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Guidelines for the Creation of Stories in Performance
These guidelines are meant to help you create your story and dev...
2

Temperament: e.g. choleric, relieved, pessimistic, optimistic
General attitude: e.g. indifferent, militant,
Complexes: ...
3

         about one’s need towards knowing about it; every inner change is a
         reaction to outer changes
    -   ...
4

    4.    inner conflict:
    -     the conflict lies/happens within the character
    -     “shall I, shall I not?”, “...
5

    -    at the end of the 4 t h sequence the main character has almost reached
         his/her goal (whilst increasin...
6

    4. hypothesis about the partners: How do the characters think about their
       partners? What do they expect from...
7

8. Voice over:

    -   voice over means a voice of a non present/visible character/narrator
    -   a voice can give o...
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Guidelines for the Creation of Stories in Performance

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Transcript of "Guidelines for the Creation of Stories in Performance"

  1. 1. 1 Guidelines for the Creation of Stories in Performance These guidelines are meant to help you create your story and devise your piece. While reading you should always re-image these rules and principles in the context of movement and dance in order to see how you could possibly use them for your dance piece. 1. Three-dimensional characters: Physiognomy Physiognomy (a person’s physical features or expression) is the most obvious of the human dimensions regarding characters. Our appearance influences our attitude towards life. It determines our mental development, has an important influence on our behaviour and gives the reason for an exceeded self-confidence or inferiority complexes. It has an impact on how we move and hold ourselves. Sex: Age: Height and weight: Colour of hair, eyes and skin: Body stature: General appearance: e.g. attractive, clean, thin or fat, decent, untidy. Head, face, limbs. Defects: e.g. deformities, birthmarks, diseases Genes: Sociology If somebody is raised in a small flat and played in the streets his/her reactions are completely different from a person who lived in a villa and who’s surrounding was rather sterile. Part of society: e.g. lower-, middle-, upper class Profession: e.g. kind of work, working time, income, working conditions, professional talent Education: e.g school types, period, grades, favourite subjects, talents, weak sides Family: e.g. parents - work, habits, development of parents, parental weaknesses, ignorance, indifference, orphan, marital status of the character Religion: Nationality: Place within the community: e.g. clubs, sport, boss or member among friends Political interests: Leisure time, hobbies: e.g. kind of books, newspapers and magazines Psychology Psychology is the product of the other two (physiognomy and sociology). The influences of the two other dimensions produce ambitions, frustrations, temperament, habits and complexes… they all manifest in the way we move and hold ourselves. Privacy, moral values: Personal prémisses, ambitions: Frustrations, bigger disappointments: 1
  2. 2. 2 Temperament: e.g. choleric, relieved, pessimistic, optimistic General attitude: e.g. indifferent, militant, Complexes: e.g. weird ideas, fears, inhibitions, superstition Extroverted, introverted Abilities: e.g. languages, talents Characteristics: e.g. inner balance, taste, power of judgement or imagination IQ: To understand the movement vocabulary of a character we have to consider the motivation leading him towards his actions/movements. 1a. Main Character: - is the character who has a goal and definitely needs to achieve it - the goal has to be concrete and reachable, it does not exist beforehand (before the film/play starts) – it evolves in the 1. act - at the end of the performance the question “Did the character achieve his/her goal or not?” is answered - the way that leads towards the goal has to be realistic/possible - the main character should just have one goal and there should just be one main conflict (that connects the beginning with the end) - something big/important has to be at stake (in order to achieve the goal) - there has to be a counter force opposed to the achievement of the goal that makes it hard to get it - main character has to get active in order to oppose the counter force “Someone (main character) wants (desire/wish/need) something (goal) badly (necessity) and is having difficulties getting it.” - the goal could as well be trying to come back to the status quo which was disturbed in the beginning - the main character can be an ensemble/group - the need of a character (which is less specific than the actual goal of this character) is an unconscious longing and the actual drive of his/her actions; a basic complex that everyone can relate to - complexes such as longing for love, recognition, trust, self confidence (they are subconscious and the character is getting aware of this sort of lack during the performance = development of the character*) - the lack connects the character to the spectator, the spectator and character can have these lacks in common (universal language) and the spectator could possibly foresee the need - a need is an emotional longing, not an intellectual desire - therefore the goal of a figure is eventually inadequate to please the actual need which creates the tension in the plot - “classical solution”: main character renounces his/her goal because he/she sees and understands (through the development* of his/her character) her need - GOAL= exterior plane versus NEED= interior plane - *development of character: the exterior plane is the visible battle/way to achieve the goal, the interior plane shows the change from not knowing 2
  3. 3. 3 about one’s need towards knowing about it; every inner change is a reaction to outer changes - the situation of the main character can be clarified with side characters 2. Conflicts: - attack and counter attack have to increase throughout the performance - comparison to an auction: 1. offer - 2. investment/stake of party A (=attack) - 3. higher investment of party B (=counter attack) – 4. party A offers more – 5. party B outbids etc. - there has to be a challenge for the protagonist - structure: Main Character Counterforce/antagonist puts obstacles in the protagonist’s way to Counter 1. obstacle achieve the goal. Force 2. obstacle 3. obstacle etc. Goal 2a. Possible Conflicts 1. conflict with the antagonist (e.g. duet): - the achievement of the goal is disturbed by only one person (antagonist) - there is no space for compromises - the goals of the protagonist and the antagonist has to oppose and exclude each other - the antagonist has to be as strong/or even stronger as/than the protagonist - protagonist and antagonist have to be dependent on each other (dependence of opposition) - themes are very specific, according to individual features/nature of the two characters 2. collective conflict (e.g. group performance): - mostly social, political issues - the main character is opposed by more than one antagonist (group) - themes are more general 3. conflict with the situation: - opponent is e.g. nature, time - circumstances disturb the achievement of the goal - protagonist has to deal with the situation 3
