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Tools & Tool Chooser | D-Lab
 
 
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Tools & Tool Chooser

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1. Build-a-Phrase

Summary

Build-a-Phrase introduces basic movement sequencing by linking simple movements in a multi-count phrase. Participants observe, learn, and combine movement, experiencing the satisfaction of participating in a simple but authentic form.

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2. Blind Lead

Summary

This group exercise introduces movement partnering and presents an opportunity for individuals and groups to observe their ways of leading and following.

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3. One to Ten

Summary

One to Ten can get a room full of people moving together and experimenting with shapes, range, and basic partnering. It works with experienced movers, people unaccustomed to structured dance experiences, and groups that combine both types.

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4. Spontaneous Gesture

Summary

When people talk, they almost always gesture with their hands. If observed carefully, this expressive movement can be coaxed into a choreographic form.

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5. Delayed Mirror

Summary

For dancers of every level, Delayed Mirror offers a chance to experience several core principles of dancemaking while practicing observation, collaboration, and memory skills.

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6. Perpetual Prompt

Summary

This short writing exercise uses a single prompt to stimulate a store of images and impressions from participants’ personal histories, allowing a group to begin sharing stories from their lives. It harnesses the power of repetition, and offers an immediate experience of success in writing and creating.

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7. Equivalents

Summary

Each word in a text is assigned a corresponding movement. Equivalents can be used to introduce the idea of dancing-and-talking to those new to the approach (regardless of their level of dance training), as a way to explore the relationship between movement and meaning. It can be one element or the primary focus in a sophisticated level of dancemaking.

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8. Movement Metaphor

Summary

Verbs are action words. Based on the concept of metaphor, they offer a solid starting point for generating new movement material.

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9. Detail

Summary

This tool focuses on drawing movement ideas from concrete physical evidence by observing the immediate environment and by conjuring details of a scene from memory and imagination. Rather than a fixed procedure, Detail is a set of practices for observing, imagining, discerning, and organizing information that can be a rich source for movement. It allows the dancer to draw the kernels of choreography, meaning, and connection from that information. The version of Detail below describes how to introduce this tool in a group or class situation. It is easily adapted if you want to try these ideas on your own. While Detail is a difficult tool to impart in the written word, and often challenging to comprehend in practice, once it is grasped it is a revelation.

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10. Walk and Talk

Summary

Talking while walking is something people do all the time. This exercise draws on that common experience to acclimate dancers to the task of combining movement with the spoken word. Walk-and-Talk also helps people to discover their stories, and edit them down to their essential contents.

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11. Essence

Summary

As a chef reduces broth and seasonings to a flavorful roux, Essence helps to identify the richness and intensity in movement material. This tool can be an aid to the choreographic editing process, a study for movement memory, and a tool for building collaborative relationships.

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12. Movement Parameters

Summary

In this movement vocabulary-builder, feedback from fellow dancers expands expressive range.