The intention of my three minute dance piece was to express the poem “At 3am” by Wendy Cope. I managed to do this by doing actions in threes which illustrated the time 3am, the ticking of the clock and expressed the key themes through use of movement. The aim of my three minute drama piece was to create a piece based on a girl being involved in a hostage situation and how the mother dealt with it. The objective of my music piece was to create a three minute song with a theme of my own choice. The intention of my integrated piece was to create a piece that expressed a poem of my group’s choice, using elements of dance, drama and music.
There were links between proxemics, space and texture in my performances. This is because the three elements relate to the arrangement and organisation, which allows each element to convey the mood, emotions and theme. For example when the general space is used in dance to convey the lonely and empty mood, we used proxemics in drama when there is large distance between Zainab and the rest of the characters to show she is lonely and feels sad, the texture in the verse of the music piece was thin as none of the sounds were layered to convey the sadness felt and the depressed theme.
In addition the three worked together in the dance piece; when there was large general space, each performer was placed far apart and the sound had a thin texture it connoted peace and calmness. Dynamics, physicality and timbre linked because they create contrast, interest and portray the intentions. Dynamics was used in dance when we do strong actions to convey panic and the change in mood from calm to panic, physicality was used in drama when Zainab shakes her hands in the air to show she is angry and panicking, and in the music piece when I sang the chorus my timbre was husky and raspy to illustrate the distress and anger felt.
Dynamics, physicality and timbre worked together in the drama piece when Zainab uses physicality to shake her hands in the air to show frustration, the dynamics of the movement are strong to convey the frustration further and the timbre of her voice is harsh and rough to reinforce frustration and communicate anger. Dynamics, rhythm and characterisation are another example of links I found. The three elements all relate to how something is done, whether it is lightly, quickly or loudly.
I used characterisation in drama when I play the role of a police officer I had to act formal in order to convey the serious mood, dynamics was used in dance when we push our hands forward with a light force to illustrate calm and quietness. Rhythm was used in music as the beats were repeated at a mid-tempo pace to connote the angry and sad mood. The mid-tempo rhythm used in the music piece linked with the characterisation and dynamics when Kayleigh shook her hands in the air to show anger and had a sad facial expression (which was a part of her characterisation) portrayed anger and sadness.
This alongside the mid-tempo rhythm helped to extend the angry, sad and furious mood further. Another link was between melody, motif and dialogue. The melody motif and dialogue linked because they are the foundations and key moments of each piece as they are memorable and the main focus. The melody in the music; “you used to love me” and “why don’t you love me” was repeated to make it memorable. The motif in dance was also repeated making it memorable and illustrated the key themes such as calmness and the stimulus. The dialogue was also a key feature as it informed the audience on the storyline making it memorable.
The three played vital roles in the integrated piece as the piece included the three art forms it was important to use the foundations of the three elements. In the improvisation period for my dance piece my group began by analysing the poem ‘At 3am’ and extracting the keywords to get themes, which allowed us to get ideas to base our piece on. We also each individually improvised, brainstormed and picked the mood that represented our understanding of the poem, which enabled us to gain a wider understanding and more ideas.
When creating the drama piece my group began by brainstorming ideas for a storyline. After deciding what storyline was best we chose our characters and began to improvise which allowed us to outline and develop our script. We then did a series of spontaneous improvisations and used Stanislavski’s method which developed our characterisation. My group began to create our music piece by brainstorming and improvising different ides, once deciding upon a theme we then chose a structure and wrote the lyrics. To create the integrated piece my group began by choosing the best poem to base our piece on.
We chose “Not Waving But Drowning” by Stevie Smith and picked the keywords, themes and mood from the poem. We then considered possible ideas and chose the best one. We did off text improvisation to develop our characterisation, devised dance moves that conveyed our main theme and picked a song structure. For all four pieces brainstorming played an important part in the improvisation period as it enabled us to gather ideas and see different outlooks. As the dance and integrated pieces were both based on poems it was important to pick out the key words to get ideas of the themes and moods.
The integrated piece used all the methods used in the dance, drama and music pieces as this piece was made up of elements of all three art forms. The dance piece had a ternary structure as it began with a motif then had a contrasting section and finished with the motif. My drama piece had a chronological structure as we acted a scene in the present then went back to the past. The music piece had a verse, chorus structure which was repeated twice. My integrated piece had a chronological structure, however it was similar to a ternary structure because we had an original motif in the beginning and ended the piece by expanding the original motif.
