Content guidance

Physical activity required.

Adult supervision recommended.


Lesson video

In progress...


Keeping safe in this lesson.

If you're unsure about doing any of the activities in this lesson make sure you have trusted adult nearby when you start them.

This lesson should ideally take place in doors, but you could work outside if it's warm and dry enough and safe to do so.

Ensure there's a space for you to work safely, including overhead.

Use bare feet.

Make sure the floor is not slippery and work in comfortable clothing, put your hair up if needed and remove any jewellery.

Pause the video now, if there is anything that you need to do to get ready.

In this lesson, you'll need the appropriate clothing.

You will need some writing equipment, and you need to make sure you've got safe space.

Today's lesson is going to consist of a warm up, a technical session which is going to be a taught phrase, a choreography session which is going to involve you adapting some of the material that you have already learnt.

And then finally at the end, you'll do your exit quiz.

We're now going to look at some key words that we're going to need today.

So we need to look at posture.

This is the way our body is held.

We going to at alignment and this is the correct placement of the body parts in relation to each other.

So here is our warmup video.

The first thing I'd like you to do is just walk around the room.

And then I would like you to come to a pause and think about imagine this line running all the way through from the top of your head all the way down the middle of your body and straight out in between the gap in between your feet.

Check to see if you're leaning slightly one side or the other or whether your weight's forward or back.

And you can use that technique of shifting your weight to help you find that middle point.

And then I want you to think about are your shoulders leaning more one side or the other? Is your chin sticking forward or back too much? Take a deep breath, roll your shoulders, relaxed them back and then stand up nice and tall pulling in those tummy muscles.

So now we've got a nice upright posture and I want you to think about the hips, the knees and ankles, all being stacked on top of each other.

So if we draw a straight line down through the middle we end up with that really nice alignment.

The other thing you could try to check your alignment would be something like bending your knees and checking again that your hips are stacked on top, and then that your knees are bending over your toes.

Another thing we could try is a lunge.

So if I tend to face sideways and take that lunge back.

Thinking about my ankle and my knee being in a nice alignment And you can make that lunge as deep or as high as you can manage.

So if you're particularly flexible you could take that down to here.

But notice that I still got my knee and my ankle in alignment there.

Another thing you could try is holding a plank position, and checking that your wrists, your shoulders, your elbows are all in line with each other.

There are some really easy ways to check your alignment.

Hyperextension means beyond the normal range of movement for that action or body part.

Shaping is the body's lines.

For example, an angular or sharp shape.

We're now going to go hyperextension.

So hyperextension means where you take your body beyond its normal range of movement for that particular action or that particular body part.

So one thing we're going to try I'm going to stand slightly sideways on so you can see this is a hyperextension in my back.

So we're going to think about lifting up.

So imagine that your body is between two brick walls and you're going to lift up and you're going to try and lean back over that back brick wall.

And now we're going to try with our arms. So you're going to lift up the arms and you're going to lean back and bring those arms out in front of you.

So we've got this hyperextension of the spine backwards.

So we're going to look at shaping.

So shaping is things to do with your body's line.

So whether we make things at angular or sharp or curved.

So what I would like you to do is to try and find some stretches where you're pushing or reaching using different angles, shapes, anything.

So, but try and find the stretch within it.

So what we're doing is looking for ways of stretching different muscles but making lots of interesting shapes with our body as we stretch.

Some other actions that you might want to include in your warmup today are a play.

So we bend our knees and you can do that in first position Or you can take that into a parallel position and bend your knees.

You might want to use your arms to create some shapes that open out to different directions, as well as thinking about things where we're going to see pulse raising, mobilising our joints, and obviously including some of those stretches, but looking for those angular shapes as I mentioned before.

Now that you are familiar with the keywords and what they look like physically, have a go at including examples of these in your warmup.

Don't forget to include other things such as your pulse raising activities, mobilisation of the joints and stretching.

If you're too confused about what activities to include in your warmup, then please refer back to the warmup guide in lesson one.

In today's lesson, we're going to be using a piece called infra to start some work on our technical and creative activities.

Infra is a piece created by the choreographer Wayne McGregor and is performed by The Royal Ballet.

The style of the piece is a contemporary ballet and the theme is seeing below the surface of things.

