreography?
Choreography is: “the artistic arrangement and written notation of the movements of dance.” The word “choreography” originates from the Greek word “Choros,” and it means a circle of singers and dancers; and from the Greek word "graphe” which means writing. We can surmise from its origin that choreography is literally dance –writing or giving a message through dance.
Choreography develops the story for the audience and develops a relationship between the audience and the dancers. Learning what choreography entails and how it is developed will help to establish a clear message for your dances.
Elements of Choreography include:
1. Music – gives the theme, sets the mood and pace, and the rhythm of the dance.
2. Words (of the song) – tells the story and moves it along, gives the theme, describes the setting
3. Theme – Gives a main subject that connects the entire dance.
4. Design and Use of space – Gives variety.
5. Body facings - direction the body is positioned.
6. Direction of movements – gives variety.
7. Motivation – what moves the subject?
8. Technique – skill broadens and enhances the movement and vocabulary of the dance.
9. Props – give visual cues and definition to the dance.
10. Costumes – give visual definition of time, theme
In order to understand how to create dances, we must know what the elements of dance consist of. This is only the beginning of creating DYNAMIC DANCES FOR DANCE MINISTRY!
Tomorrow look for Key #2
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