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Solo Improvisation Task

This is an excerpt from More Dance Improvisations by Justine Diane Reeve.

THREE WORDS

This is a good solo task to help students create movement material that promotes consideration of what’s moving and how. They should be warm and ready to explore.

Cut
Rise
Slice
Melt
Dive
Scurry
Recoil
Shoot

Ask dancers to pick three words from this list to inspire three movements to perform with three body parts. For example, they could cut with an elbow, shoot with a foot or rise with the pelvis.

  1. Have them join the movements with a transition, challenging them to take up as much space as possible.
  2. Once it’s become one phrase, have them add the dynamics they think will make each movement more effective. These can be exaggerated. They’ll then add a static version.
  3. Ask students to explore travelling these movements in a straight line to create a moving version.
  4. They can join the static and moving versions to create a phrase or join all the movements in any order.
  5. Once they’re confident with this phrase, ask them to create a second by finding movements that oppose each one.
  6. They can also join these to create a longer phrase to use in a solo or group dance.
Two dancers explore the words ‘slice’ and ‘rise’.
Two dancers explore the words ‘slice’ and ‘rise’.

Teaching Tip

Ask dancers to share what they’ve created for number 5 with the rest of the group. Prompt them to explain how they’ve placed the movements together and in what order. This will inspire others to reassess their responses.

Further Development

Ask dancers to find a way to make it travel. Have them challenge their partners to a race to see who can cover the most space whilst maintaining their choreographed movements. They could repeat this task but select words from a theme or idea to choreograph a whole dance. This could be from a poem, script, story or song.

More Excerpts From More Dance Improvisations