And it's based on a poem called The Wasteland, And we're going to be using some of these ideas throughout this unit of work.

So, the first question I have for you is what do we mean by seeing below the surface? I want you to think of things like emotions, body language and what goes on behind closed doors.

You can pause the video here and note some things down with your paper and pen.

In our technical session today, we're going to be learning a phrase that I'm going to teach you and you will perform this phrase which combines ballet and contemporary actions.

We will then develop this phrase to explore Wayne McGregor's style.

So some key ways that we're going to need for today include, action.

This is what we do and by what we mean our actual movement.

Space which is where the movement happens, and dynamics which is how we perform those actions.

So that includes our speed, our energy and our weight.

We also need to know the word adapt and this means changing the action, space or dynamic appearance of the movement material.

I'm going to teach you a phrase of movement today which is based around contemporary ballet.

And don't let that put you off if you're not a ballet dancer.

because we're going to do a really great creative task with it, where we get to distort and make that movement look really interesting, exciting.

This is based around a technique that Wayne McGregor uses as a choreographer and he is currently a resident code for the Royal ballet, and he challenges the ballet dancers to move in more creative and unusual ways to really test them as professionals.

So we're going to take some of the elements that he uses in his lessons with those dancers and try and create our own piece with it.

So you're going to start with your feet turned out.

So the easiest way to do that is start with your feet close together, squeeze your legs, and let your hips and the top of your body open.

you'll find your feet will naturally open out to a point and that is your turnout.

So you're going to start in turnout.

We're going to push our arms from down by our side and out in front of us.

And then we're going to push them and open them.

So you go one, two, three, four.

From there you're going to step forward, mirroring me.

So you're going to step onto your right foot and you're going to sweep your arms forward five, six.

So we've got one, two, three, four, five, six.

Let's try that again.

So you've got one, two, three, four, five, six.

From here you're going to swing your arms around to face the upstage corner.

Seven, eight.

Let's do that one more time.

So you've got one, two, three, four, five, six, swivel, seven, eight.

And you've got a choice here.

You can either keep the feet flat on the floor or if you want to, you can point that leg away from you.

Spend a couple of minutes just making sure that you're familiar with those actions and then come back to me.

We finished here.

The next part of the phrase you're going to transfer your weight into this front foot where we now are facing.

So you're going to bend your knees to do that.

Just work don't worry about your arms for a second.

Let them relax.

So you bend your knees in the middle and then you're going to transfer that weight into the front foot.

You're a bit wobbly when you do it slowly but when we go a bit faster, we be smooth.

So you've got bend and transfer.

Our arms are here, as we do that, you're going to bend your knees and you're going to bring your front arms. That is your right arm backwards, and you're going to open into a diagonal line as you transfer the weight.

So you are here, we swivel, you bend, you transfer.

And as you transfer that arm opens.

Do that one more time.

So you were here, you transfer your weights and swivel.

You transfer your weight again, bending the knees, opening that back arm and extending out.

The counts for that, So we were here seven, eight.

You've got one, two, three, four, five.

So that arm gesture is very sustained and slow.

So it takes a few counts to do that.

And I really want you to see that elongated action happening.

So we go one, two, three, four, five, and then the foot that is extended behind us is going to do a really sharp flick.

So you're going to lift up off the floor, flick flick.

So we have that contrast between that really slow, slow, slow, slow, slow and then there's sharp, sharp flick flick.

So you've got one, two, three, four, five wait, six we flick and seven and eight.

Let's put that a little bit together.

So we were here and we returned.

We transfer one, two, three, four, five wait, six flicks, seven flick, eight.

Having this little practise of that section making sure that you can get those timings and that flow, and then come back to me.

We finished in this corner here with our flicks.

From here you're going to dock towards the downstage space or towards your screen, and you're going to push your hands out and you're going to step up onto the bones of your feet.

So that's quite quick.

So you've gone and seven, and eight, we push and one.

Try and hold it.

So we're thinking about that alignment and posture.

So remember I said we stack our body parts on top of each other and that helps us not to wobble as well when we balance.

So we've got, and one.

From there you're going to pull your weight down into this front leg and two.

Bring those hands down in front of you you're then going to turn around three and four.

As we turn, you're thinking about shifting and swivelling your feet around.

