Heartbeat of Humanity
To begin this exercise, break the group into smaller groups of about 8-10. Once the groups are separated explain that they are going to explore oneness through a rhythmic movement. One group at a time, with the others as observers, participants will sit or stand in the movement area. Explain that in a moment you will call an object and each person in the group will, without thinking begin a repetitive movement that relates to that object. Once they have the rhythm, you will change the setting and they will change their movement to match that new place.
You can use every day items like washing machine, bike, etc. Or perhaps an object that relates to your purpose like chalice, protest sign, etc.
You should use music if available. Need some? Click HERE.
Sidecoach: Ready. Protest sign.
Participants: Begin to do their movement.
Sidecoach: I see that you have the rhythm, now forget your object and feel the rhythm!
Participants: Continue doing their movement in rhythm together.
You will now quickly change the setting for the participants. Try to go somewhere that suits your needs, but is very different from where your first object might have been. You could take them to a homeless shelter, a refugee camp, a village in drought, etc. For example:
Sidecoach: Alright, while still moving in rhythm, transform your movement to someone in a homeless shelter! Transform!
Participants: Develop a person that is moving in rhythm that might be in that setting.
If some participants have trouble you may need to step into the exercise and help them individually.
The goal here is to keep the rhythm as a group while transforming. Make sure each group has a chance and they all have different objects and settings.
In reverence, talk about what if felt like to be different people with different movements, but all have the same rhythm. Isn’t this like the unity that makes us one? A heartbeat of all humankind.
Spolin, Viola. Theater Games for the Classroom: A Teacher’s Handbook. Evanston, IL: Northwestern UP, 1986. Print.
Great for the themes of: Grace, Transcendence/Transformation, Justice and Change.