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Breath in Dance

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HOW DOES BREATH EFFECT
DANCE?
*discuss the importance of
breath to life.
*every part of the body needs
oxygen, which allow cells to
release needed energy
*Breathing is a natural process
that when uses properly can help
improve your movement skills.
HOW DOES BREATH EFFECT DANCE?
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Lungs are soft, spongy, elastic organs that
provide a passageway for air. The lungs are
surrounded by the ribs for protection and
muscles for movement.
HOW DOES BREATH EFFECT DANCE?
The diaphragm is the most important muscle of
the respiratory system. As the primary mover, it
is a large, dome-shaped muscle that lies within
the rib cage. It might help to visualize an open
parachute inside the rib cage. As one inhales,
the diaphragm contracts, moves downward, and
flattens out. This allows the lungs and ribs to
expand a small amount in all planes; this
increases the volume of the thoracic cavity.”
Dance Anatomy, Jacqui Greene Hass, page 34.
п‚ў place your hands on the diaphragm and practice
strong breaths out to feel the diaphragm at
work.
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HOW DOES BREATH EFFECT DANCE?
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Warm-up coordinated breath, use imagery to
breath into body parts and expanding the space
in the body
DO YOU EVER FEEL WORN OUT
AFTER A DANCE?...YOUR MOST LIKELY
NOT BREATHING CORRECTLY!
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If stamina is in question, the student has
probably been rehearsing with upper-chest
breathing or shallow breathing while holding
the belly in. With upper chest breathing air
enters only the top of the lungs, which raises
your center of gravity. If your chest is too high
you will find it hard to balance and have
difficulty with freedom of the shoulders. You
have created a leaner look for the moment but
have reduced the ability of your diaphragm and
lung to work properly----thus limiting oxygen
intake. The diaphragm also has muscle
attachment to the hip flexors. By aggressively
sucking your tummy in you also limit the
movement of you hip flexors causing you to be
less flexible. Dance Anatomy, Jacqui Greene
Hass, page 35.
WHEN ONE INHALES, SHE SHOULD
EXPAND; WHEN ONE EXHALES, SHE
SHOULD CONTRACT. BREATH CAN BE
A POWERFUL TOOL FOR FREEDOM IN
MOVEMENT.
п‚ў Lets
try a dance phrase using breath and
movement together as aids for stamina. We
all move together we all breath
together….taking my movement apply your
dynamics and breath to the phrase to change
the internal tempo…
Cool down and reflect
п‚ў Please address how breath can aid your ability to
dance? How can you apply breath to all
movement not just dance? What are the benefit
to using breath in dance?
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HOW DOES BREATH EFFECT DANCE?
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Inhale
All dance, all movement, all human life, begin the same way: with
a breath. Whether we are aware of it or not -- the rise and fall of
the chest caused by our breathing informs everything we do. We
often take it for granted.
Young dancers are so involved with larger, flashier movements
that they underestimate the power of the breath in dance.
Understanding the importance of the breath can help dancers
experience a full dynamic and expressive range as well as a
heightened kinesthetic experience. And it can help teachers bring
their students past the level of mere technical proficiency into the
level of true artistry. But first, we have to understand how the
breath effects dance.
Holding the breath creates a stifled, lifeless dancer. By connecting
to the breath, dancers reaffirm their most basic human ability
and connect with fellow dancers (as well as their audiences).
Traditional classical ballet strives to create the illusion that the
dancing body is something otherworldly: a princess, a swan, a
fairy, a sylph. Physical exertion is camouflaged; the breath is
hidden. Contemporary dance -- be it ballet, modern, jazz -- rejects
the fantasy world of classical ballet and embraces the human
form with all of
HOW DOES BREATH EFFECT DANCE?
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its potential for movement.
Contemporary dance does not deny or hide the breath; it embraces it,
using breath as impetus for movement. The gentle flow of the inhale
and exhale carries us along, much like waves carry a boat on the
ocean. We gesture with an arm, articulate with a leg, all while our
bodies rise and fall upon the shape-flow support of our breath.
Fighting this natural rhythm creates a dancing body that is
unnatural, not of this world (or at least not comfortable with it).
Below are four ways to begin the investigation of how the breath is
vital to dance performance. Simply by bringing our awareness to
these points, we can find a full, more satisfying experience for both
the dancer and the viewer.