And you do have to slightly cheat them because if you keep your feet rooted, your legs weren't turn and you're get a knot.

So you've gone, and one, two, three, four round.

Have a little practise of that.

Let's try that again.

So we've got, and seven and eight we go one, two, three, four and.

From there, you're going to push your hands out, and as you push your hands out, you're going to extend your right foot and you're going to push.

And we going to use a hyperextension that we talked about in a warmup.

So think again about that brick wall around your waist, lifting up over it and then leaning yourself over the back of that wall.

And this back foot extends out.

So we were here, we push and lean.

So that's five, six, seven, eight.

So that bit's quite slow.

So we put this comparison in speed between that fast starting forwards and that slow hyper-extension, let's put that bit together.

So we were here, we go, and seven and eight push one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.

And if you can take your head back and look away from you that would be brilliant to.

Have a little practise of putting that all together and then come back.

So let's work through putting that whole phrase together.

So remember we stopped with our feet, turned out.

And we going to go, down one, two, open three, four, through five, six, turn seven, eight.

Transfer one, two, three, four, five hold, six flicks, seven flick eight.

Down one, two, three, four, extend six, seven, eight.

So spend some time working through the exercise of focusing on the accuracy of your actions and performing with a sense of mood feeling or emotion, driving the way that you perform e.

g feeling tired, stressed or hurried.

For the choreography session, We're going to adapting the material that you've just learned.

So you will now develop the phrase that you learned in the technical session.

We are focusing on distorting the alignment in your body and the shaping of the actions to give the material the same look as Wayne McGregor's work.

So now we've got that phrase.

We're going to do something creative with it.

Now, Wayne McGregor really likes the idea of distorting your body's alignment to create interesting shapes and angles in his movement.

So what we're going to do is first of all together explore ways that we can look at distorting.

Some of the shapes that we have in that phrase and then you're going to have a go at doing that on your own.

So if we take the first part of our phrase the arms come out to here, and then they open.

If I wanted to distort my body alignment I might take my weight slightly over to one side.

So I'm going to take my arms, and my body in opposite directions.

And then as I open out, I'm going to lean my body forwards rather than going one, two, three, four, it's now going to go one, two, three, four.

My second example is taking that transfer of weight.

So how can we find a way of distorting this shape? So what I might try is sweeping my body down and around instead.

So let's just the look at that again.

So I was here and normally we swivel and then bend to transfer and start opening that arm.

But as I said, what I'm going to do instead is I'm going to pull that body round and then transfer it up.

My third example is going to be using that darting action moving forward.

So at the moment we've just finished here, and I come forward and I'm really upright.

What I'm going to do is find a way of making that shape look a little bit more angular.

So if I come back to here, I'm going to dart forward, but I'm going to shift my body weight so that I've got a hyperextension.

So I'm pushing my hips forward and my body is arching backwards.

I'm going to show you that one more time.

So have here and I go back instead of coming straight.

Hopefully you can see the difference between the two.

So what you're going to do now is spend around 10 minutes going through the whole phrase.

So not just one or two actions, but each part of the phrase and seeing if you can find ways of distorting all of that action contents that we have is really gooey oozy sense of feeling of the movement, but also thinking about trying to make your alignment not look stacked.

So we want jack edged uses of our body as well.

Have fun with it.

Be really creative.

And then once you've done that, come back.

So pause the video here to complete your task.

You need to spend around 10 minutes doing this activity and work through the different examples and experiment with different ways to distort the movement material.

You should try at least two or three ways before settling on a final version.

You can video yourself, performing the exercise and watch it back to help you review.

If you get stuck, don't forget.

You can go back to my videos and use some of those ideas to get you going.

Have fun.

So let's review our work.

What was effective about your choreographic choices? What could you do to further improve your work next time? Write down some responses.

So when we're writing about our own work it's really important to think critically but also positive.

It's really useful to try and pull out even if it's just one thing that you think that you were successful at.

So for example, you might be able to say that your choreography was effective because you really pushed your actions in terms of finding those distortions within the body.

And it might be that to improve you could suggest that your linking of actions together or the variation in the use of space was more dramatic.

It'd be really great if you can share your work with Oak.

So if you'd like to please ask your parent or carer to show your work on Twitter and tag us.

Thank you for taking part.

See you next time.