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Description

Students will create a collaborative dance work devised through problem-solving tasks and manipulation of the elements of dance. They will explore, devise, select, refine and structure movement in response to the Infernal Dance of King Kastchei from Firebird Suite by Stravinsky.

Duration: 10 weeks (2 x 60 minute lessons per week)

Assessment

Formative

  • regular presentation of classwork
  • journal tasks
  • mid term collaboration task

 Summative

  • Progressive assessment 20 marks
  • Presentation of collaborative dance work 20 marks
  • Historical report on Stravinsky’s 'The Firebird' 10 marks
Cross curriculum content Y
ICT Y
Work and employment Y
Aboriginal and indigenous
Civics and citizenship
Difference and diversity
Environment Y
Gender
Literacy Y
Key competencies Y
Collecting, analysing Y
Communicating ideas Y
Planning Y
Working with others Y
Work mathematically Y
Solving problems Y
Work with ICT applications Y Y
Multicultural Y

Major outcomes

A student:

5.1.2 demonstrates enhanced dance technique by manipulating aspects of the elements of dance

5.1.3 demonstrates an understanding and application of aspects of performance quality and interpretation through performance

5.2.1 explores the elements of dance as the basis of the communication of ideas

5.2.2 composes and structures dance movement that communicates an idea

5.3.1 describes and analyses dance as the communication of ideas within a context

5.3.2 identifies and analyses the link between their performances and compositions and dance works of art

Content

Students learn about:

5.1.2

  • identify and describe the use of the elements of space, time and dynamics in combinations of movement
  • apply the elements of space, time and dynamics to dance movement
  • combine and apply the elements of space, time and dynamics in sequences and dances

5.1.3

  • perform a range of dance skills
  • apply the elements of space, time and dynamics to personalise dance movement
  • perform dances with increasing confidence, communicating the intention of the choreographer
  • perform dances with an awareness of quality and clarity of line

5.2.1

  • identify and explore a range of stimuli to create movement (visual, auditory, tactile, kinaesthetic, ideational)
  • explore the elements of space, time and dynamics in relation to a stimulus
  • select and refine movement to communicate an idea
  • explore, improvise, select and perform movement based on specific ideas

5.2.2

  • link movements to create a sequence
  • explore, discuss, reflect, analyse and refine movement sequences
  • manipulate movement using the elements of dance to create sequences and dances
  • identify and develop movement motifs to communicate an idea
  • organise movement into sequences

5.3.1

  • describe how the body is used in space, time and dynamics in dance performance and composition
  • acquire, develop and apply an appropriate dance vocabulary
  • identify and describe the context of a dance
  • use a range of technologies, including the internet, to facilitate dance-related research

5.3.2

  • describe connections between dance works of art and their own dance performances and compositions
  • describe their own dance performances and compositions through the analysis of dance works of art

Students learn to:

5.1.2

  • how combinations of dance movement can be varied using the elements of dance
  • how the elements of dance are used to communicate either one’s own or a choreographer’s concept/intent

5.1.3

  • projection, focus and confidence
  • the performance of dance movement with an awareness of self
  • how dance technique and the elements of dance are influenced by the concept/intent of the choreographer
  • the application of technique and performance quality to realise an interpretation in a dance

5.2.1

  • stimulus as a starting point of dance composition
  • the elements of dance as the tools employed by the dance composer to communicate ideas and feelings through dance
  • improvisation as a means to explore ideas
  • the process of dance composition: improvisation, selection, refinement, using a variety of stimuli to communicate ideas

5.2.2

  • transitions and sequencing movement
  • how the movement can be manipulated to create further movement ideas
  • structuring dance compositions
  • the elements of construction that contribute to the unity in a dance composition to communicate an idea

5.3.1

  • how the elements of dance are employed by the composer/choreographer to communicate ideas
  • appropriate and effective movement content to communicate ideas
  • the language of dance to describe movements in space, time and dynamics
  • how dance is a reflection of the society from which it emerges, including Aboriginal and Indigenous and other cultures

5.3.2

  • the elements of dance as the common link between dance performance and composition
  • the distinctive ways in which they can express their own ideas and experiences
  • personal, social and cultural differences

Firebird outline

Part 1 - Introduction and stimuli

(One lesson)

Students are introduced to ‘The Firebird Suite’ by Stravinsky and given a brief history of the composer to place the work within its context. Following the contextual introduction, students review the 5 forms of stimuli in relation to ‘The Firebird Suite’ and select one to focus on the remainder of the lesson.

