If life is what happens to our plans, then dance is what happens to our steps.
ideas sometimes when you wait they come to you.

Preparation for starting with BAPP

Wednesday, 23 November 2011


A few people I have blogged or spoken to seem a little ‘freaked out’ at this point in terms of where their direction should be and how much to do. There are bound to be hundreds of interesting twists and turns you are encountering as you undertake the tasks and reflect on your learning. But at this point you need to familiarise yourself with what exactly you need to hand-in to marked.

As you know it is not the tasks. They are stepping stones to help you in your work. I advise you go back to handbook and review the assignment you are handing-in. What form it takes, how many words, what it is about? We do not what the ‘story’ of your tasks we are looking for you to synthesize all the experiences you have had and address the assignment. Maybe some tasks will be more pertinent than others. Maybe you feel you’d like to re-do something. But now is the time to start writing what you are handing-in so that you can have a draft done in time for feedback, if you want feedback from your advisor, even if you don’t it gives you time to really think about what you have been doing and what relationship it has with the assignment you are handing in.

I keep missing one of my students who wants to talk about the artefact. (I will keep trying). This is something module 3ers are doing but it is learning EVERYONE is in fact doing. The artefact is about what is indicated. In all the modules the assignment you handing-in has something to do with consolidating what you have done to the point where you can articulate what it indicates. With Module 1ers you are looking at all the ways you explored yourself learning and writing about what it indicates in terms of what you have done and what you are interested in.

Module 2ers are looking at all the information in the area of the questions you have been looking at and consolidating this into what it indicates in terms of  something that resonates with what you have done and what you are interested in (see the progression from module 1?).

Module 3ers you are consolidating what you have done this term, which was a response to what, you have done and what you are interested in (Module 1 & 2). the artefact is about sharing how this practically manifests considering what you have learnt. It is the meaning behind what the artefact is that is important not the artefacts perfection.

My research has led me to think that understanding something using words only is not as helpful as using a range of mediums. If I write about this I am in fact saying that what I am choosing to share the idea (that you need more than words) is not as helpful than if I had used a range of mediums. So wouldn’t you ask “If you think that why have you written it?” Then I would bring out my artefact  - a web-site that has visual elements and sound elements…. Get it? !!

O.K. have a good week
I was having a hard time in class the other day because my injured leg is still not as strong as my other leg. As I was trying to balance I thought of all of you. Thinking if I expect them to step outside their comfort zone and be in the discomfort of challenging themselves; I can challenge myself to stay on balance even if it hurts a bit! So thanks guys for all your inspiring hard work.



  1. Thanks Adesola. Consolidate is a word that really helps me o stay on track with ideas for my artefact. Articulating. Yes, using a range of mediums! I think the temptation as a creative minded person is to get carried away with the presentation of this, however you have reminded me that my key focus must remain with the consolidation and articulation of what I have discovered through my inquiry.
    Thank you

  2. Hi Adesola. I'm so sorry, I've only just read your comment on my blog. I've been so busy teaching with the end of term shows and everything. I imagine this is too late now but I hopefully it's still of some use. It seems to me that within the context of the quote ("dance styles for musical theatre, with emphasis on contemporary styles and choreography") the word contemporary is used to mean 'current' rather than our usual understanding of contemporary dance.

    In other words what is hot now. It's interesting because, in this country, current on trend choreographers in musical theatre are people like Stephen Mear and Andrew Wright but both of them generally choreograph revivals of old fashioned shows. For example Stephen has just done Crazy For You and Andrew has just done Singin' in the Rain. There choreography therefore has to be appropriate to the style and history of the show but also fresh and contemporary.

    I think that is one of the most interesting things about musical theatre choreography. There is very rarely a blank canvas for an MT choreographer to work with. They have to try and be fresh and innovative but within the confines of story, character, social context, and preconceived audience expectations.

    In America there are a lot more new shows happening but the choreographers are still faced with the same problem. For example, the show 'Memphis' which won the 2010 Tony award for best new musical has the most incredible contemporary choreography by Sergio Trujillo. The show, however, is set in the segregated world of 1950s Memphis which has such a strong style of dance attached to it already. The MT choreographers job, and what I think think Sergio Trujillo did so well, is to use the dance vocabulary of the shows historical period and make the audience feel they are watching it for the first time.

    In relation to all this and from having spoken to teacher, directors and performers alike, i think one of the most important things to introduce into musical theatre training is and understanding of style and context. Students and therefore performers need to understand the history of the steps they are dancing to truly give them the right feeling.

    Sorry this is so late. Hope it still helps in some way.

  3. Hi Adesola,
    The tasks are not marked but they are 'stepping stones' we should use in order to create a great assignment, right?
    I like how you always use similes in your writing, it's true what you say that sometime words are not enough and we should visualise what we are trying to say. You told me to try and draw a diagram of what I have learned in the first module. I'm no artist, but it helped me to draw together and consolidate my ideas.
    An expression, gesture or movement can have a deeper meaning than a hundred words. Isn't that what choreography is all about.....
    I am now thinking of my assignment in terms of 'choreographing' what I have learned.....