How A Video Revealed a Surprising Fact About Expressive Movements

I recently made a side-by-side duet video of the Flower Duet from Lakme. I noticed something really interesting while watching it back-- my movements were synchronized without even thinking about it. 

Take a Look:

The parts follow the same shape in most of the duet, and my body follows similar shapes as well! When the parts differentiate towards the middle, my movements separate, but when they come back to the opening theme, my movements align once again.

What does this reveal? 

I did not do this on purpose. I wasn't even thinking about it! Our patterns of movement are so deeply ingrained, that when we produce the same piece over and over, we are likely moving our bodies in very similar patterns every time!

I took it a step further and made a side-by-side comparison from my Ibert Piece practice session to see if my movements would line up.

And sure enough, they do! While it is more subtle, and there are slight differences in tempo between the two takes, I noticed several key things:

  • I pull up and back the same way both times in the opening, then bring my face back down slightly.
  • I pull my right arm up and back at the same spot, and release it back down while taking a breath.
  • In the second clip, I bow down and rapidly pull back up both times.

How Can I Use This Information?

These patterns are information that you can use to break yourself out of movements that might be holding back expression or ease in certain moments!

For example, in my second clip, pulling my arm up and back just before the breath led to a more dramatic movement while taking the breath, which may prevent ease and efficiency. I can now try allowing my arms to release at that moment in preparation for the breath.

Choosing an alternative movement from the one your body naturally creates gives you the chance to experience a new feeling while playing a piece!

Become aware of your habits and unlock the possibilities!