Thursday, April 29, 2010

Slash, Fling, Dab!

Both kindergarten and first grade had their best dance class of the year today. The students are getting comfortable with expressing themselves in space and using their bodies as tools-- we saw lots of high reaches and quick descents to the floor.

They "painted" the space with their movements and experimented with different brushstrokes. They slashed on the diagonal with strong movements using our arms, knees, and heads. They flung their limbs lightly in all directions and levels around them. They made delicate, precise dabs with fingers, toes, noses, and elbows. Each student envisioned a color of paint to fill the room with and made brushstrokes while traveling past their fellow dancers without bumping. The students had to make clear decisions about where to send their "paint" in space and enjoyed sending it to the ceiling and into the audience.

After making these imaginary paintings, the students received crayons and paper, then found partners to make real drawings. One partner danced while the other partner simultaneously watched and drew the dance. Then they switched roles. 

We had enough time in the first grade class to go one step further.  The first graders danced a second time while looking at the drawing their partner had made. To do this, each dancer had to interpret the marks on the page and re-create them with his or her body.

Prepare Blank Paper and Crayons and choose your favorite energetic music. Have your child dance as if painting the air around them.  While they dance, draw the lines in space you see them "painting".  Switch Roles once your drawing is done.  Then look at the drawing you each made of your dances and try to dance the drawings.

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