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Improving my acting as a courtier


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I have been cast as a member of the court in the full-length spring show at my school. I have performed as a courtier before, but I feel I need to expand my range of gestures and movements. The choreographer has commented on it, but did not give us any significant feedback as to how to improve. We are not supposed to be distracting, but still need to look 'alive' and interesting, as well as period (I am guessing the ballet is supposed to be 16th-17th century). Any suggestions?

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There's really not a lot we can do, sight unseen, here. We'd have to know the show, or at least its genre, comedy, tragedy, farce, melodrama, to be able to help you. Bear in mind that a lot of movement in period dress is directly affected by the costume. A woman from the 1850s moves a lot differently from a woman from the 1950s. And the 1750s moves even more differently from both!


Watch, or at least appear to watch the action as the choreographer bids you. Listen to him/her carefully, and adjust accordingly. Some productions of Romeo and Juliet have the party at the Capulets watching the title characters somewhat, others have the crowd totally oblivious to what's going on with those two. It all depends on what the choreographer wants.

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