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The Language of Performance.

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Hannah Seldon Word Count: 2782 The Language of Performance There are three main stages of the performance process; improvisation, rehearsal and performance. All three stages are closely linked to each other and often overlap; a dress rehearsal for instance is a rehearsal and it is also a performance. Improvisation is an unrehearsed performance, sometimes to an audience. There are always some aspects of improvisation that are rehearsed however if too much is then it can loose its spontaneity. Improvisation allows performers freedom, whilst still keeping them within certain limitations. There are certain aspects of improvisation, which often remain fixed, for example the structure and conventions of a performance. This is because without a structure there would be no performance and the conventions need to remain the same throughout because if the conventions changed so would the whole performance. An example of this is in our music piece, the original idea was too big to develop in the given time, so the conventions of the performance were changed and then it was easier to compose something. Improvisation is used in all three disciplines of Performing Arts; drama, dance, music and also in all of the disciplines combined. In drama, improvisation is used when there is no script. This is good as sometimes when actors use a script the performance is unnatural and static, however if they improvise the performance is more naturalistic. Improvisation is used in drama both in rehearsal and performance. It used as a main focus in certain styles of performance, for example in stand up comedy such as Billy Connelly. ...read more.


Any form of performance needs to be able to make an impression on the audience. This is so that they remember it and also so that the message of the performance is realised by the audience. The impression a final performance leaves on the audience may also reflect how much rehearsal, time and effort, was put into it throughout, however it is not always the performance that has had the most rehearsal time that is the one that leaves the strongest impression. It is more about how the piece is performed and what is performed. A performance grows from a stimulus, this could be a picture, something written or just a noise. The starting points for our performances, varied from a word to a few simple dance steps. Each person interpreted each stimulus differently, which is why each group performance was completely different even if the stimulus was the same. For our drama piece, the stimulus was a picture by Bruce Nauman, called 'Life Death, Knows Doesn't Know'. This picture meant different things to everyone in the group. We agreed that there was a theme of opposites running through it and so we decided to use this as a foundation. We also used the title of the stimulus as a basis, to give a running theme of life and death throughout the piece. The stimulus for music was the word 'Evolution'. We listened to some different pieces of music that evolve in different ways to help give inspiration. One particular piece of music, by Bjork, started off with a noise in a factory. ...read more.


It incorporated all three disciplines successfully and the material given was used thoughtfully, providing humour and symbolism continually throughout. Everything had been thought about, including costumes, props and lighting. The understanding of the objectives of the performance were clear throughout; to include all the stimuli in the performance, and also use all three disciplines. Although the performance was humorous and the audience laughed, the performers kept their concentration and they did not corpse. The least rehearsal time was given for the combined performance, however it went the most smoothly and proved to be the most enjoyable to perform. There was one criticism that being that the links could have been smoother, but apart from that the performance went very well. This is because we were given more fixed boundaries to work within, and so there was not much room to try out different ideas. Also we had limited rehearsal time, so we had to be much more focused and use the time judiciously. These three stages, improvisation, rehearsal and final performance make up the process of a performance. I think that rehearsal is a particularly important stage as it is used at all parts of the process and is when mistakes can be corrected and the performance perfected. However really all three processes are equally important, and without one, another may not work as well as it would with the other. I have really enjoyed working through the process in all three disciplines and have learnt much throughout the term. I have been particularly fascinated by the links between the stages and ways in which they each interplay slightly differently with which discipline. ...read more.

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