As the students work on sensing the weight qualities, they also work on exploring its expressive potential through the creation of movement phrases. Blaine refers to phrase development and choreographic development as the “little d” and the “big D” respectively.
The “little d” or phrase development, is change that occurs over time due to evolving intention. Blaine looks for changes that occur from the beginning of the phrase to the end, and encourages the students to clarify the development by taking the phrase to a new physical situation. As the phrase unfolds, it reveals a new intention, like a story unfolding. There are many ways to achieve development. It can occur when there is a change of intention, location, level, facing, timing, energy range, text, costume, props, or movement vocabulary.
The “big D” or choreographic development, is the shaping of the overall form or structure of the work. The “big D” deals with building a context for the work and developing a through-line.
As a resource for exploring phrase material, Blaine references music composition terms pulled from the Harvard Dictionary of Music. Blaine compiled Compositional Devices for Exploring & Structuring Phrase Material [pdf] to serve as a tool sheet.
- Video: Susan Hadley – Development
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