The Alienation Game

I did a workshop today with good help from Ebba Petrén at Knudepunkt (twitter feed) titled Dance, movement, scores. The aim was to play with body and movement to bring a physical dimension to role-playing.  As a part of it I set up a sequence of 4 physical scenes concerned with alienation, that worked quite well, especially the office scene. I would love to read, see and try out more participatory movement scores like this one, so please share it if you have done anything similar. The Improv Encyclopedia share plenty of methods  for improvised theatre and theatre sports, but when it comes to dance and performance it’s a lot harder to get hold of materials like that.

This one was just a 20 min experiment to show role-players how interaction can happen without social roles, a theme Tova Gerge spoke of in a lecture earlier today, and a theme we have elaborated a little bit on in text before.


So, it’s a short scenario in 3 scenes on alienation from production, circulation and social situations, with 3 different more or less physical scores. I will tell you when the scene starts and when it’s over. In the first scene we are at the office. In the second scene we are going home from work. In the last scene we’ll go out dancing and drinking to forget our depressive job.

1. Going to work

We will walk around randomly in the room. When you hear the beeping sound you want to cross the room in the middle.
Sound: A loud, disturbing beep

2. The Office

The second scene is in the office and we will line up in a ╔╗ shape and send a paper in between us, a little bit like an assembly line, but we don’t produce anything, we just circulate papers. The first person will take a paper, read it, and crumple it. The second one will unfold it, read it and send it along. The third one reads it crumble it, and passes it, and so on.

Sound: Corporate world from the Fight Club soundtrack
Prop: Print this and send along paper by paper to the assembly line:

The text is a quote from The Coming Insurection (PDF).

3. Going out

Same as step 1, but shorter.
Sound: A loud, disturbing beep

4. Disco Dance

We go on stage one after the other. We’ll do disco dancing but with the following restrictions:

  • You are not allowed look into each others eyes and
  • as we dance we put to fingers in our mouth.

Sucking on the fingers will be an image for trying to escape the dissatisfying life at work through oral stimulation and not looking at each other is an alienating effect. Although our generation has a lot of Facebook friends we don’t necessarily have anyone to be close to. So we go on stage one bye one and dance until the song is over.
Sound: Common people with Pulp

The finger sucking was inspired by a theatre play performed on Turteatern, based on The Coming Insurrection.



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