Movement Intentions

Movement Intentions

Goal - Essential question

  1. We awaken our body, our mind and our soul. We become able to use different body parts and different qualities and work in various directions.
  2. We learn and remember a structured numbering system.
  3. We also learn to move from different movement intentions, starting points.

Meeting and sharing | In a circle, sitting or standing (5 minutes)

The dancers share how their week has been and how they feel. It is not compulsory to share, however, the group knows each other and likes exchanging such information (for example to share something that might be important for the group to know in relation to the dance class)
Outcomes: Creating a safe environment, getting comfortable with each other.

Warming up & reconnecting with yourself (15 minutes)

Dancers move/improvise through space.
Step 1: The teacher indicates which part of the body should move to ‘wake up’ and what is the quality of this movement.
Step 2: Again, the teacher indicates which part of the body is waking up but now mentions two different movement qualities. The dancers decide for themselves which quality they want to perform.
Step 3: The teacher now indicates which part of the body is waking up and mentions two different qualities as well as two directions. The dancers consciously choose which quality they want to perform as their direction.
Qualities: Slow-fast/ small-large/ staccato- lyrical etc.
Direction(s): Think of the 8 points of a cube.
Music: music with a fast beat

Outcomes: We awaken our body, our mind and our soul. We become able to use different body parts and different qualities and work in various directions.

Part 1: Making conscious choices in our minds, in starting movement and in using space (20 minutes)

The teacher gradually increases the number of movement intentions he/she mentions in class. The teacher chooses the number of intentions according to the level of the group.
The teacher evaluates the exercise working with the dancers by asking them the following questions:
>Were you aware of your breathing?
>Did the different movement intentions affect your breathing?
>If yes, in what way?
>How did moving with all the different movement intentions/ one specific movement intention feel?
>Did you make a conscious choice?
>If yes, how did it feel?
The teacher can use a whiteboard with an overview of the numbers and the movement intentions they correspond to.
If the students forget which movement intention corresponds to a certain number they can check the white board.

Movement Intentions

There are seven different movement intentions.  These seven different movement intentions (movement exercises) each correspond to a number, from one to seven. When the teacher says a certain number the students all carry out the intention/ exercise that corresponds to the number. Each dancer can choose how much time they take to complete the exercise, however when the teacher says  a different number the new intention must be carried out (even if the dancers didn’t get to ‘finish’ the last intention).
#1. When the teacher says the number 1, we choose a focus point and our body follows. We select a focus point and move to that point in space. When we arrive there, we consciously choose a different focus point and move to the new focus point we have chosen.
#2. When the teacher says the number 2, our body selects and our focus follows. We start moving through space.  Our body directs us to a new place in space.
#3. When the teacher says the number 3, we stop. We then consciously decide when to start moving again.
#4. When the teacher says the number 4, we make an upper swing. The start of the movement must be at the same time as that of our fellow dancers. When one dancer chooses to stop, everybody stops.
#5. When the teacher says the number 5 we start moving as if we were scared. Each dancer can interpret moving in a scared way differently. (The movement can be small/ big, long, short etc.)
#6. When the teacher says the number 6, we fall. Each dancer can decide whether to fall with the entire body or just with one part of the body.
#7. When the teacher says the number 7 the dancers individually chose which number they want to perform. When one dancer chooses four, he or she must be careful to see whether another dancer has made the same choice. If so, the movement must be performed together.
Music: music with different tempos and styles

Outcomes: We discover the effect of making a deliberate choice at the instigation of a movement has on the body and (start of) movement.

Part 2: Making conscious choices in our minds, when starting a movement in space and exploring (15 minutes)

In this second part of the exercise, the teacher:
Asks the dancers to be aware of the effects the practice of various starting movements has on their bodies, as well as how it affects their breathing.
Says the numbers in a random order so as to play with the ways a movement can start.
Varies the speed with which she/he changes the numbers.
The teacher invites one of the dancers to come to the side of the room to watch the group. This dancer is now leader and can change the way the group dances by giving the corresponding numbers of the way he/she wants the dancers to start and continue movement.
The leader has to reflect what he/she sees in the bodies of the other dancers and how they use the space. By giving the right next number he/she can make the improvisation more interesting to watch and for the dancers to explore. We change the dancer who becomes leader. Afterwards we reflect on what the dancers saw as a leader and what they experienced as a dancer.
Music:  music with different tempos and styles

Small (non)set performance (25 minutes)

We spread around, each dancer on his own.  The teacher shows six props (for example: stool, notebook, blanket, hat, comic book and pen) and places them in the center of the room.  With those props, we continue the previous exercise and come to a group improvisation. Each dancer can decide on their own when to participate or when to step out and watch the dance. This way, the dancers can step in and out whenever they want. Teachers and dancers that ‘step out’ are reminded of interesting things about: collaboration, composition, use of space, technique etc.

Each dancer can choose with what prop to dance and expresses this choice only by dancing, not by telling verbally. Dancing to the prop and with the prop is done by using the numbers of the previous exercise. Dancers select the numbers they want. So the start of the movement in body and mind, as well as the movement intention and the use of space are still important assumptions. First, we dance through space, then we collect our prop, we dance with it, and then leave it somewhere in the middle of the room before exiting the dancing space, or continuing dancing to collect another prop. The teacher just observes.
Tip: We use interesting parts to create a choreography, and use film to remember and collect interesting dance material.

It is not allowed to go directly to the item we have selected. First, we move through space without it, then with it, and then we leave it behind. It is possible that there are two or more dancers who have selected the same item. We find a solution while dancing, and we explore how to deal with the situation non-verbally. Afterwards, we reflect as a group about both of the experiences (as dancers and as audience).
Music:  music with different tempos and styles
Outcomes: We master the newly learned material by playing with it choreographically. We discover non-verbal communication with the other dancers, and we explore working with props.

Cooling down (5 minutes)

The group forms a big circle, with their eyes closed. Slowly and smoothly, we move body parts (isolations) as instructed by the teacher. We feel and concentrate on the body after this dancing class. We move in different directions and levels of height.
Music: water sounds
Outcomes: We focus on our body after class while moving.