Anchor the Mind
By consciously focusing on the inhale and exhale, we can anchor our
minds in the present moment. In contemporary life, we often brag
about our ability to multi-task. In fact, our school systems teach it as
a vital ability. The result: a generation where people think about one
thing while doing another.
For the dancer, this is disastrous. The dancer on the stage that is not
fully present, seems distant, detached, and robotic to the audience.
The student in the dance class that is not fully present misses
important corrections and opportunities for improvement.
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However, by bringing awareness to the inhale and exhale during
dance, we bring presence to this moment in movement. Martha
Graham said "All that is important is this moment in movement."
This 'presence' connects us to our bodies, our teachers, our fellow
students, and our viewers.
Support (shape-flow)
Our breath, whether we are aware of it or not, informs and
supports all of our movement. Go ahead and try to stand
completely still...you can't, at least not for long. The rise and fall
of the diaphragm and chest goes on in the background of all our
dance moves. Even more interesting is that the same move done
on an inhale or done on an exhale creates a different expression.
Try this experiment with a friend. Have your friend hold their
arms out to the side at shoulder level. Then, on an inhale, have
them slowly lift their arms overhead. Next, have them repeat the
arm movement with an exhale instead of an inhale. Notice a
difference in the subtle expression of the movement? Does one
seem more aspiring? Does one seem more resigned? Now try the
same movement while holding the breath. Do you find it lifeless?
Becoming aware of how breath informs and gives organic shape to
our movement can help the dancer develop a finely tuned and
sensitive instrument.
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Texture
Beyond the subtleties of shape-flow support mentioned above, breathphrasing textures our dance by shaping, enhancing, and enlivening our
movement phrases. The highs and lows, the sustained inhale, the sudden
exhale, and the quick staccato bursts of a cough are natural phrasings to
which all our bodies have instant access.
However, dancers who ignore the organic pattern of their breathing
perform movement with a monotonous, dehumanizing quality. Using the
breath as a phrasing tool, dancers can reach new heights and depths of
expressiveness.
Body
Not only does the breath provide mental and expressive advantages, but
it also provides practical advantages. The breath, by providing oxygen to
working muscles and the brain, aids the body to work at its optimum
level. Without that vital oxygen to supply our muscles and brains, we
cannot function at our best ability.
Dancers who breath shallow or, even worse, hold their breath, deplete
their bodies oxygen supply and quickly weaken physical stamina and
slow down mental processes.
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Exhale
In this age of super-connectedness where a thousand miles are
traversed in fractions of a second via cell phones and the internet,
we secretly desire real human connection. Dancing with a full
awareness of the breath resonates deep within the viewer's
subconscious--creating that connection.
Our longing to escape to the theatre and television and literature
to see fantasy worlds has changed to a desire for the real, to
affirm our day-to-day experience. We want reality T.V., true
stories at the theatre, factual memoirs to read, and living,
breathing human beings dancing on the stage.
James Robey is Founding Artistic Director of the Bare Bones
Dance Project, Artistic Director of Ridgefield Conservatory of
Dance and Adjunct Faculty member at The Hartt School at
University of Hartford where he teaches Horton Modern
technique and Jazz Dance. James is active in the Connecticut,
New York, and National dance communities as a guest artist,
master teacher, independent choreographer, and lecturer. For
more information visit http://web.mac.com/jamesrobeydance
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Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/706240
Apply the information as we dance in class today
п‚ў Warm-up focusing on breathing and expanding
spaces in the body
п‚ў Center phrase Breath
п‚ў Across the floor
 Ticket out the door …explain one of the four ways
breath effects the body and how it applied to you
for the class….
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THE FOUR WAYS BREATH EFFECTS
DANCE!
п‚ўAnchor
the Mind
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Support shape and flow
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Add Texture
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Addresses the body
HOW CAN YOU CREATE A DANCE
PHRASE USING BREATH?
п‚ў Review
information
п‚ў Apply to movement
п‚ў Warm-up
п‚ў Create a dance phrase using breath to
create texture, connected movements,
focus and released control. Your body is
an instrument that plays using breath.
Your phrase must have a beginning
middle and end and express the expansion
and release in the body as you breath.
You may add and are not limited to:
using noise, dynamic, levels, spatial
design, facings, etc.
(Bdays honors improvisation)
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See power point cps
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5 classes
Photos Breaking
п‚ў Bounds
 August 29th –Sept. 10th
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