Characterization Workshop

Deborah Zall will guide students through the creation of a character from a literary source to create a dance drama.

Students will begin by reading the plays used as source material by Deborah Zall and Martha Graham (O’Neill’s Long Day’s Journey into Night and Sophocle’s Oedipus Rex, respectively). Miss Zall will then perform her solo of Mary Tyrone from Long Day’s Journey into Night, and screen a film of Martha Graham’s Night Journey. Students will be asked how the intention of the character expressed through choreography differs from the character portrayed in the play. Is choreography a literal expression or a non-literal expression?

The rest of the workshop will focus on creating a character themselves from various sources.

Observation: Students will observe a person different from themselves, and create a study with words and non-dance movements.

Emotion: Students will be asked to draw on experiences–personal and impersonal, happy and sad–and create studies using words and non-dance movements.

History, Literature, Art, Poetry: Students will select a character from history, literature, art or poetry, and create a study of this character in several drafts, moving from non-dance movements into dance movements.

Deborah Zall will lead the students through this process and introduce Martha Graham-based dance movements.

The choice of one’s destiny and reflections of the past followed, where it has led.
What could have been the struggle of a tormented soul?

A Long Day’s Journey Into Night