Author Topic: PROMPT BOOK: Blocking question: non-dance, movement based  (Read 2536 times)

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The show I'm working on right now has a section that is largely movement-based with narration, but it's not dance. However, it is effectively a choreographed piece in terms of its physical intricacy and specificity. I've been taking the blocking down as if it is a straight piece, but with three actors doing three different things at all time, I need a more efficient and accurate way to describe what the ensemble is creating.

Does anyone with experience in this kind of work have any tips that might be helpful? Would learning dance notation be useful, or does that rely on certain "steps" that we're probably not using? There is a chance that the show will be performed again some time after it closes in August, so accuracy is doubly essential.

« Last Edit: Jun 09, 2009, 03:07 am by PSMKay »


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Re: Blocking question: non-dance, movement based
« Reply #1 on: Jul 15, 2008, 10:50 am »
My first suggestion is to video tape that particular section.  This will only work if this is a non-AEA show and you have the permission of all parties.  But it is the most accurate way to record a choreography.  Video taping is standard procedure in dance but is tricky in theater settings.

I also suggest drawing pictures of the movement in snapshots.  Either the bird's eye view or a front view.  You can use arrows to indicate direction of movement and draw stick figures of the performers to show body positions better than words can describe.


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Re: Blocking question: non-dance, movement based
« Reply #2 on: Jul 15, 2008, 04:44 pm »
I agree with Jessie, my movement notations always include written descriptions along with lots of little drawings. For a piece where the three people are doing different things I would suggest noting each of their choreography separately. I'd make three columns, one for each of the people, and divide those up into rows so it would look like:

                   Dancer 1            Dancer 2               Dancer 3
First move:    leaps DSL           falls to left knee     ---------
2nd move:     arms in air          lies on ground         heel click
3rd move:....


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