The Westlake Senior Drama Students (years 11 to 13) were lucky enough to experience a workshop led by the talented Darren Royston.
Year 11 student Julia Wilkins said “Darren is an actor, dancer, musical theatre performer, director, choreographer, movement director, and has taught in many drama schools. He introduced us to the theories of Rudolf von Laban, who is thought of as the “founding father of expressionist dance”. Darren taught us a lot about movement and the different characters that can form from it. We played around with changing the weight of our movement (strong to light), the focus (direct to flexible), and the timing (sustained to sudden). I found it difficult to move in a way that was strong and flexible, but when Darren used the example of a typical fairytale witch as a character who might move in that way I understood it much better.
He explained that different words can be used to express these different movement styles, such as ‘slashing’ for strong, flexible and sudden movement, or ‘gliding’ for light, direct and sustained movement. Now, I feel confident in my ability to incorporate different styles of movement into the characters I play.”
As you would have seen in the previous issue of Te Roto, Darren also worked with the casts of both productions – As You Like It and Into the Woods – to choreograph dance and movement. Make sure to come along in term three and see the casts in action!