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  1. Divide the class into 2 groups. Alternatively, have everyone find a partner.
  2. Have group 1 or all of the Partner “A” people form a circle in the middle of the room, facing outward. Make the circle wide to accommodate movement. These people are all lumps of clay.
  3. The second group, or all Partner “B” people, are sculptors and are going to gently manipulate and mould the lumps of clay into abstract shapes or gestures.
  4. Leaders should side coach so participants know how to observe the movement and limitations of their partners. The point is to give your clay-partner an expressive thing to portray without it being torturous or hard to balance. Moving very slowly helps.
  5. Demonstrate how to touch gently and sensitively. Don’t put your fingers in someone’s mouth or nose or touch any area that might be socially unacceptable. Remind the sculptors that they will have a turn being a lump of clay, so to handle the others as they want to be handled themselves.
  6. Once the sculpture is made, have all the sculptors move one place to the right in the circle, so they are now facing a new partner.
  7. The sculptors are now going to make slight changes and alterations to add more expression or slightly change what is in front of them. They might add a facial expression or tilt a shoulder to change the attitude of the clay sculpture. It can be realistic, portraying a gesture, or abstract, dealing with shape only.
  8. Leaders should coach the participants to work with what is in front of them rather than obliterating the past artists’ work to come up with a whole new idea.
  9. Continue rotating the sculptors around the circle until every one of them has added to the work of everyone else.
  10. Now do a brief “gallery walk” to see and discuss all the pieces.
  11. Repeat the exercise allowing the participants to switch roles. TIPS: This exercise is really about collaboration. It is easy to see if there are “bad guy” participants who will completely undo the work of others or make life hard by giving difficult positions.

VARIATIONS: The original sculptor can give their first clay partner a single sentence to say when the initial moulding takes place. This is kept a secret until the final gallery walk around. When prompted, the clay performer speaks the line as if it is the title of the sculpture. This results in strange, artsy titles like “It always rains on a Monday” or, “Where are my keys?” With older participants or advanced mover/dancers, ask the clay participants to memorize the changes and perform them in sequence as a piece of kinetic sculpture. Sculptures can also embody the poses to inspire characters and say lines of their own.

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Early Bird Discount
Full-time Course
Early Bird Discount
Full-time Course