Elliott, Hilary (2017) Metronome and Melodic Lines: Confluences of the word and the move in solo studio-based movement improvisatory practice. Choreographic Practices, 8 (1). pp. 51-66. ISSN 2040-5669

This article introduces and analyses two approaches to experiencing and interpreting confluences of the spoken word and movement when training or performing solo movement improvisation. The first is Metronome – a training strategy invented by two of my earliest improvisation teachers, Peter Trotman and Andrew Morrish – in which there is a deliberate coming together of speaking and moving. The second is Melodic Lines – a training or loose performance score that I have developed – in which spoken language
emerges from sensation. Sondra Fraleigh’s comments on the ‘fragmented “umms” and “ahhhs”, pauses and detours’ that she notes in everyday speech open a useful perspective on the way in which Metronome encourages uninhibited production of words in synchronicity with movement. A consideration of dance ethnographer
Deidre Sklar’s views on linguistic meaning – articulated in terms of the ‘somatic reverberations’ of words and her proposition that it is possible to ‘bid words to participate in the somatic schema they represent’ – frames my consideration of Melodic Lines as a strategy in which words are experienced as embodied knowledge. These approaches are further contextualized within the related improvisatory discourses of Keith Johnstone,
Ruth Zaporah, Miranda Tufnell and Chris Crickmay.

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