Schools – Functionalism and Movement

Rehearsing inside The Soapworks.
Performing to an audience inside The Soapworks

Russian Functionalism and Movement.

As part of our project linking the art of the Russian Functionalists (Malevich, Rodchenko, Popova, etc),  pupils constructing their own words to be translated into movement, and for a movement performance in the retail/office space of The Soapworks in Manchester. In preparing the children for the change in use of  space, they  were encouraged to draw their own representations. One autistic child drew ‘Dancing on Saturn’ (see attachment). Is this literal or imaginative thinking of an autistic child?

One of the aims of this project was to explore and widen where the pupils believed creativity could happen. In using ‘The Soapworks’, an office/retail building we gave the pupils a first hand experience of an alternative ‘space’ for creative education.

Pupils comments on how they saw creative space in their evaluation of the ‘Soapworks’ project:

Dancing on Saturn.

“Art can happen anywhere, any place outside.”

“I enjoyed moving, dancing,shapes and the cafe.”

“Art happens in big places, high places, some rooms, moving about.”

“I enjoyed dancing, learning skills, music focus, rehearsing, performing a show.”

All participants gave the project full marks for enjoyment

“On a similar note, last Tuesday I had the Year 5 specialist class at Acre Hall, all of whom had undertaken the workshop with Bettina at The Soapworks. Oftentimes it’s difficult to ascertain the impact of these sessions but towards the end of the day, Paula put some music on that somehow coordinated with number patterns they had been exposed to the previous week. A couple of the children then started to show me how they had expressed shape through dance, teaching me how to use my body and limbs – this continued for the next 20 mins or so. Watching them take ownership of their experiences and have the confidence then to transmit this to me was magic.” 

Dee Dee – Artist in Residence and Teacher