Part 2 - Exploration of the elements of dance

(Three lessons)

Students are taken through a series of workshops to explore the elements of dance. One lesson dedicated to space and another for time, followed by one lesson focusing on dynamics and relationships.

Part 3 - Developing a motif phrase

(Two lessons)

Students select a stimulus and a method of exploring the elements of dance as a means to begin a motif phrase. Once they have created a short phrase, students pair up and further manipulate their phrases to create a spatial relationships duet.

Part 4 - Sharing and analysing

(Two lessons)

Students share their solo motif phrases and duets. As a class, students critically analyse phrases with the context of 'The Firebird'.

Combine the pairs with another pair to form groups of fours or sixes (depending on class sizes) to then start creating locomotor sequences by further manipulating their established movements.

Part 5 - Visual interpretation of the accompaniment

(One lesson)

Students listen to 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei' and complete the basic music analysis and discuss their findings in a class discussion. Following the analysis task, students listen again to 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei' and draw/paint/sketch their own visual interpretation of the accompaniment. Students begin to explore the visual interpretation of the accompaniment physically through floor patterns and dynamic variation.

Part 6 - Organising movement

(Two lessons)

Students discuss structures of phrases, sequences and combinations in dance works.

Organising movement: a ‘work in progress’ showing in which students perform their phrases and sequences to the rest of the class. Students discuss the artistic and/or stylistic choices within the movements and brainstorm the direction of the work.

  • If the music composition unit is being delivered the students may get to listen to discuss where the musicians have progressed to and listen to their composition thus far.

Part 7 - Organising movement continued

(Two lessons)

Learning Student devised movement phrases

Student direct the class through their movement phrases, sequences and combinations.

Part 8 - Organising the dance work

(One lesson)

Teacher lead students through a few activities in regards to transitions and variation and contrast. Students work in groups to create effective transitions to link their movements.

Part 9 - Physical realisation of the accompaniment

(Four lessons)

Students work colleagually to construct the dance work alongside the accompaniment (either the music composition or the original 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei')

Class discussion in regards to the selection and refinement of phrases, sequences and combinations as well as the grouping of dancers.

Part 10 - Final presentation

(Two lessons)

  1. Live Presentation: students assessed on the live performance of their collaborative project.  This performance assessment should be completed in front of an audience and filmed.
  2. Students critically analysis the dance work as a dance critic, writing a review to expand on their thoughts and opinions on the dance work as a unified work of art.

Firebird Forensics - Teaching, learning and assessment activities
Stage 5 - year 10 music

Lesson 1 - Introduction and stimuli

'Fill in the gaps'

(First half of the lesson)

As a class, students read out loud the passage with blanks and then fill in the gaps individually. Mark all together once the activity is complete.  If students finish the passage quickly, they can start to fill in the stimulus worksheet.

Stimulus

(Second half of the lesson)

In groups of three, students are given a stimulus (see resources for list) and are to explore the movement capabilities of that stimulus. (*Option to use a ‘round-robin’ strategy to allow all student groups to experience all 5 stimuli, if time permits).

Bird profile

(Homework)

Students research a bird of their choice to use for the next 3 lessons. Information required:

  • name of bird,
  • physical description (using descriptive language; metaphors, similes, imaginary),
  • habitat,
  • family unit information (live alone/flock/partner),
  • flying patterns (wing span, speed of flaps),
  • unique characteristics,
  • interesting facts about the species.

Resources/teachers notes

  • ‘Fill in the gaps’ context worksheet
  • Stimulus worksheet
  • Feather, colour print of firebird, ‘flapping’, idea of fire, audio of The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei opening phrase.
  • Bird profile worksheet

Lesson 2 - Exploration of the elements of dance

Space

Using the information gathered from the homework task, students explore the element of space to create unique shapes and movements. After a few activities, students can share their favourite findings and class can discuss the effectiveness of the shapes and/or movements.

Activities could include:

Non-locomotor shape vs locomotive movements

Students create a shape based on their researched bird & locomote that shape.

  • Prompting/guiding questions and statements;
  • What is the actual height of your bird, does that affect the level of your shape?
  • Pay attention to the the dimension of their shape; are they narrow or wide?
  • Do they present themselves with a more open shape or closed shape?
  • Is the length of the neck longer than the legs? How can you problem-solve these factors to create a shape?

Once the students have their shape, ask them to locomote that shape around the room;

  • Does your bird move fluently or does it isolate body parts to initiate movement?
  • Is it best to hop? Or scurry? Or leap? Or roll? What specific characteristics about your bird influence this action?
  • Does this affect the direction and pathways created?

Encourage the students to use abstract movements instead of simply mimicking the bird.

