Class two with Peter Kyle continued to be incredible. During class one, I participated in many of the dance exercises that Peter led, but during clas two I observed only. What struck me was how much more fluid the students were on day two: their bodies already moved differently from day one. Amazing!
Peter started the class with a long warm up to get the students' bodies moving. After only one day of practice, they were able to jump into the warm up with a certain level of familiarity from the prior class. He did this warm up and then launched into a detailed discussion of anatomy. This anatomy lesson was reinforced by having the students touch/move/rotate/feel the body parts that Peter discussed as he discussed them. Peter largely stressed the body as a system that works together.
As an aside, the body as a system, the body as a tool, the body as something that we have control over were are themes that ran through Peter's classes. He emphasized this repeatedly, encouraging the students to see themselves and their bodies as vehicles that they had control over.
After the anatomy lesson, Peter asked the students to explain what they saw in their homework from the last class. They had been assigned to go somewhere and observe people in motion, to note how their bodies moves, gestures they performed, how they performed them, and to bring that information back to class. Students had written about their observations on their class ePortfolio, and they recalled what they saw verbally to Peter.
He then asked the students to take one of the movements they had seen and to build upon it has a foundation for a contemporary dance/movement piece. He had them practice their movement, do it quickly, do it slowly, do it backwards, repeat it five times. He then asked them to pair up and to practice the performance of their peices in tandem with each other. He lastly had students perform their pieces several groups at a time, transforming the entire room into a space in which students acted out the movements they had seen on the streets of New York City.
After getting feedback on their movement pieces, Peter led them in some concluding exercises to better understand balance, weight, and the body.