Show Navigation

Dance Workshop

Dance Workshop

Eight Sessions

The Art of Chinese Dance

Purpose

Through the study of dance movement, students will achieve a basic understanding of Chinese culture and aesthetics.  To introduce the fundamental elements of Chinese dance, the training, discipline and concentration. Student will experience the characteristics of Chinese dance which include the circular patterns in the movement, the hand-eye coordination, dynamic use of various body parts, as well as delicate foot work and hand gestures.  Students will learn to tell the stylized movement in Chinese dance tradition and explore the basic elements of movement as well as learning teamwork, spatial relationship and discipline.

Session I    

Introduction and Kick-off
Classroom teacher introduces the artist to the students.  The artist tells about herself, her background and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company.  Artist will demonstrate basic props and exercise to the students (20 minutes).  Students learn the basic stance, foot and hand positions.  Emphasis will be placed on the five outer elements: Hands, Eyes, Legs, Torso and Coordination.

Session II  

The Five Outer Elements  I  
Start with basic warm up exercise to make student aware of the five outer elements.  Introduce the entire warm up exercise.  Emphasize on the fact that every movement involves all the outer elements.  Explore different aspects of the five elements and introduce standard exercise combination.

Session III

Review of the Five Outer Elements
Review the exercises started with students in the previous session.  Artist will tell the students something about each movement.  The name of the movement combination in Chinese and the meaning of the movement name.  In this session, besides reviewing the exercises, the movements will be more advanced and the artist will ask the students to do the exercise with faster speed.

Session IV


A Short Dance with Five Outer Elements

Artist will introduce Chinese music into the classroom.  Using the exercises and exploration taught in the last three sessions, the artist would choreograph a short dance combination for the students to music.

Session V


Introduction to Props

Artist will review basic exercises and introduce the basic movement of ribbon dance.  If possible, classroom teachers can provide information about Silk, its significance in Chinese history and world culture.

Session VI


Props II

Artist will review ribbon dance and warm up exercises.  Drill the basic ribbon movements to prepare the students for a short ribbon dance.  Review the short dance taught in session IV.

Session VII

The Five Inner Elements
Artist will introduce the five inner elements of Chinese Dance: Concentration, Spirit, Energy, Strength and Discipline.  Artist will demonstrate the 2 dances taught with the elements introduced to the students.  This session will emphasize the performance aspects of dance, making the students aware of the space around them and how they can express themselves through the inner elements.

Session VII

Performance

Artist will lead each student to perform for each other.  After all the performance, discuss what they have learned about Chinese dance.  Using music and dance, helping the students to further identify of the distinguishing characteristics of Chinese Dance and their own interpretation of it.

Dance Workshop
Five Session
The Art of Chinese Dance

Purpose
Through the study of dance movement, students will achieve a basic understanding of Chinese culture and aesthetics.  To introduce the fundamental elements of Chinese dance, the training, discipline and concentration. Student will learn the characteristics of Chinese Dance, which include the circular patterns in the movement, the hand-eye coordination, dynamic use of various body parts, as well as delicate foot work and hand gestures.  Students will learn to tell the stylized movement in Chinese dance tradition and explore the basic elements of movement as well as learning teamwork, spatial relationship and discipline.

 

Classroom teachers can provide information about Silk, its significance in Chinese history and world culture.

Requirements:

1. Boom-box (Tape player, Amp and Speaker)

2. A large room with no obstacles

3. Children should wear comfortable pants and sneakers

Session I    

Introduction and Kick-off

The Five Outer Elements Classroom teacher introduces the artist to the students.  The artist tells about herself, her background and the Nai-Ni Chen Dance Company.  Artist will demonstrate basic exercise to the students.  Students learn the basic stance, foot and hand positions.  Emphasis will be placed on the five outer elements: Hands, Eyes, Legs, Torso and Coordination. These basic exercises make student aware of the five outer elements.  Introduce the entire warm up exercise.  Emphasize on the fact that every movement involves all the outer elements.  Explore different aspects of the five elements and introduce standard exercise combination.

Session II

Introduction to Props
Artist will review basic exercises and introduce basic movements of the ribbon dance.  These movements are derived from images of nature.  Artist will review basic movements and warm up exercises.  Students will learn longer combinations.  These combinations will become part of the ribbon dance in sessions III, IV and V.

Session III

Artist will put the combination together with the students.  These combinations will help the students to achieve the following:

  • Dynamic Change
  • Coordination
  • Direction Change
  • Spatial Relationships

Session IV

Continue the works in III, the students will review the material introduced and learn a dance from beginning to end.  The goal is help the student to achieve:

  • An understanding of the relationship of dance to music
  • Teamwork
  • Move in unison

Costume for performance (optional)
Student should wear:
1) White pants that allow easy movement of the legs (sweat pants are fine)
2) White socks and white canvas sneakers
3) White T-Shirt or White shirt with mandarin collar
4) Red (or colored) silk as belt.  (The school must budget for this item, about 2/3 year per student)

Prop Making (optional)
This will require 1 – 2 classroom sessions (artist will not be present, but will train the teacher)
Teachers can lead students to make the ribbon for the dance.
Material needed:
1) wooden dowel – 15 inchs long, 1/2 inch in diameter for each student
2) Silk – 4 yards for every 3 students (polysilk will do)
3) needle and thread
4) quater inch wide elastic band ( about 1 foot per student)
5) Nail polish (1 bottle for 2 students)

Costume for performance (optional)
Student should wear:
1) White pants that allow easy movement of the legs (sweat pants are fine)
2) White socks and white canvas sneakers
3) White T-Shirt or White shirt with mandarin collar
4) Red (or colored) silk as belt.  (The school must budget for this item, about 2/3 year per student)

Making Ribbons by Nai-Ni Chen
This will require 1 – 2 classroom sessions (artist will not be present, but will train the teacher)
Teachers can lead students to make the ribbon for the dance.


Material needed:
1) wooden dowel – 15 inchs long, 1/2 inch in diameter for each student

2) Silk – 3.5 yard by 45 inch wide  for every 3 students (poly-silk will do)

4) one eighth inch wide elastic band ( 1 foot per student) or thick rubber band

5) Nail polish (1 bottle for 2 students)

 

Procedure:

1) Cut the fabric into three equal width (about 15 inches wide).  Three and half yard in length.

2) Use nail polish to seal the edge of the cut, so the threads of the fabric do not run.  You can also use sewing machine to do this.

3) Wrap the end of the fabric onto the dowel.  Tie the fabric down with elastic (or rubber) band.