Wednesday Weekly Warm Ups: Body Parts

This is a really good physical warm up that gives the students the opportunity to explore their characters in a exaggerated and visceral way.

It is really useful if you play some physical games or warm ups first to get the students engaged.

Then, walking around the space making sure that each students accepts their own personal space and respects the personal space of others. That each of the students actions are done in isolation without interaction or judgement from the rest of the class.

As the students walk around, maintaining their own and others personal space, call out a body part with which to lead their movement with. Encourage the students to exaggerate the moment as much as possible. Also encourage the students to make sure that which ever body part called out really does lead the action, so that every other movement (steps of the feet and swinging of the arms etc…) takes place behind the leading body part.

Ask the students to freeze in their stance, to reflect on what their body is communicating to an audience and what kind of personalities could be communicated through this stance and movement.

Go through as many body parts as possible. Work down from the top of the head, forehead, nose, mouth, chin, shoulders, chest, stomach, hips, knees and then feet.

Compare each new movement with previous movements and reflect on how the movement, stance and physical action is affected by the leading body part.

It is important that the students have the opportunity to reflect on how this learning and exploration can be employed in their performance work (a key part of many of the written exams in Drama). Ask them to consider what body part the character they play would lead from if exaggerated to the extreme and why. Once they’ve reflected on this, ask them to fold that into their performance work – even if it is only slight it will have an impact on the physical performance of their character.

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