Bodies Moving Through Space

In the Life Drawing Field Trip that MA Character Animation recently took to London’s Southbank Centre, we looked at the scale and perspective of people moving through urban architecture. Starting in Waterloo Station, we drew people in motion and examined the change of scale from background to foreground. After more drawings in the streets and down by the river Thames, we convened in the BFI Cafe, where it was warm, to look at each other’s drawings and to get feedback from Life Drawing tutor Maryclare Foa.

The whole issue of the shape of physical movement through space is of special interest in the world of performance and especially dance. In the Bauhaus, Oskar Schlemmer padded and extended the bodies of his performers into abstract shapes and choreographed movements that took the form of patterns. Here is a reconstruction of Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet by Margarete Hastings in 1970.

To see more recreations of Schlemmer’s original dance performances see this website for Bauhaus Dance videos.

William Forsythe is a contemporary choreographer and dancer who works with the body in architecture. Here is a clip from One Flat Thing Reproduced.

In the next clip you can see how he works with a development of Rudolph Laban’s notion of the kinesphere – the invisible three-dimensional space that surrounds us – and composes his choreography based on patterns in space.

For more information on this work and links to other fascinating projects, see the Synchronous Objects site.

Animate Projects have just curated an online exhibition Moving Pictures in conjunction with Portland Green cultural projects, who specialise in dance film. This exhibition features projects which combine animation and dance.

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