Wednesday, 6 April 2016

Your Best Body: Character Development

      Hello my pretties! How are you all doing? I'm doing alright. Busy as always. Today's post is another random post that I thought would be beneficial for all of you who are doing dance competitions this year or are in a ballet. This post is about the development of a character. So without further ado, let's get into this post.

      First of all, acting in a ballet obviously is very different from acting in a play because you don't speak in a ballet. You're body and facial expressions is what is going to translate to the audience what is going on with your character.

To develop a character, you need to ask yourself five main questions:
1. Who am I?
2. Where am I going?
3. Who/what am I going to meet/do when I get there?
4. What do I want?
5. To what extent am I willing to go to get what I want?

There is also a sixth question, that is ONLY for dancers.
6. What is the music telling me?

      For us dancers, the music is our guide to tell us what is going on. A choreographer could choreograph the same dance to two different pieces of music and both of them will look entirely different. Be very in tune with your music, pay great focus into the accents or details. Enlarge them to scale (make them stand out a bit). Also, listen to when the music changes because that's your cue for a different set of emotions to come out. For example, if the song is super happy and lively first, I'm gonna be dancing with a smile on my face and a pep in my step. If the next song is sadder, I might dance with a sad expression on my face and the movements might be slower and more emotional. You get what I'm saying? And don't be afraid to over exaggerate your characters emotions because that's the only way it'll get across to the audience as we don't speak in a ballet.

      The other five questions, will apply to ANY ballet you do. If there isn't a story, say Serenade, create your own. I have my own story of what's going on with my character when I learned a variation from Serenade. Even for the solo I'm doing for competitions, I have to create a character. In some parts of the song it's fast and happy but in other parts it's a bit slower and sadder. Building a character, will help build your stage presence in a ballet. Your stage presence is your voice when you're dancing.

      One thing I've always liked when having to do a dance many different times, is changing it up a bit. I'm not saying, change the choreography, I'm saying change the story you create for your character. I plan on doing this when I do competitions next year because not all competitions are the same and each set of judges are different. At one competition, I might make my character super joyful and lively, the next time I might tone that down a bit in certain parts of the song. Changing your portrayal of your character is what keeps the dance interesting and draws people to you.

Some other questions you might want to think about are:
1. How old am I?
2. Where do I live?
3. What is my personality? (innocent, mischievous, feisty etc)
4. What do I think of the people I'm with? (my pas de deux partner etc)

    To finish this up, as an example, I'll answer some of these questions as me, the author of this blog.

Character: Felicity Rose

1. Who am I?
I am a dedicated bunhead, hard working, fun loving, caring and compassionate individual.

2. Where am I going? (place, career etc)
I will hopefully be moving sometime this summer/next spring. I am going to become a psychotherapist. 

3. Who/what am I going to meet/do when I get there?
Hopefully, I will meet a strong group of friends and lots of new teachers.

4. What do I want?
I want to graduate from a university with a Masters in Psychology and a minor in dance. I also just want to be happy.

5. To what extent am I willing to go to get what I want?
I am willing to do whatever it takes, within reason, to achieve this goal.

6. How old am I?
I am 18 years old. I will be 19 at the end of July.

7. Where do I live?
On planet Earth….

8. What is my personality?
The best way to describe my personality is this description from a quiz I took.
You're not quite aristocratic but you definitely have a sense of leadership. Although shy and timid at times, you just want to dance. You're a happy and carefree person who just wants to be doing what makes you happy... all the time! You also have a knack for stirring things up and keeping life interesting. When you enter a room everybody knows it and your sharp wit keeps people on their toes. No one wants to get on your bad side because once they're there, there's no going back. You not only talk the talk, you walk the walk and do so with your head held high.

9. How do I feel about the people I'm with?
I feel like most people are out for themselves and don't really care about anyone else. People just pretend to care because that's what we were taught growing up. 
I really hope that when I move away, I'll find some genuine people I really like being around.

      So I hope my example explains what "character sketch" so to speak, is like. Don't forget to share this post with others you feel might benefit from this. As always please give this post a +1 for me if you have a Google+ account, follow me on all my social media sites which will be linked below and leave me a comment if you liked this post. Feel free to share this with people you think would benefit from it. Thank you all!

~Poodle
Previous Post: Dancing Through Life's Lessons: Traveling Alone 
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