Courseworks

‘The seven deadly sins’

‘The seven deadly sins’ was the stimulus for the integrated piece. This immediately gave each group member lots of ideas about the possible ways in which we could incorporate dance music and drama in this piece.Initially the group experienced difficulties in finding one idea to stick to. This was due to the fact that everyone had so many ideas about this topic it was impossible to incorporate everything and still keep a sense of direction within the piece. It was then decided that there being ten people in the group, seven were chosen to portray sins, and three members were chosen to be affected. This worked really well, and the improvisation process began with a vast amount of ideas. After discussing what the group had to accomplish, we set about thinking of dance motifs, drama sketches, and composing our own musical score. Each sin had its own musical theme. for example, anger was a violent run of minor scales in the key of C minor, a psychologically ‘angry’ chord. Sloth however was a very slow whole tone scale, giving a very dream like sound.Alison Oddy sates that to devise is to plan and develop through thought and action. Working collaboratively is essential if devising is to be successful. There was lots of use of dynamics in the music and in the drama and dance. Quiet pieces of music set the atmosphere while dance motifs complemented the way the sins were woven into every day life. The drama brought out what the dance and music could not show with words.Anger was the hardest sin to rehearse when it came to the rehearsal stage. The story was of a young woman who was driven to another man by her slothful husband. However when the husband found out what his friend had done to him it sparked a huge row between the two. This row was incredibly hard to choreograph at first. With huge fast flowing arguments and the actual fight itself, it was hard to keep the initial impact it had in improvisation. The group knew this was going to be a problem and so everyone turned their focus towards this part of the performance.The first problem was the fast flowing angry dialogue that had to sound realistic and spontaneous just like in a real argument. However after going over and over the lines again and again, it finally became fast flowing still with the original impact it first had during improvisation. The next problem was the timing and the foot work. This gave the huge argument the lift it needed to become a real display of masculine power, and how men fight over their woman as a matter of pride. The steps of the fight became an almost dance like feature with repeated patterns, flowing movements and step by step choreography. This was so important because at the end of the arguing the two characters fight, and the timing of the movements, the punches and the falls had to be just right so no one would get injured. This also allowed the other remaining character to run across the stage to stop the fight. After lots of time spent refining each step, and each line with each step the fight scene eventually became what it was intended to be, the central event in the entire piece which changed the way the third character felt.Props were added at this point also to give the audience visual images of what the seven deadly sins represent. Material possessions such as mobile phones and wallets and money were used to show how greed affects us all and how we sometimes do not realise it.A performance has two essential elements – a performer and an audience. Without an audience there is no goal. The audience assists the actor, and at the same time for the audience itself, assistance comes back from the stage.The performance of the seven deadly sins was the best that our group had devised. It showed character, and gave across the message as a group we was trying to communicate. As our abilities to perform and devise had grown throughout the rest of the pieces, I felt they clearly showed, in the combined piece, our understanding of drama, dance and music. After being so hard to come up with a single idea at the beginning it felt very rewarding to have achieved such a good performance after putting in a vast amount of effort, which was very well worth it.During the course I have learnt that performing arts is not just about drama, dance and music, but the way in which you can use the ideas of those around you and your own ideas to create something entirely new and original. It is about the way in which the three art forms link across from one another, generally keeping to the same structure, Improvisation rehearsal performance. The evaluation of the rehearsal process is an essential factor. Alison Oddy in her book ‘devising theatre’ states this is the most important part of performance development. Employing this approach across the performance has developed a deeper understanding of the three art forms and how the link together, but more importantly appreciating the influence they have on many of the everyday things we take for granted. Going back to Stanislavski’s point that ‘wherever there is life there is an action, wherever there is action there is movement, wherever there is movement there is tempo and wherever there is tempo there is rhythm’, this I believe shows how the smallest everyday things can be made into something big and exciting to perform, and how dance drama and music affect our everyday lives.

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