Hidden Exposure - Working Diary.

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Hidden Exposure - Working Diary

By Nicole Frith

This is a written analysis and evaluation of the creative process leading up to, and applied during, the dance performance of ‘Hidden Exposure’, based on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Dreams. The piece, was choreographed by ‘Dance Performance Experience’ year 2, and performed on January 13, 1998. The aims of this ‘Dance Performance’ module were to apply newly learnt techniques, movement skills, and the research of existing practitioners, combine them with existing dance skills and knowledge to create an original innovative dance performance. Members of the class will choreograph sections, with the common theme, in pairs or individually that will be put together to create a collage style dance. Each individually choreographed section should make use of some recurring motifs and demonstrate contact improvisation where possible.

Before we started any of our own choreography we had to decide on a stimuli. This is very important, as it will be the idea that all movements are representing. This is called Ideational Stimuli and is when “the movement is stimulated and formed with the intention to convey an idea or tell a story.”, as opposed to us taking a piece of music and dancing to it. As a group we had many ideas to choose from but after weighing out the options we opted for OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. The idea of counting within the disorder gives us a good basis for a dance, because we perform to a beat, or a count, usually of eight. It is an interesting subject with much scope for contact improvisation, or non-contact, as the sufferers would prefer.

The stimulus for the dance, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, is a condition that affects approximately 2.5% of the UK population. More common in females than males, the sufferer has an irresistible impulse to perform relatively meaningless acts repeatedly and in a specific manner. Compulsive persons do not enjoy their ritualistic behaviour and view the activity as foreign to their personality. They are unaware of the absurdity of their behaviour and yet are unable to stop it. Compulsive hand washers may wash their hands several times in an hour. In addition to being time consuming, compulsions can be costly to a person’s well being. Other common compulsions are counting things to make sure that they are all there, checking the placements of objects, checking appliances are switched off, Exercising, cleaning, and feeling suffocated. (See appendix 1)

A dance session should always start with a warm up; this comprises of warming up the different body parts in a range of exercises. Start, standing in parallel, beginning with the head and neck, we gently roll the head slowly to the left and then to the right repeating this motion several times loosen the muscles in the neck. Moving down to the back, roll down the spine, vertebrae by vertebrae and making sure the head is relaxed by letting it flop forward loosely. By bending the knees slightly on the way down and up there will be less stress put on the spine itself. A combination of rolling down the spine and stretching over to the left or right and falling from the waist, then recovering by pulling up in the stomach and back to standing position. Breathing is imperative during these exercises.

For the leg and back, kneeling down bending forward and creeping fingers forward gives a good stretch on the front of the top of the legs, and in the spine. Lunges and leg stretches also give the legs a good stretch. Finally the legs and feet can be warmed up with battement tendu exercises. This is where “the working foot slides from first or fifth position to an open position as the foot brushes the floor.” This exercise can be performed with or without a plie. Also a Battement tendu jete is the same as a tendu but the foot is lifted from the floor slightly.

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The idea of each pair or individual student choreographing their own section, then merging them together to create one dance is called ‘collage’. ”The dance form known as collage consists of pieces of movement that are often unrelated but have been brought together to create a whole.” 

During the rehearsal process we studied several dancers/choreographers and their methods were used in warm-up sessions and practical classes based on their style and methods of choreography. The first of which was Merce Cunningham, Merce Cunningham “eliminated dependence on music by allowing the dance to coexist with the sound; he has ...

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