*Aspects of space covered in this exercise include: shape, level, dimension, direction, planes, pathways & floor patterns.

Flocking

Students follow one and other throw the space, mimicking the movements of the leader. They need to remain in a tightknit group to remain as a flock.

The Great Escape

Students are split into 2 teams (A and B).

  • Team A stand on either side of the room facing into the space, they must be on different levels and stare at a specific spot in the room (their ‘laser’).
  • Team B must travel, as their birds, through the imaginary laser birdcage (Team A’s direct line of sight). Once (if) three ‘birds’ escape the bird cage, the teams which roles.

After each team have had 2 turns of each role, ask them which aspect of the element space did they feel it related to most, and how they can use that exercise to enhance their bird-like movements?

*Aspects of space explored in this exercise are level, shape, direction, floor patterns, pathways and planes.

Journal task

What were your favourite findings today? What activity was the most effective in helping you create movement? Why?

Lesson 3 - Exploration of the elements of dance

Time

Continuing on from the bird they researched for homework, students continue to explore the element of time through activities that may include:

Metamorphmagus

Students create 3 shapes to use and manipulate through the activity.

  • Human standing, or waiting or sleeping shape. Very pedestrian and functional.
  • Mid metamorphmagus: half (or parts) of the body is human, half (or parts) of the body is bird.
  • Full metamorphmagus: bird shape that has a sense of readiness or alertness. (hunting or stalking could be good prompting words)

Once the students have created their three varying shapes, they must add transitions between the shapes to create a small phrase. Students have the option to switch the order if they wish from 1, 2, 3 to 3, 2, 1.

Students are then given a set of temporal instructions to further manipulate their phrase. Aspects include tempo, accent, stillness, and rhythmic phrasing. Students need to ensure all the aspects of time are included somewhere in the progression of their phrase.

Rhythm of Life

Students watch video clips of mating dances of birds and clap out the rhythm of the movements.

Following that, the students can utilise these erratic rhythms to further manipulate their phrases.

Dynamics

Student revisit the earlier exercises and movement phrases to explore and improvise movements involving varying dynamics qualities.

Flapping Mad

Using the flocking exercise from the previous lesson, students each select a quality to use in the exercise to influence the collective choreography.

Some suggestions for prompting/guiding qualities: swinging, flicking, quivering, trembling, wobbling, slashing, whipping, gliding, drifting, steady, dabbing, swishing, sudden, creeping, heavy, squeezing, cutting, chopping, kneading, vibratory, collapsing, eddying, burly.

Lesson 4 - Exploration of the elements of dance

Relationships

Students explore the aspects of relationships to discuss the benefits, disadvantages and effects of groupings, spatial relationships and the interaction between and sensitivity to other dancers.

These include:

  • grouping: connected, apart; solo, duet, ensemble; formations/group shape
  • spatial relationships: over, under, around, side-by-side, supported, near, far
  • interaction between and sensitivity to other dancers: leading, following, mirroring, canon, parting

In groups of five, students are given a set of criteria to use in their development of a phrase. The criteria are made up of the syllabus descriptors. Students must use the words to create a collective manipulation of their own ‘metamorphmagus’ phrases. For example, a group may be given solo, far, following. The group discuss the options for the development of a sequence that incorporates all their criteria to further manipulate and enhance their movement choices thus far.

Resources/teachers notes

  • Relationship Flashcards: sets of descriptors for each group - one or two from the three aspects.

Lesson 5 - Developing a motif phrase

Motif

Students are introduced to the term ‘motif’ and it’s importance in the compositional process. Watch opening 2 sections of ‘Jardi Tancat’ by Nacho Duato as an example of clear motif establishment and development.

As a class, discuss the possible motifs they have noticed/witnessed throughout the exploration of the elements of dance workshops.

Students develop a motif phrase based on their experiences thus far.

  • They can use one of the five stimuli giving to them or the elements of dance activities to generate the movement.
  • Students are encouraged to revisit the exercises that inspired them or perhaps reuse their favourite gestures/movements.

Resources/teachers notes

Lesson 6 - Developing a motif phrase

Phrase

Students teach their phrase to another student and create a duet manipulating the spatial relationships: over, under, around, side-by-side, supported, near, far.

Students participate in a mid-class sharing to critically analyse the progress of their phrases.

Some discussion notes to consider might be:

  • Identifying the motif & discussing what aspects of which elements the audience noticed they used
  • How effective their choices were in regards to tempo, direction, dynamic variation and symmetry.

Encourage students to use the specific dance terminology and provide suggestions to further enhance the phrases.

After the mid-class check in, the students continue to develop and refine their spatial relationship duet.