The dance, drama and music pieces all had different structures to suit each art form, the integrated piece was structured similarly to all three art form pieces as it featured all three. Actions were used in the dance piece; we travel by using the space to run and combined this with the movement of our arms in a frenzied state. This highlights that the tone has changed and panic is the main mood and we are in the part B – the contrasting section. To illustrate the calm mood in the first section we use the general space throughout the motif and are only close together to show intricate movements between us.
Relationships were shown through the movement of a clock at 3am in canon to illustrate the ticking of a clock. We use dynamics by collapsing our bodies, leaning forward slowly and lightly to convey the calm mood further. The motif was used as the key feature of our dance piece and was repeated in a developed form to highlight the contrasting middle section. We used action variation, and spatial variation to convey the development of the motif. Dynamics, action and motif were the most important aspects because they are easier to understand, and conveyed the ideas, themes and moods of them poem and our piece in general.
In the drama piece proxemics was used to communicate that what I had to say is private, important and maybe upsetting for the other person, I managed to show this when giving Zainab news on the hostage situation by sitting close to her. In the piece I had to act calming, understanding and soft spoken – which was a part of my characterisation. There was dialogue between Zainab and I used to inform the auience and freeze frames to make the audience more eager to find out what happens next which creates tension.
Physicality was important to show the audience that my character is comforting Zainab so I touch her arm to signify this. In the drama piece dialogue, proxemics, tension, characterisation and physicality were all important as each other as each aspect played a part throughout the piece. The melody was divided into three parts; “you used to love me”, “why don’t you love me” and “how” were sung at the same time giving a layered effect, this made the melody strong, catchy and tuneful. In the bridge we harmonised singing “how” at different pitches to create a minor key which connoted sadness.
There were four beats in each bar, the rhythm was mid-tempo but the song was sung slowly, the mid-tempo rhythm along with the slow harmony created a minor and major key which additionally created juxtaposition. In the verses the texture is thin to highlight the lonely sad mood. The timbre of Kudsie’s voice was deep, thick and husky. The melody was the most important aspect as it would be the only part of the piece that would not be changed when repeated therefore it had to be the most memorable, catchy, tuneful and pleasant.
The integrated piece began with Zainab singing in a minor key, her timbre was soft, slightly husky yet smooth. This linked with the dynamics because each movement was very light. In addition we were arranged in different corners of the stage. The timbre, dynamics and proxemics were all interrelated because the timbre was soft, slightly husky yet smooth, the dynamics were light and slow, the actions were in unison to emphasise the emotion and we were arranged far apart, the use of these techniques enabled us to illustrate the sad, lost feelings of the main character and the isolated, lonely mood.
Paullina says “she was all alone” in a low, husky voice. As she says this all the members spin away from Zainab (the main character) using strong assertive arms into a curled ball to match the word “alone”. There was great space between the characters on stage which shows the relationship was distant. We spun in unison which enabled us to convey confusion – another word we were trying to portray. We used characterisation (through tone of voice and facial expression) and physicality when doing these moves to express the emotions such as pain and the words Paullina was speaking such as “alone” and “confused”.
In the last scene the group shared the general space by standing in a diagonal line but Zainab stood alone away from us. We created tension by echoing each other using a low tone and pitch and then we increased our tone, pitch and tempo significantly. The use of space, tension, pitch, tempo and tone enabled us to illustrate the confusion, panic and frenzied state Zainab was in. The aspects used in the integrated piece were as important as each other because they all worked together as this piece had elements of each art form. We were able to do full rehearsal of our dance piece once we had arranged the motif properly.
As we rehearsed our piece we received teacher feedback which was significant because it enabled us to improve our piece. For example the action of someone winding an imaginary clock on someone’s back was not visible to the audience we did not realise this until we had teacher feedback so we moved the position of the action so the audience could see it clearly. The main challenges in rehearsal were timing and space. We rehearsed in a small confined space and at times we did not have enough space to accentuate the movements properly, this later became a problem in the performance because we were not used to having a bigger space to perform in.
