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Memories of Paris

Naturalistic Gesture

This scene is a welcome relief after the tension of Aerial Towers. Movements are simple, naturalistic and the mood is youthful, optimistic and full of joie de vivre!


  • List what you do when getting ready to go out for the night: put music on, apply face cream/make-up, fix an up-do, try on & discard outfits. Do you treat yourself to a glass of something? Answer your phone? Put music on to get you in the mood?
  • Teach the group a unison ‘getting ready’ routine of approx. 32 counts. It could start by setting up a jaunty, up-beat pop tune in real time on your phone. The activities should flow one into the next and remain easily recognizable but without the fussiness and detail of complete naturalism: aim for core action, shape and dynamic and insert the odd dance step. Try to show through the body posture and carriage the transformation (and excitement) from ‘night-in’ to ‘night-out’ readiness.
  • Practise and perfect the unison, pressing for precision in details (size of movement, focus, dynamic, speed, rhythm, angle of the arms, where the weight is). Watch ½ a group at a time to appreciate the power and interest generated by group unison and point out any distracting deviations.
  • Divide into smaller groups. Each should set up a formation that works for the dance idea. Is everyone together or are they in separate rooms/parts of the city? Do they all face front? Try alternatives to see what effects are created with a tight/spread out group, mirror-images, different directions, levels, starting positions, a staggered start?
  • Devise a way of showing you are ready, leaving and heading out to the nightclub; what can you do with movement, music, lighting, space, props to help communicate this transition? How do you let an audience knows you have arrived at the club?
  • How did the dancers in Charge generate the feeling of a crowd, the noise, the mood, the liveliness, without resorting to pure mime? Mind storm things you would see in a packed club.
  • Set a series of stage freezes with everyone having a clear but different intent each time (as though we are seeing naturalistic snapshots of an evening out). Are there plenty of contrasts of shape, level, direction, expression? How could you incorporate props? Set the freezes in a rhythmic phrase with half or all the dancers switching position at the same time.
  • Learn the unison dance move phrase the girls perform in the bar in Memories of Paris. Build in more of your own. What happens if you switch to slow motion?

Choreograph your nightclub scene adding lights, music and vocalisations/sound effects and drawing together the snapshots of social interaction with the dance moves; Try to mix things up with duo and trio unison, foreground versus background.

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