To Whom It May Concern,
Following your discussion with our Project Manager, Katherine Barton, on Friday 18th March regarding your 2 day project in music and dance for year 7 in July, we attach our proposal to run/facilitate the project. At the moment this is a draft which is open to discussion.
We understand that the theme is 'Citizenship' and after some preliminary research into the town of Hayes, we have structured our ideas around the role of a citizen and rules of their society showing the contrasts between 18th Century and 21st Century living.
Our main discipline is dance and movement integrated closely with music, voice
and drama. We understand that there would be 8 groups of approx. 30 boys and
girls who would all need to be occupied for the whole 2 days.
We would suggest the following format, which would also involve support from specialist teachers/form tutors.
We would divide the 8 groups into 4 paired groups, each pair working simultaneously on dance, or music accompaniment for that specific dance. This gives the students the chance to choose either dance or utilise specific musical skills. We would also encourage a movement element in the music sessions, e.g. a procession. During each morning/afternoon session we would cover two paired groups, one at a time, whilst the other groups were preparing for their session by carrying out agreed set tasks in rotation e.g. appropriate body warm up, finding songs and learning the words, taking photographs or making drawings, field trip to the twon, participating in discussions, groups sharing family memories of past living or what they like/dislike about living in Hayes in the 21st Century.
Each paired group could choose one of the following 4 themes:
Teaching a late 18th Century dance, e.g. Gavotte, Allemande, or Country Dance, popular at the time of William Pitt (closely associated with Hayes).
This would demonstrate how the formality of the dance reflects the formality of the society of the time, with attention to ritualised greetings, gestures, curtseys and bows and strict codes of personal conduct. The dances are done in groups or pairs.
The music group would work with the music teacher using a pre-selected piece of music, either played live or recorded, that can be embellished with accompaniment from various instruments and choreographed into the dance piece with, for example, a simple procession as a way to embody the music they play.
Devising a contemporary dance piece with input from the students, reflecting 21st Century life in the dance, music and lyrics. There could be a chance for individual improvisation and choreography inside this more individual and less formal structure.
This could include an exploration of 21st Century communication, travel, news, fashion and media, in contrast to the historical dance.
The music group could sing, rap and create rhythms through body percussion.
Using dance to demonstrate some of the principles that a 'good citizen' understands: e.g. 'lending a hand' - connecting hands leads to a chain of movement that then becomes a unified, mutually supportive circle dance formed of harmonious patterns.
This could be followed by an exploration of disruption of 'the rules' by breaking the circle and forming separate groups representing conflict, rumour and gossip, power and isolation.
The resolution to this could be created by suggestions from the syudents.
The music group could work to a set tempo and scenario and incorporate songs, improvised sounds e.g. chants and whispers, and musical accompaniment.
3. Environmental Contrasts
Creating two dances that contrast the bustle of modern living with the tranquillity of an old church or village green. This could take into account architecture, landscape, or the body's reaction to the different dynamics.
Also to find ways to integrate the two dances, if the students feel this I svaluable in the dance and in the city e.g. do we need a quiet space within the city?
The music group could work with both a piece of pre-selected classical music and a piece of 'high tech' electronic music; or create their own soundscapes of city and rural life.
Each dance/music group could choose their own name taken from a street, area, personality or event in Hayes.
The first day would be concerned with creating the material as above, and the second day with refining it and integrating the music and dance ready for videoing, sharing and showing. This would be scheduled to allow time to allow rehearsal with all groups and a showing in the afternoon.
We feel we could deliver this project effectively with a minimum of two dance teachers/facilitators from SpiralArts with the help, support and involvement of the specialist and form teachers (particularly from the music department). We couldbring in other teachers of both dance and music, but this would obviously cost much more.
Our requirements would be two separate working spaces - one for dance and one for music - CD player, access to instruments, that the students should be appropriately dressed for movement (loose clothes and bare feet or soft shoes) and that we would have a prior meeting with the staff involved in this project, allowing time for research projects to be planned in advance.
We think that this is a creative and stimulating project and we would love
to be able to deliver it.