The flapping of the arm action was out of time so we slowed the movement down to make it easier for each person to be in time. I found it difficult to balance after a spin, to resolve this we added a sharp firm move that would enable me to balance after the spin. We began to rehearse our drama piece fully once we had a storyline and had arranged the characters. During rehearsal we did hot seating which helped us develop our characterisation. The main challenge in rehearsal was keeping to the time limit, to resolve this problem we cut down what happened in some scenes.
I had problems with making the dialogue between Zainab and I shorter so we timed it and went through exactly what needed to be said. As we wrote each part of the song for the music piece we rehearsed it. We could rehearse seriously once the whole song was constructed and we had decided on a structure. We didn’t make any changes to the song itself but to who sang each part because different voices sounded better. The main challenge in rehearsal was harmonising, we resolved the problem by listening to the note each of us sang carefully to hear what note to sing to.
Once we had resolved the problems met in the improvisation period and each member knew what they were doing we were able to rehearse seriously for the integrated piece. One of the main changes that were made to our piece was the bully scene. This was where two members of the group bully another, we removed this scene because it was not necessary and it would have confused the audience. Another problem was the action of leaning to the side – the group could not do this in unison so we replaced it with a step to the side which was easier to do in unison.
The main challenges in rehearsal were staying focused, deciding upon what scenes were necessary and choosing the structure of song. We rehearsed in a secluded area to resolve the lack of focus, and we decided to spilt the song into sections to correspond with the drama. Something I had difficulty with was singing to the music because we only received it on the day of the performance. I was able to resolve this problem by practicing singing to the music which allowed me to find ways to fit the song to the music.
Teacher and peer feedback was useful in all four pieces because it gave us the opportunity to improve our technique and staging. We also did technical and dry run rehearsals for all four pieces which enabled us to be sure of what would happen in the performance. For the music and integrated pieces we did a sectional rehearsal in which enabled us to correct each others mistakes we were making when singing. Timing ourselves was useful in all three art forms because it allowed us to keep to the time limit and remove any unnecessary parts from each piece.
Each of the four three minute pieces were matinee performances, performed to my peer group; AS performance studies students. It was beneficial to perform to this group as they had the same stimulus it would be useful to see different interpretations. In addition we could get tips and advice on what they may have gained from their experience and from an audience perspective. My group received positive feedback from the audience for the dance piece as they understood how the movements related to the poem, the only criticisms we received were to use the space and be clear with gestures.
Before we performed we warmed up by rolling down the spine to stretch hamstrings, in addition we did plies to warm the calf muscles and joints, rose on the balls of feet to help balance and did armed circles to warm our arms. I managed to communicate the poem through the dance piece and create the effects intended. I was pleased with the audience reaction I received as it was what I expected. The drama piece received positive feedback from the audience as they understood what was happening and felt our piece was to the point.
Previous to the performance each member of the group did hot-seating which deepened our own understanding of the roles we played making the characters more realistic. My group managed to successfully create a drama piece on the stimulus given; we created the intended effects by using freeze frames, thought-tracking and cross-cutting. These techniques were effective because freeze-frames gave clues about the people and the situation, thought-tracking showed how the characters were feeling and thinking, this deepened the performance and the audience became more involved.
Cross cutting made the drama unpredictable making it more interesting, it also allowed the action to be broken enhancing the tension. We received a positive reaction from the audience which is what we expected. Before the music performance my group did a range of vocal exercises to warm our voices. We created the effects we planned to with the song and achieved what we intended to achieve which was create a catchy, strong, memorable song. We did receive the audience reaction we expected which was members of the audience singing the song themselves when we had finished our performance.
Through devising my dance piece I have learnt how to express the mood through use of actions, relationships, dynamics, space and motif. From devising my drama piece I have learnt how to develop my characterisation, how to use proxemics effectively, found ways to create tension and gained a better understanding of how to use dialogue and physicality. Through my music piece I have learnt the important factors for creating a song, how to harmonise, create a catchy melody, how to chose the right texture and timbre to dictate the mood and make rhythm for a song.
Through devising the integrated piece I have learnt how to use music, drama and dance together, the importance of rehearsal and how to use the techniques of the three art forms together. From creating all four pieces I have learnt that teamwork, co-operation, hard work, rehearsal in your performance space and determination are needed for the process of improvising-rehearsing-performing. The improvising-rehearsal-performing process has taught me how to express my ideas, to be creative and improvisation, rehearsal and performance techniques I can use in the future.