Friday, January 22, 2010

An Idea for Specifying the Content of "Stillness"

An Idea for Specifying the Content of "Stillness"
Submitted by Charlotte Wile - March 22, 1999

This is a follow-up to the "stillness" comments by Ann Hutchinson Guest and Shawn Koppenhoefer.

As I understand it, during stillness the mover is motionless, but remains energized and expressive. The intent expressed during stillness could be a quality, a direction, an action, etc. It might be a continuation of the intent of previous movement, a preview of subsequent movement, or an attitude that only occurs during the stillness.

Stillness is indicated with the sign for stillness, as in Ex. a. Unless indicated otherwise, the content of the stillness is unspecified, as in Ex. a.

For many scores it may be preferable to leave the content of the stillness open to interpretation. When it is important to know the content, it can sometimes be surmised from the context of the movement. However, in some cases it may be necessary to specify the content. How can one do this?

I have one possible solution. Perhaps one could use the curved bow shown in Ex. b, which is sometimes called the "intent bow." A symbol that specifies the intent of the stillness could be placed inside the intent bow, as in Ex. c-d. The bow can also be used to specify attitudes or images that occur during movement, as in Ex. e.

I find the intent bow is very useful in my creative dance classes for 5-6 year olds (Motif Description is an integral part of my curriculum). For instance, the theme of a recent class was "emotions" (angry, sad, happy, etc.). The children explored the theme through movement, song, and dramatic play. For the culminating activity they interpreted Ex. f, in which "face drawings" are used to indicate emotions. Then the children were each given a score with blank intent bows in which they drew faces or their own made-up symbols for feelings. (Ex. g)

It would be great to hear other people's thoughts on this topic.

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