This lesson is self-explanatory. Here, the teacher may wish to give the students some lead-way. The films I’ve suggested (in the film bibliography), simply as a guideline, are epic features such as:
Malcolm X, The Age of Innocence, All That Jazz, Cry Freedom,
The Phantom of the Opera
. With this lesson, the teacher may want to collaborate with the theater, visual arts, and/or instrumental music departments. By the time the students have reached Lesson V., it may prove an interesting approach to begin some form of a “team-work” type unit for the purposes of major productions.
The teacher may find it necessary to cast extras (nondancers) when choreographing a dance for an epic picture, such as
, which deals with the struggle of the South Africans’ fight against apartheid and victimization at the hands of the established militia. The film is very powerful, as is the subject matter. Art teachers/students tend to work well together and collaboration between the various art departments would be a definite plus for the success of this production. Every teacher and student involved in the collaboration should view the film and discuss it in their separate classes and again as a team unit. The dance teacher should arrange for the dance students to team with theater students in groups of ten to twelve (with each number from each department being equal). Each group of students will aid one another with certain skills. For example, the drama students in a group may need to show how they would deliver a particular scene, and vice-versa, the dance students will guide the students who are to be extras on how to handle movement in a set pattern; though the extras may not be “dancing”, they will have to move on stage in a choreographed pattern.
The students will need close supervision/guidance in the beginning, so the teacher may find it necessary to ask assistance of another dance teacher and one or two theater teachers. The dance teacher should also discuss the possibility of the instrumental and vocal music departments’ participation with the teachers of those two areas. The soundtrack for
is excellent and would provide the music departments with an exciting and challenging project. The same holds true for the dance teacher when looking into the prospect of using the visual arts department for stage setting and props. Most arts high schools have more than two teachers per department, therefore, the dance teacher should anticipate requesting only one teacher from theater to guide the drama factor, one instrumental and chorus teacher for the music factor, so on and so forth.