Warm Ups: Jump Clap Game

Main focus of the game is to promote focus and performance tension. Starts the students walking around the space , balancing the space, isolated and alone. Leader delivers instructions that the students complete and can reflect in.

– Clap – everyone clasps
– Floor – everyone touches the floor
– Sky – everyone reaches for the sky
– Jump – everyone jumps
– Stop and go – an obvious instruction.

Now normally, I’d be tempted to swap the tasks around to stop becomes go and go becomes stop etc… This means the students have to concentrate and focus on what they’re doing. A negative to that exercise is that it tends to become quite comedic and silly as people get caught out. That isn’t necessarily a problem as the leader can stop that from happening, and like the counting down game, can ask the students to really focus on what they’re doing and work as an ensemble. However, the next two additions for me changed the game from being a simple warm up game to an opportunity to learn about performance.

– survivor – everyone falls to the floor except one person who stands, we all look at them – then add the line from the play looking at everyone in the room in the eye. – keep going with the line until it sounds right.

– sacrifice – one person sits and everyone else stays standing – really stare at the person – bring out the tension of that point of focus.

The next stage of the exercise turn it into a performance and use the survivor game to talk about eye contact, tension, story telling and status. When we did it in the workshop, three students dropped to the floor, two more weren’t sure and hesitated, so a game of eye contact was played out until one of them sat down. All the way through that, the others who were sat watched it unfold. Instantly a story unfolded. We were then able to have a great conversation about how narrative has come from simple eye contact, hesitation and focus. Important conversations that can link to making sure students look at a point of focus in a scene, or when someone walks into the room or simply to look at the person talking!

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