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Chance Choreography

Al created Frankenstein’s monster by imagining he has never seen his hands, feet, legs, arms, wrists before and, like a new-born, has no idea what each body part can do or how to coordinate them together for complex actions like walking.

  • Play a ‘Twister’ game: make 3 piles of cards: write the names of less commonly used body parts (back of the wrist, heel of the left foot, left little toe) in one pile; a second should specify directions in space (high in the air, in front on the floor, to the left, right, behind, far away, directly beneath) and a third, an action + dynamic. Draw one card from each pile as instructions: (left hand, behind, twist sharply / right heel, far away, sustained) and challenge students to respond. Repeat.
  • Allow each body part to lead your focus as though it is moving of its own accord and you are becoming aware of it and what it can do for the very first time: look at it, follow its progress, adjust the rest of the body to accommodate any shift of weight. How does it feel?
  • Shuffle the cards. Ask each student to draw 12 cards in total (4 from each pile to make 4 sets of instructions) and use them to build a phrase of awkwardly-coordinated movements. Begin with a starting position low to the floor and finish on your feet. Do you topple over? Can a move send you into an unexpected spin or roll, a slide, extension or twist? Allow your eyes to resettle on the body part afterwards. Repeat the phrase until you know it well
  • Use more ‘chance’ choreography to develop and travel the phrase through the space and determine the dynamics using numbers that come up on a dice: suggestions –


1st dice roll: space 2nd dice roll: dynamics
1 Forwards Slowly
2 Backwards Flow at speed
3 Travel diagonally Slow motion
4 Circle left Sudden, then slow the impulse
5 Upwards Vigorous, energetic, powerful
6 Sideways Delicate, hesitant


  • Roll the dice 12 times for a pathway with 5 changes of direction and dynamic and use your phrase to travel. You can repeat parts of the phrase more than once, allow any momentum to travel you further or extend the phrases
  • Perform the dance to Sophy Smith’s Frank

Record, watch, and evaluate. What do you need to work on to make the dance more convincing and effective? Were there any parts that did not work so well?

Charge is supported by

Warwick Arts Centre, Rothschild Foundation, Ernest Cook Trust, Tipping Point, Stories of Change

Official energy partner of Charge

First Utility

Motionhouse is supported by

Warwick DC, Lottery Funded, Arts Council England, Vitsoe, John Ellerman Foundation