Journal task

  • Which exercises or activities have assisted you in refining your motif phrase?
  • Write a descriptive passage that explains your motif movement and how you have structured your phrase. Ensure you use the correct and specific dance terminology to discuss your phrase.

Lesson 7 - Sharing and analysing

Group phrase

Students are given 10 minutes to revise their duets before given their next choreographic task.

In groups of 4 or 6 (depending on class size) students start to develop a group-devised phrase; within this phrase the students should draw from their spatial relationships duet, the exercises and activities they have explored to enhance their movement choices.

Lesson 8 - Sharing and analysing

Locomotion

Continuing on from the previous lesson, students refine their group phrase and are given the extension exercise of translating their phrase into a locomotor sequence. Once they have composed both variations, the students must use both phrases to create a sequence which incorporates all the exploration, improvisation, reflection, selection, refinement of their movement phrases developed over throughout the process.

Sharing

As a class, the students present their sequences and combinations and discuss the artistic choices of each group and the effectiveness of their motif development and presentation.

Lesson 9 - Visual interpretation of the accompaniment

Music analysis

Students complete the basic music analysis worhskeet. Discuss findings with class.

Artistic practices and processes

Students read through the information sheet in regards to Kandinsky’s artistic practices and processes. After reading about his work, students listen to 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei' and draw or paint their initial reactions to the accompaniment. Encourage students to connect colours with pitches or specific instruments as Kandinsky did, connect shape of strokes or impressions with the accents, tempo and rhythmic patterns.

Resources/teachers notes

  • Music analysis worksheet and teacher copy
  • Kandinsky information sheet
  • Acrylic paint, paint brushes, drawing mediums like oil pastels, pencils etc.
  • Audio recording of 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei'

Lesson 10 - Organising movement

Structure

Students discuss the differences of phrases, sequences & sections and how they relate to the structure of a dance work.

Students present their movement phrases and sequences to the class to elaborate on the potential structure of their dance work.

Resources/teachers notes

  • P/S/S explanation sheet
  • Audio recording of 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei'

Lesson 11 - Organising movement

Musical accompaniment

Students listen to the accompaniment again to provide some guidance as to which phrases, sequences and sections are the most effective with the musical accompaniment.

  • If the music program has been delivering concurrently the dancers are encouraged to listen to what the musicians have composed thus far and consider how they will combine their sections with the music composition.

Students physically explore the movement possibilities to creatively problem-solve the external structure of their dance work.

Lesson 12 - Organising movement continued

Directing

Students direct the class through their movement phrases, sequences and sections.

Lesson 13 - Organising movement continued

Directing continued

Students direct the class through their movement phrases, sequences and sections.

Lesson 14 - Organising the dance work

Transitions, variation and contrast

Worksheet & observe Pina Bausch’s Rite of Spring (watch first 6 minutes)

Students participate in activities that extend their understanding of transitions and variation and contrast.

Resources/teachers notes

Lesson 15 - Physical realisation of the accompaniment

Construct the work

Students work colleagually to construct the dance work alongside the accompaniment (either the music composition or the original 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei')

Class discussion in regards to the selection and refinement of phrases, sequences and combinations as well as the grouping of dancers.

Lesson 16 - Physical realisation of the accompaniment

Construct the work continued

Students work colleagually to construct the dance work alongside the accompaniment (either the music composition or the original 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei')

Class discussion in regards to the selection and refinement of phrases, sequences and combinations as well as the grouping of dancers.

Lesson 17 - Physical realisation of the accompaniment

Construct the work continued

Students work colleagually to construct the dance work alongside the accompaniment (either the music composition or the original 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei')

Class discussion in regards to the selection and refinement of phrases, sequences and combinations as well as the grouping of dancers.

Lesson 18 - Physical realisation of the accompaniment

Construct the work continued

Students work colleagually to construct the dance work alongside the accompaniment (either the music composition or the original 'The Infernal Dance of King Kastchei')

Class discussion in regards to the selection and refinement of phrases, sequences and combinations as well as the grouping of dancers.

  • If the music program is being delivered, the dancers and musicians could rehearse together to finalise the performance.

Lesson 19 - Final presentation

Live performance assessment

Students present the unified dance work to an audience with accompaniment (either the composition from the music program or 'Stravinsky’s original Infernal Dance of King Kastchei').

  • If the music program has been delivered, the dancers and musicians could perform together.
  • Ensure the performance is recorded for performance review.

Lesson 20 - Final presentation

Review

Review the video footage of performance.

Write a newspaper article about the dance work.

Resources/teachers notes

  • Sample dance review

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