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Lesson Plans for Introducing LMA


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Lesson Plans for Introducing LMA

  1. 1. Introducing Motion Factors to non-major undergrads as an experiential tool to develop better dance viewing skills
  2. 2. Who are the students? • Non-major undergraduate students • Broad representation of majors • Interested in dance • Some dance training to none at all • Nearly all viewings unfamiliar to class, except for Classical ballet…because that’s all of ballet, right?
  3. 3. Newcomer Trouble Viewing and Discussing Dance • Once the students have been asked to eliminate interpretation and evaluation and focus on description, they often need a new way to “see” the dance so that they can find words to put to their experience. • i.e. Students struggle to elucidate “how” a “dancer moves with weight” specifically • Or students focus on every other describable detail other than the motion itself: costumes, lighting, music, etc.
  4. 4. Physicalizing the Efforts • Instructor gives verbal description • Instructor gives common example action • Instructor demonstration • Contrasting demo • Class tries out the effort in their own body • Divided class watches one half perform their effort, then swaps. • Students discuss common actions that exemplify, or at least strongly utilize the effort.
  5. 5. Finding The Efforts in a Viewing • After having tried on the different efforts the class would view two contrasting dance videos • Perhaps: Graham and Trisha Brown • As the video is playing ask class to throw out what efforts they think they are seeing, like a sports announcer narrating the action. • After, class discusses how the efforts that were seen relate to how they can describe the dance.
  6. 6. From Feel to See to Write • Writing task: view a third clip and have the students write a brief descriptive paragraph about the movement considering what kind of space, weight, time, and flow they saw, asking them to let that inform their descriptive language. • Encourage “trying out” parts of the viewed material to help them get a better sense of the effort quality that might be present in a given movement.
  7. 7. Preliminary Results • Note: An abbreviated version of this lesson plan was used to fit within Michael’s lesson plan for the class. • Students participated enthusiastically. • Students identified efforts in the viewings with decent accuracy. • Students attended more to the motion quality than “blow by blow” recounts in their writing. • A handful of student’s writing were noticeably improved. • The tendency to simply repeat the instructor was present in several of the student’s writing, possibly showing incomplete understanding of concept.