Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Creative Movement Activity
The following mirror exercises will help students develop their observational skills
so that they learn how to catch nuances of body movements and facial clues
from their partners and respond to them. This collaborative effort can then
translate into creative expression.
WHAT YOU NEED
WHAT TO DO
- Discuss with students why we use mirrors. Point out, if necessary, that a mirror
lets us see ourselves the way others see us.
- Have several volunteers take turns standing in front of a mirror (their backs to
the class) and describing what they see. Encourage them to go beyond their own
reflections and to observe what they see in the background. Have them move
closer and then farther away from the mirror and note the differences.
- Have other volunteers stand before a mirror and make simple movements,
such as patting their heads with their left hand, pretending to clean a window with
their right hand, and so forth. Call students' attention to the way a mirror reverses
things; that is, though the person may be moving his or her right hand, the mirror
image appears to be using his or her left hand. To demonstrate, have a student
pretend to be a mirror image of someone and do the same motions: One student
will be using his or her right hand, the other his or her left.
- Involve the whole group by encouraging pairs of students to do other
movements, each time with one student pretending to be the mirror image. Then
have partners change roles.
- Finally, let students try another series of movements, but this time tell
participants to forget the distinction between the person looking in a mirror and
the mirror image. Instead, explain that either person can initiate a movement for
his or her partner to follow.
The last exercise is the most challenging, but also the most rewarding. It's
one that students can practice and improve on as they become accustomed to
the concentration and collaborative effort.
- Set aside a time for students to perform, encouraging them to practice in the
interim. Some students may want to perform only a well-rehearsed routine.
Others might enjoy the challenge of responding to suggestions from the class.
Encourage the dancers in your class to create a dance using mirror images.
Students with other aptitudes in the arts might also incorporate the mirror into
their work. For example, visual artists might try to draw or paint themselves from
a mirror, poets can write on "What I See When I See Me," and fiction writers
might write a story with a mirror as a major feature
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