Observing material as inspiration source︎︎︎
Prep: Gather a variety of different simple materials that have potential for movement: a sponge, paper towel, computer paper, cellophane, a feather, bubble wrap, styrofilm, a rubber band, tinfoil, etc.

  1. In small groups (3-6) or as an entire group, have one person scrunch up a single material in their hand and then drop it from one foot above ground, in the centre of the group. Everyone watches as that material expands until it finds its final resting position. Be patient with it, some materials will take a long time to find their resting point, but there is a lot to observe as it reaches this point. As a group describe qualities of the movement, this could include tempo, duration, gesture, texture. What does it remind you of? Is there a personality associated with it? This can be spoken aloud or written down. Try to create an exhaustive list, it can be goofy. Move on to another material and repeat the exercise. Continue with all of the materials.

  2. Then drop two materials at the same time. How does it change when they’re in relationship to one another? What do you observe about their relationship? Does it remind you other relationships you’ve seen? Animal? Human?

  3. Each participant chooses a material and does the scrunch/drop on their own. Through observation they recreate the quality of movement in their own body. Practice it a few times. Share them. Try abstracting the movement quality. It can be on a spectrum 100% is full recreation of that material and 5% is a subtle glimmer of that material in a human body. Show them in pairs so two materials go at once. Look at the relationship between the two.

  4. These movements, observations, qualities, personalities, can be used for the beginning of a scene, a dance, or a character, the applications are as endless as the possibilities of the source materials.

︎︎︎good for group communication, brainstorming, developing minute observation skills and generating ideas and source material

︎︎︎from Robert Leveroos, inspired by an exercise of Ann-Marie Kerr