Workshop Resource: Choreography and Communication Methods

The information below can be also downloaded as a PDF document here


All groups coloured coded as follows:

Josie’s groups: Yellow
Sarah’s groups: Purple
Laura’s groups: Green
Suzie’s groups: Blue

Gong Communication Method:

3 Gongs: start dance
2 Gongs: transition/move to next shape/position
1 Gong: End dance

Each dance has a physical sign (action):

This will be use to communicate the dance we are about to rehearse & film.
There will also be drawn symbols to represent each of the dances. These will be visibly displayed on boards.


DANCE 1:  Swarming


Sign: low 3rd hands weaving in and out – fish style

Drawing/Symbol:  2 arches crossing over




Sketch 1:


Movement structure:

Sequences: solo-partner-solo-partner….

Or: partner-solo-partner-solo etc (encourage to change partners)

Solo and duet swarmer’s move around in silence, busily as if searching to find something. Focus is down, but with an awareness of surroundings. When 2 individuals make contact a turn occurs – arms curve around partner as they turn (slightly open version of low 3rd position).

The turn can be a small turn (½) up to 2 full turns. When exiting the turn a change of direction takes place.

Movement style:

Small/half shuffle walks, shunts, knees relaxed

Movement direction:

Curving, circles, forwards and backwards. Wavy pathways.
‘Time Outers’ and ‘Darters’ (1 in 15 people darters & 1 in 15 people Time Outer’s) approx.

From your group select 2 people:

1 x ‘Time Outer: at random moments in the movement structure a ‘time outer’ will stay on the spot (slightly swaying) for a moment before continuing on its journey.

1 x ‘Darter’: at random moments in the movement structure a ‘darter’ quickly darts fast pace walks/strides in one directions (3 strides) then retraces the pathway back before repeating 2-3 more darts in various directions each time returning back to base.

Once the ‘Time Outer’ and ‘Darter’ has performed their movements they can then return to the swarming mass structure.

DANCE 2: Boat Dance


Sign: hands opposite chest, holding invisible ball (football size) small circles.

Drawing/Symbol: Bowl


3 Gongs – to start
2 Gong – for transitioning from shape to shape
1 Gong – to end


 Sketch 2:


Movement structure:

Combinations of Solos, Duets, Trios, Quartets

Each person devises/sets 4 shapes/positions (Solos, Duets, Trios, Quartets) making contact with arms using one of the above arm variations.

Shape 1 – sustain, sway/rock, (contact pulse through groups) tilt/fall transition to
Shape 2 – sustain, sway/rock, (contact pulse through groups) tilt/fall transition to
Shape 3 – sustain, sway/rock, (contact pulse through groups) tilt/fall transition to
Shape 4 – sustain, sway/rock, (contact pulse through groups) tilt/fall transition to
Shape 5 – Large/whole group (all your group connect up making one big shape/position.

Short improvise moving freely around the space on an individual journey to get you back to Shape/Position 1. (on a boat/drunken/goldfish bowl)

Performance at slow pace Shape 1 – transition – Shape 2 – transition – Shape 3 – transition – Shape 4 – transition – repeat at fast pace – Shape 1 – transition – Shape 2 – transition – Shape 3 – transition – Shape 4 – transition – Shape 5 – improvise – back to start

Movement style:

As on boat

Hovering, swaying, smooth transference of weight from one foot to the other.

Fingertips/back of hands/hands make contact with the other moves to create shapes. Arm’s slightly lower than shoulder height.

Movement direction:

All directions.

DANCE 3: Swirling Wheat Field


3 Gongs: start dance
Constant drum beat /rhythm (hopefully)
1 Gong: End dance

Sign: index fingers swirling outwards above head

Drawing/Symbol: Spiral using 3 curves




Sketch 3:


Movement structure:

Follow my leader/In line

Connection made by placing hands on hips of person in front

Individuals and sections may break off and join other lines

At crossroads line may swerve along the side of the crossing line. Lines cannot pass through each other. They can pause and wait, change direction or pass along the side of the line.