  4. 4. 4 4. inner conflict: - the conflict lies/happens within the character - “shall I, shall I not?”, “can I or not?”, “what /who is the right?” - an inner conflict is mostly represented/symbolised by an outer conflict - inner voice has to be represented/visualised by e.g. a group (common mistakes: no development of conflicts = story remains static and has no rising action, attacks do not increase or change quality, stake is not the highest possible) 3. Plot Structure: - the plot/action changes direction at a turning point, the 1 s t turning point kicks the character out of his/her status quo and indicates the plot’s direction - inciting incident: What disturbs the main character’s life? Where? How? - Inciting incident is placed at the end of the 1 s t sequence, gives transition into the 2 n d sequence; usually an event, a decision, particular information etc. Exposition, 1st Act Sequence 1: - introduction of characters, time, site, a Sequence 1 Sequence 2 conflict that describes the main character, description of the non Inciting 1.turning disturbed state incident point Sequence 2: - counter force is shown but is not yet active, the non disturbed set up the conflict is set, closes state, status conflict, with a turning point, quo development goal is clear, character of plot cannot go back (the exposition is complete when the goal and the counter force are named) Confrontation, 2nd Act - obstacles have to alter quality (emotional Seq.3 Seq.4 Seq.5 Seq.6 towards desperate) 1 s t climax, emotional - main character climax (turning point) comes closer to his/her goal by trying new ways obstacle but is forced obstacle back by obstacle obstacles (1 s t 2 n d climax climax: goal obstacle (turning point) lost) 4
  5. 5. 5 - at the end of the 4 t h sequence the main character has almost reached his/her goal (whilst increasing the conflict) which creates an emotional climax (e.g. a catastrophe) and is the actual climax of the performance - the emotional climax is a turning point where the character changes towards an emotional down (he/she might think that the goal will never be achieved) - the 2 n d act contains the main tension and the conflict situation Solution, 3rd Act - in the 7. Sequence tension rises towards a climax that falls for a 7. Sequence 8. Sequence little moment (1 s t turning point) and turning recovers in the 8. point Sequence (2 n d turning point) to rise towards the final climax and turning end of the play/film point 4. Sequences: Act 1: Exposition Act 2: Confrontation Act 3: Solution Seq. 1 Seq. 2 3 4 5 6 Seq. 7 Seq. 8 - - division into 8 sequences helps structuring the performance, name each sequence - every sequence has a purpose (nameable) 5. Scenes: - a scene serves to define the characters, their history, their status, their present state/situation, their goal, their conflict (a conflict serves to describe a character) - ask: a) Who’s scene is that? Who is the main character? (the scene belongs to that character which aims for a goal and has the bigger problem) b) Who is the counter force/antagonist? c) Which goals do they have in common? 1. intention: What do the character(s) intend to do? 2. motivation: Why do they want to do that? 3. situation: With which knowledge do they enter the scene? Where do they come from, where do they go to? In which emotional state are they? What are the circumstances? 5
  6. 6. 6 4. hypothesis about the partners: How do the characters think about their partners? What do they expect from each other? 5. roles: Which roles do they have/play? 6. strategy: Is there a strategy with which the characters want to achieve their goal before the scene starts? 7. location: locations influence actions and dialogues, they should rather be concrete than general 8. status: characters try to achieve a constant status (a lower or a higher one), every character prefers one status and tries to actively get there, the scene is designed in order to (consciously or not) achieve or maintain the character’s preferred status; high status means to act from above and a low status means to be humble/inferior, some characters correlate in between in order to find a balance; the status can change during the development of the character; characters can have the same status, which increases the potential for conflicts in a scene (example: two main characters of same sex - one weak, one strong – develop contrarily, they change status from e.g. person A being weak and dominated by person B to a relation where person A’s character develops towards a stronger status which is higher than his/her partner’s - characters within a scene have to be dependent from each other, they have to use their most important stake (the strongest tactic, the strongest movement) - in general: start a scene with the main character - a scene is structured like an entire play containing conflicts, emotional climaxes and turning points - create a network of performers within the plot/story - psychology of a scene: if the audience gets a detail they get intrigued and want to see the whole picture 6. Time: - the past can constantly be reflected within a scene, it can be concrete, show details, site and time - the present is reflected whilst the characters show their goals, their situation, their feelings - the future: the scene should stimulate the spectator to question the future of the characters “If in the first act a gun is hanging on the wall it has to be used by the third act.” (Tschechow) 7. Indication versus Execution: - to indicate means to almost coincidentally introduce an idea: e.g. a character, a prop, a costume, a motive or a location that will be used later on in greater detail - to execute means to go back to previously established ideas 6
  7. 7. 7 8. Voice over: - voice over means a voice of a non present/visible character/narrator - a voice can give orientation in a complicated setting (e.g. when movement cannot communicate a part of the story) - a voice can anticipate parts of the story, summarise events or define leaps in the time structure - narrator: auctorial means all-knowing; the I-narrator talks in the 1 s t person, the personal narrator talks in the 3 r d person - the narrator can appear as a real but independent character in the performance 7

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