English Vocabulary for Drama and Dance

Free ESL in Canada English lessons for international students to study Drama & Dance in Canada or USA during an exchange program. Drama & Dance vocabulary is necessary for exchange students to succeed during an exchange program in the USA or Canada. Other grammar topics include vocabulary, parts of speech, sentence structure, punctuation, tenses, verbals, conditionals and writing.

Vocabulary for Drama and Dance Exchange Students

Choral speaking, chanting.
The reading or reciting of text by a group. This involves experimentation, interpretation, and rehearsal of a piece of text, such as a poem or riddle. The students experiment with the use of language, rhythm, volume, and pace.

"Corridor of voices."
A formation used for exploring the inner life of a character in drama. The character moves through the "corridor", which is made up of others who represent his or her thoughts or conscience. As the character passes through the corridor, the voices of those in the corridor express a range of thoughts and feelings. Moving through a corridor of voices can also be useful in exploring the thoughts of a character who is facing a difficult task or decision. In this case, the voices are external and give advice and warnings.

Dance drama.
A drama enacted through dance. The objective is to interpret a story, theme, or piece of music through movement.

Drama anthology.
A collection of materials (e.g., letters, songs, poems, speeches, monologues, diaries, photographs) that represent aspects of life in a certain historical period or aspects of the life of a person, real or fictional.

Elements of dance.
Fundamental components of dance. They include space, shape, time (rhythm), and energy.

Elements of drama.
Fundamental components of drama. They include character, suspense, conflict, and structure.

Forum theatre.
A technique in drama that involves the improvisational exploration of a dramatic situation by a group. Although only a small group does the improvisation, the rest of the group observes, and all group members participate in creating the scene through discussion. Members of the group may also stop the action in order to make suggestions or to take over a role.

Improvisation.
Generally, a spontaneous response to a dramatic situation that involves verbal and non-verbal activity. The improviser acts in the role of a specific character. Sometimes, however, some preparation is involved, as in the improvisation of a key moment in a drama. In such cases, the improvisers need to do a certain amount of planning and collaboration - for example, they need to choose carefully the moment to be enacted and the dialogue to be spoken. Various techniques may be used. For example, students may experiment with making transitions between still shapes (that is, moving from one tableau to another), or they may select a word relevant to the drama and explore aspects of its meaning through movement and role playing.

"Inner and outer circle."
The name of an activity in drama. In this activity, the students first divide themselves into two groups. One group forms a circle to represent a character from the drama, and the other group forms a circle around the first circle to represent another character. The students share, in role, their thoughts and feelings at a significant point in the drama. Students may speak spontaneously or read from the source material being used.

Monologue.
A scene in drama in which a person speaks alone. The speech is usually long. It may be composed by the speaker or it may be taken from source material. Its dramatic purpose is to provide insight into the character.

Reader's theatre.
A means of performing a play, story, or poem that consists solely of reading. Meaning is conveyed only through the use of the voice; props, costumes, sets, or music cannot be used.

Role playing.
A technique in drama that involves the adopting of the point of view of a character in an imaginary situation. The aim of the exercise is to try to understand through imagination what that character feels and how that character thinks. When someone is playing the role of a character, he or she is said to be speaking or writing "in role". Speaking in role is not confined to acting in a dramatic scene, but can be done out of the scene; that is, someone could still be playing the part of a character, for purposes of study, during a discussion of the motives or personality of that character.

Soundscape, sound collage.
The combination of sounds, which may include vocal and instrumental sounds, to create a specific atmosphere or to accompany important moments of a scene.

Tableau.
A silent group of people frozen in time to represent a scene, abstract idea (e.g., peace, joy), or theme.

Voice.
In written work, style or character revealed through the use of vocabulary, sentence structure, and imagery, for example, as well as the rhythm of the prose and the mood of the piece as a whole. In spoken drama, style or character revealed mainly through the use of vocabulary, as well as through tone of voice and pace of speech.

Writing in role.
Writing as a character from a drama in order to sharpen understanding of that character and develop further scenes on the basis of this understanding. Some examples of forms that may be used are diaries, letters, and reports on specific events that indicate the character's responses to those events.

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