Movement style:

Double hold & single hold

Walking, swirling, spirals inwards, spirals outwards, curves, moving progressively forwards. Hands on hips of person in front.

Movement direction:

The movement is progressive, moving forwards and across the space/screen

Enter screen side/space side from R side and moving across to the Left side.


DANCE 4: Multiplying


3 Gongs: start Frames
2 Gongs: to slide to side/multiply
1 Gong: End Frames

Sign: Making an X cross with arms in front of face





Sketch 4:


Movement structure:

This dance develops/multiplies in frames:
Rehearse with your groups, the face-to-face contact, and sliding to sides to open into multiplied positions.

Frame 1:

4 people start/2 duets face-to-face arms out to sides (as one) x 2 bacteria in space.
Transition: Bodies slide to each side and open to multiply extending arms. (4 bacteria in space)

Frame 2:

Add 4 people to the frame to join 4 people face to face repeat as in Frame 1. X 4 bacteria in space.
Transition: Repeat as in first transition (8 bacteria in space)

Frame 3:

Add 8 people – face-to-face- X 8 bacteria in space.
Transition: Repeat as before to multiply (16 bacteria in space)

Frame 4: Add 16 people – Transition- 32 bacteria
Frame 5: Add 32 people – Transition – 64 bacteria
Frame 6: Add 64 people – Transition – 128 bacteria
Frame 7: Add 128 people – Transition – 246 bacteria
Frame 8: Add 246 people – Transition – 492 bacteria

Movement style:

Jolting, jerking, feet in wide position, arms connected at wrists/forearm where contact occurs.

Movement direction:

All directions: diagonal, straight, curved, parallel & horizontal.


DANCE 5: The Greek Slide


Communication: Coloured Flags in diagonal corners – start and end positioning

3 Gongs: Start Frames
(Greek music as they dance diagonally across the space)
1 Gong: End Frames

Sign: Arms held out to sides curved up to sky – large dish





Sketch 5:


Movement structure:

In groups 5-10 devise side walking patterns (Greek style) that are progress in the direction that they are traveling for example:

Using the foot pattern side, in front, side behind & loop: 6 steps to Right, 3 to Left, 5 to Right, 2 to Left & loop.

Movement style:

Greek style steps to the side in front and behind. Side, in front, side, behind repeat. Arms connect across the shoulders/hands are placed on the shoulders of person next to your left and right side.

Knees natural bend and straighten with the sidewalks. This should not be over emphasized.

Movement direction:

Starting positions:

Either 1: up slide/frame left diagonal corner – or – 2: down slide/frame right diagonal corner.

Dance leaders will need to divide your lines so that approximately 50% of your workshop participants use ‘1’ and 50% use ‘2’ starting positions. Please see sketch above.

It is important the lines/groups are clear with their starting positions.


DANCE 6: 5e+16



Movement structure:

Participants will be placed into position for this image. In workshops depending on numbers you can rehearse making a ‘+’, ‘1’ ‘5’ or ‘e’ shape etc. When we have group/participant’s lists I will allocate participants to particular letters or number groups.

Movement style:

We will form the shape by placing individuals into place and then participants will walk out and back into position.

Walking into position, creating ones own individual pathway to get there. Holding the shape/position for 30 seconds and walking back out, those on the outside edges of the shape will begin the exit walking. As people enter and exit they need to move like bacteria, wondering around, taking individual pathways etc.


Useful Information:


  • You are 90% bacteria 10% human! We each have One Hundred Trillion bacteria moving and working successfully to aid our health and Well-being.
  • 5e + 16 is a mathematical formula made up by multiplying the number of bacteria present in a singular human body 100,000,000,000,000 (100 Trillion) x 500 people = 5e + 16

Useful YouTube Links: