Different Backgrounds, Common Ground

Miriam’s Vision is about building an inclusive, non-violent society, respecting fundamental rights. This cannot be over-emphasised to students, whenever the opportunity arises.
 

Practicalities

The Miriam's Vision Art Module consists of a set of lesson plans in the form of guided instructions. Resources (electronic and otherwise) are listed at the beginning of each lesson plan and highlighted within the plans for ease of reference. You have everything you need on this website to deliver Miriam's Vision in your classroom.
 

For ease of reference, we will often refer to the 2005 London bombings as “7/7”.

All modules in Miriam’s Vision use the four-part Miriam’s Story video package to set the context of the resource for students.

The Dance module takes the location of Miriam’s memorial, the Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care CentreThe Miriam Hyman Children's Eye Care Centre is within the L V Prasad Eye Institute, Odisha, India. There is an average 10,000 Outpatients appointments and 1,000 surgeries per year. The MHMT is supporting its Outreach programme., as its starting point. The MHCECC is in Odisha, India and Odissi is one of the eight classical Indian dance forms.

The central message of the module is that every culture includes Dance, and although locality influences the forms it takes, Dance is a universal human expression that fulfils many roles. So despite local differences, we have fundamental commonalities that unite us.

To this end, students are introduced to the basics of Odissi and have opportunities to explore some simple elements through analysis and performance, compare to Dance in their own environment and choreograph and perform short pieces incorporating chosen elements of either.

A short learned sequence gives students a taste of Odissi. Because this sequence is demonstrated in video, any non-dance specialist PE teacher will be able to deliver the Scheme of Work.

Different Backgrounds, Common Ground is the overall theme that you will need to refer to frequently. Opportunities to do this are built into the plans.

Where possible, we have provided resources that are not dependent on internet access although it will be useful for Task 2. Bespoke Miriam’s Vision resources include the Miriam’s Story video package and a range of others. You will need projection equipment.

There is a vast range of relevant sources online and the links given in these plans can easily be replaced with others if you find ones you prefer (please make a note of them), or experience difficulty accessing them (although we have tried to use relatively reliable sites).

Guidance notes are incorporated into the plans. The plans are guides only. They do not include timings for example, as we know you will wish to adapt and select according to the needs of your class. We have assumed consecutive sessions delivered as your timetable permits, possibly fitting two sessions into a timetabled lesson. We have not included suggestions about differentiation other than to offer some variety of input / expectation in places, but could do so when the module is refined. Feedback on this, as with everything, would be much appreciated!

Extension activities included in the plans are envisaged as homework but could be included in contact time depending on how much time you have timetabled for the entire module.

Please allow 10 minutes at the end of the session for students to complete the Student Survey. Please collect the surveys at the end and submit them to the MHMT. If you are participating in our Evaluation & Impact Study this is vital. Thank you.

Resources Downloads: 
Different Backgrounds, Common Ground

Task 1: Introduction

Dance
Dance
Key Message: 
  • Miriam’s Vision: A Response to the 2005 London Bombings is the Hyman family’s way of trying to help you to create a safer, more inclusive society in response to what happened to Miriam.
Objectives: 
  • Students will understand why they are participating in these activities
  • Students will make links between Miriam, her story and the location of Odisha
Outcomes: 
  • Students will find out who Miriam Hyman was and how her story links to Odissi dance (through the location of her memorial, the Miriam Hyman Children’s Eye Care Centre in Odisha).
  • Students will start to think about dance as part of culture, including their own www.london.gov.uk/london-curriculum
Plan: 

Starter

Tell the students what the Miriam’s Vision resource and this module are about, share the title, key message, objectives etc.

Introduce the theme, Different Backgrounds, Common Ground. What could this mean in relation to Dance and in wider contexts?

Explain that the module starts by setting the context with some video and a presentation.

Show Miriam’s Story video package Parts 1 to 4.

Allow more or less time for this activity depending on how much discussion is appropriate for your group before, between and / or after each of the (approximately) two-minute sections:

  • What happened on 7th July 2005? (Four suicide bombs in a coordinated attack on the London transport system during the morning rush hour, killing fifty-two people and directly or indirectly affecting unrecorded numbers of people.)
  • Why is it known as “7/7”? (Because it happened on the seventh day of the seventh month.)
  • (It may be appropriate to discuss your group’s knowledge of 7/7, or any aspect they bring up after seeing the package.)
  • Who was Miriam Hyman? (One of the fifty-two people killed on 7/7.)
  • What is the Miriam Hyman Memorial Trust (MHMT)? (The Hyman family set up this charity in Miriam’s memory.)
  • What is the Miriam Hyman Children’s Eye Care Centre (MHCECC)? (The centre was opened in 2008 and named after Miriam. The MHMT supports the MHCECC and the Hyman family are happy to have created a lasting, living memorial to Miriam that helps a lot of children and their families.)
  • Where is the MHCECC? (In India, in the state of Odisha.)

How does Miriam’s Vision fit in? MV Resource 0 Info for Students.pdf is a single page summary of Miriam's Vision and its aims. Print and distribute a copy to each student. (The MHMT wants to help YOU to participate in creating a safer, more inclusive society so that events like 7/7 are less likely to recur. One way of doing this is to be aware that, despite local differences, we all have fundamental common needs that unite us.)

Activity

Explain that all parts of the world have their own traditional dance forms. We are going to explore the traditional dance form in the locality of the Miriam Hyman Children’s Eye Care Centre. (Do they remember where it is? Odisha, India.)

Show MV Dance Resource 1.1 Intro to Odissi PP.

Discuss slides as appropriate to your group. Points to bring out:

  • Odissi has distinctive features as one of India’s eight major dance forms
  • Odissi has a variety of forms, one of which is narrative through a vocabulary of movements

Plenary

Class discussion: What did they find out? Was there anything particularly interesting or surprising?

Task 2: Linking Odissi to Local Dance Culture

Dance
Dance
Key Message: 
  • Despite local differences, dance is practised in every culture because it responds to fundamental common human needs for creativity and expression.
Objectives: 
  • Students will make links between Miriam’s story, OdissiOdissi is the Indian dance form that originates from Odisha. and local dance cultures, including their own.
  • Students will view and analyse a range of dance styles to develop understanding and specialist language.
Outcomes: 
  • Students will start to think about dance as part of culture, including their own.
  • Students will develop analytical skills.
Resources: 
Plan: 

Starter

What features contribute to a dance style? Students can discuss in pairs before feeding back to the group. (Movements, tempo, use of space, formations, levels, dynamics, costume, function etc). Record the categories as headings on the board or sugar paper so that you can add to it in Task 3.

Activity

Show the Michael Jackson “Black and White” video. Don’t forget to put it on full screen! The unedited version is over 11 minutes but there is an edited version that runs at 4 minutes 29 seconds that just shows the song. We refer to this version in this plan.

Ask a range of closed and / or open questions depending on the level(s) of your group. You may want to review relevant sections when they are referred to.

Examples:

  • What different dance styles are in the “Black or White” video? (OdissiOdissi is the Indian dance form that originates from Odisha. is amongst them, at 1 minute 34 seconds. You may wish to replay the twenty second excerpt and get students to talk about the distinctive features they observe.)
  • Can you describe any of the styles in video?
  • Are there any common features between the different styles?
  • What are the differences between styles?
  • What could the message of the video be?


Plenary

End the task by referring to the theme, Different Backgrounds, Common Ground How does this relate to what they have been doing this session?

What dance styles reflect the students’ own background and / or environment?

Extension

Students can research different dance styles that reflect their own background and / or environment. If your group contains students from different cultural backgrounds, ask them to find out about dance styles from that culture. Students can also look at different styles over time in their own background and / or environment. Names of styles and their major features can be shared at the start of the next session.

Task 3: Observing and analysing the features of Odissi

Dance
Dance
Key Message: 
  • Odissi has key features that distinguish it from other forms of (Indian) dance
Objectives: 
  • Introduce students to Odissi performance
  • Analyse aspects of Odissi style and performance
Outcomes: 
  • Students will recognise some aspects of Odissi
  • Students will develop analytical skills and language
Resources: 
  • Projection equipment
  • List of categories from Session 2
Plan: 

Starter

Show the class the list of categories of features that contribute to dance styles from Activity 2 and run through them.

If you set the Task 2 extension activity, this is an opportunity to share the research.

Activity

Play video MV Dance Resource 3.1 Odissi analysis sequence (3 minutes).

Optional: The first time you play it through, give little introduction other than explaining that students will watch a short Odissi dance performance. Ask them for observations.

Show the class the list of categories of features that contribute to dance styles from Activity 2 and run through them. Play the analysis sequence again and then ask the students to describe each feature as they observe it in the sequence. For example, the category of “Movement” could include “controlled”, “delicate”, “expressive”, “lots of foot movements”. This can be done in pairs or small groups with feedback to the whole group. Record feedback on your list.

You can show the video or parts of it again as appropriate to your group.

Plenary

Refer to the theme, Different Backgrounds, Common Ground. Can students think of aspects of other dance styles that have similarities with features of Odissi? You can refer to your list.

Extension

Students can search online for other Odissi performance videos and record and share their research.

Task 4: Learning a short Odissi sequence

Dance
Dance
Key Message: 
  • It takes a long time to master Odissi but we can get a taste by learning a short sequence and its meaning.
Objectives: 
  • Introduce students to the technical and expressive skills of Odissi
Outcomes: 
  • Students perform a short Odissi sequence in class to their own level
  • Students understanding the meaning of the dance and its movements
Resources: 
  • Projection equipment
Plan: 

Starter

Discuss the key message of the task.

Show MV Dance Resource 4.1 Odissi learned sequence. (You may want to get reactions from the group: What do they notice? How easy / difficult does it look?) You may want to show it more than once.

Ask if the students remember one of the important functions of Odissi. (It is a vocabulary of movements that are used to tell a story.) Ask the students to watch the video again and see if they can interpret what is being communicated here. After watching, feed back interpretations to the group without giving the actual explanation. Ask them to let you know when they have realised the meaning as you progress through the following activity. (The dance is a description of a character’s appearance and where he lives.)

Activity

The three 15 second sections are presented as continuous sequences in the breakdown videos, and with teaching guidance in the teaching videos. We suggest you show the breakdown video a couple of times to familiarise the students with the whole 15 second segment and then use the teaching video to learn the movements. You can replay sections as much as necessary to learn the sequence.

You do not need to be at the front of the class as the demonstration is given by the dancer, which leaves you free to play and replay the necessary sections of the videos. Once the group is becoming familiar with the sequence, try practising it without the music, and along with the 45 second MV Dance Resource 4.1 Odissi learned sequence (so that you have the music).

The teacher in the video presents the movements by introducing first the foot positions, then the torso and last the hand gestures for each movement of the sequence.

You can refer back to the breakdown videos of the 15 second sequences to put the movements together.

You can refer back to the whole learned sequence video to remember how the section fits into the 45 second sequence.

This session is intended to give the students an opportunity to explore a new dance form rather than perfecting the sequence. If time permits, give them the opportunity to improve their performance.

Did the group articulate that the sequence's narrative is a description of a character? If not, make it explicit now:

The narrative of the dance, after adopting the starting position, describes a character’s lips, smile, heart, walk and the town where he lives. Finally he is shown playing the flute.

Plenary

Students perform the sequence they have learned (up to 45 seconds) in two or three groups to the rest of the class. This is a good opportunity for students to give feedback to each other.

Extension

Students research different functions of dance.

One of Odissi’s functions is to tell stories, which was especially useful when most people didn’t read or write. Does Odissi fulfill any other functions?

Make a list of some of the different functions that dance can fulfill (eg for socialising, for uniting a group, entertainment, artistic expression, physical spontaneity etc). List some dance styles that fulfill those functions.

Task 5: Choreograph a sequence

Dance
Dance
Key Message: 
  • Odissi continues to thrive and evolve and is often referred to in cross-cultural contexts
Objectives: 
  • Students will work cooperatively to choreograph and perform a creative sequence
  • The sequence will include at least one feature observed in Odissi
  • The sequence will have a descriptive narrative focusing on identity
Outcomes: 
  • Students perform and discuss their sequence
Resources: 
  • Music: You may wish to use the music from the analysis video, or you may choose any music from any genre. You may wish to allow the students to choose their own music (without wasting too much time on it), or give them a choice between two options that you can alternate for practice.
Plan: 

Starter

Recap the 45 second sequence from Task 4 with questions. Main point to bring out: The descriptive narrative focused on the identity of a character.

Explain that students will be choreographing a creative piece that describes someone.

Activity

The brief:

  • Work in groups of two, three of four.
  • Choose a character to describe (one of the group, someone from the school community, someone famous etc).
  • Choreograph a sequence (length depending on the ability of your group) using any style or mixture of styles you want, but it must include at least one Odissi element that they have observed, for example at least one stance, hand gesture, use of space etc.

Give students time to practise and refine their sequence. Additionally, you may wish to set this as homework.

Plenary

Each group performs their sequence for the rest of the class.

If they don’t already know who the other groups’ dances are based on, can they interpret who it is?

Can the audience pick out the element of Odissi that each group has used?

Did the groups fulfill the brief?

Task 6 - Performance

Dance
Dance
Objectives: 
  • Improve performance skills
Outcomes: 
  • Students perform their choreographed sequences to an audience
Resources: 
  • Chosen music for sequence
  • Video camera (optional)
Plan: 

Starter

If your school is holding the Miriam’s Vision Business & Enterprise Fair, the choreographed dance sequences can be performed as part of the fair.

If not, the students can perform in any audience situation, for example as part of an assembly or wider dance event.

The students can think about the context of their performance and help with the organisation.

Activity

Performance

Plenary

You may wish to record the performances for your own assessment or ask the groups to review them.

The Dance module in Miriam's Vision is an opportunity for learners here to experience the creation of Dance based on a different culture: to appreciate it by understanding that the process of creativity is common to all mankind. The difference is in the form this creation takes and the difference is rooted in the history of the cultural development of a particular region.

  • Compare the Dance module with a culture which is familiar and note similarities and differences.
  • The reason for presenting this module is to show that differences in culture and tradition are a natural development of regional historical, economic, environmental circumstances.

The differences are reason for fascination rather than fear of communities. Each will have their unique forms of expression.

Students Feedback Form

Please allow 10 minutes at the end of the session for students to complete the Student Survey. Please collect the surveys at the end and submit them to the MHMT. If you are participating in our Evaluation & Impact Study this is vital. Thank you.

Performance

If your school is holding the Miriam’s Vision Business and Enterprise Fair, consider including a performance of Odissi and the incorporation of Odissi and dance of another culture. If not, perform elsewhere, explaining the context and connect to Miriam’s Vision project. This initiative could be taken by yourself together with the students.