Sunday, 13 March 2011

Movement workshop and new material

I get chance to work through the workshop that I had prepared for Friday 11th but hadn’t had chance to implement. We look at Laban’s Efforts and attribute animal qualities to the characters.

I’ve never had any movement training or been trained in how to direct/workshop ‘movement’ so the results of my suggestions to explore all of Laban’s different types of movement and find which fit the characters and their circumstances the best are a delightful surprise.

The movements speak for themselves. In the main the movement types most appropriate really stand out. The dynamics produced by the less appropriate/obvious movement types – like floating – are also very pleasing in other ways and almost offer an ‘insight’ in to unseen faculties of the characters.

The animal qualities exercise is less complex than the Laban exercise but brings out another range of tones and motivations. Duncan selects spider movements for Arnold, seeing that he is very precise in his movements and attuned to his environment do to the scrutiny of his parent’s attention and his prolonged and consistent exposure to his home and his parents. Dean feels that an ant best represents Frank and moves with purpose and order while he ‘senses’ the room and the objects in it using his hands to lightly feel his way around. Very appropriate for a military man (Frank is ex-military) I feel and I like the ‘sensing’, it seems appropriately over the top, bordering on OCD. Harriet moves in a bird-like way which is appropriate for her fragility and the ‘programmed’/habitual nature of her action.

The rest of the session is taken up working through the new blocking. I provide the new script and we read through it. Disappointingly not all of the performers do not embrace the paper scripts and start to use them with notes etc. I really must impress note taking in rehearsals in future.

I’m surprised that what was so simple to adjust on the page takes such a long time to implement practicality. Every difference has had a knock on effect on sound and each of the characters action. The sound is adjusted during the session too which takes time. We work through it all in order, making the changes to sound and blocking as we go along.

By the end of the session I’m satisfied with results and the changes that have been made have really refined the raw material we generated at Bradford Theatre in the Mill.

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