How to Dance- the Book

After looking back at our drawings we realised we need something to tie both the game and characters together. How would these characters learn the different dance styles? Would there be a school with lessons? How would they know which genres even existed. Bingo. A book. I remembered as a child my little sister used to have hundreds of ballet orientated guides by Osbourne. We thought that in this book we could maybe include some of the history of each species, as they may not have come into contact with on another before.

Lina,  Clíodhna and I decided to work on the book as a trio while Jakub focused on the animation. I tried to help with the colouring (I did the colour blocking for the two separate dance styles) but Jakub was a lot faster.

The three of us decided to have a look at various books and textbooks for examples of their layouts.

The books that we thought were like what we had in mind were the following:

-The Young Dancer: A Young Enthusiast’s Guide to Ballet by Darcy Bussell.

-Tap Dancing For Beginners  by the Johnson Smith Company.

-Little Ballerina Dancing Book by Fiona Watt.

We decided to complete three main pages, one for each species. Kind of like a brief introduction for the other species. On these pages we would include small footnotes on the history of the species’ dance style and music types.

After looking at these designs we realised we had three main tasks. The illustrations, the typography and the composition of the books again. We then split the three tasks between us. I was tasked with the illustrations (I requested this as I wanted to have a go at developing my digital painting skills).

Based on the our previous adaptations to of the characters to the gesture drawings, I selected the ones that I thought captured the characters the best. I first created the outline after drawing the basic gesture shapes on photoshop.

 

When colouring the characters I wanted to make sure they still looked like they were moving so I thought a water colour style would look best.

From a young age I’ve adored the work of Stephen Cartwright and his style is one that I wanted to replicate in my own illustrations. The book ‘The Usborne Book of Fairy Stories’ was one I cherished and the fairy illustrations match the graceful look of the dancers perfectly. Cartwright’s work looks to be done in watercolour and gives a lovely softness to the characters themselves.

Some of Stephen Cartwright’s illustrations.

Video courtesy of Usborne Publishing.

Another artist who I wanted to try and replicate was that of M.Srta. Manoli uses watercolours to create her hand painted work but this style is also reflected in her digital illustrations.

When completing the characters I decided to stick to the original colour schemes are reflected by the previous groups.

Triangle species- green.

Square species- blue/green.

Circle Species- pink/yellow.

I was really happy how these guys turned out- I think they really capture the personality of each of the characters. I experimented with keeping the line art from the original gesture drawings under the characters and found it looked better with it included. It gave a better sense of movement. I included an example of with and without the gesture drawing below.

When speaking to Clíodhna (as mentioned she was in charge of the page set up) she suggested I draw some diagrams of different feet positions/poses for the pages. The books that we had looked at included quite a lot of these.

Our next step is to complete the book by adding the images together!

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12 Principles of Animation

Squash and Stretch

The first principle as described in the Disney book ‘Illusion of Life.’ Basically, in real life, only stiff objects remain the same when moving. Objects that are not stiff however tend to lose shape due to the level of elasticity that they contain, but their volume remains at a constant. The famous example used in the Richard William’s Animators Survival Guide.

12 Principles of Animation explained

Richard William’s Bouncy Ball explained

Day and Night- Disney Pixar Short

This is the example that I found that showed these principles best. Day and Night was the Pixar Animation short following Toy Story 3. The short combined 2D and 3D animation was written and directed by Teddy Newton and produced by Kevin Recher. The characters themselves are light in nature, almost floating in movement. The application of the stretch as they walk, before it compresses back shows this movement. It gives them an almost elastic feel, especially when they collide of one and other.

Anticipation

The next principle is Anticipation. Disney realised that audiences needed a structured series of events to follow on screen, or they would struggle to keep up. Animators would therefore draw and anticipation in the lead up to the main action, so audiences would not miss anything.

For example, in the worm rigs that we worked on, the worm would hold the compression pose, as if anticipating the jump ahead. This allows the audience to get to grips on the energy needed to complete the jump. Walt Disney called this process ‘aiming’ and insisted that it be used to strength visual gags.

The scene below from the Winnie the Pooh Movie (2011) shows the anticipation of the character Tiger. He pauses before bursting into song, as if projecting the build up in energy for his big number.

 

Staging

Staging in animation draws the audience to the most important point on the screen. In Disney’s the Illusion of Life, Johnston and Thomas defined it as “the presentation of any idea so that it is completely and unmistakably clear.” This effect is maximised by a collection of things- playing of the character in a frame, the use of light and the position/angle of the camera.

In the Walt Disney short ‘Paperman’ (2012) staging is achieved both by lighting and placement. The 2D short is primarily in black and white and was directed by John Karrs and and produced by Kristina Reed. This clip shows the first time the main characters meet on screen. George is positioned on the left hand side, the light highlighting him on the right. As Meg enters the scene she mirrors his position on the right, the lighting the same put not as intense as we are focused on George’s reaction.

Life Drawing- Tonal

Today in life drawing we did a longer drawing (thank gosh). I love the gesture drawings but sometimes it is nice to just stand, listen to opera and draw for a long period of time (40 minutes if I’m not mistaken). After looking at the work of Bernie Wrightson (his ink drawings are superb and I love the style) in class we wanted to have a go at this style too. Wrightson uses a cross hatch method but the lines are direction (shown below). They all start from a point and work out, heavier lines for more shaded areas.  For preparation for these ink drawings next week, Michael wanted us to practice tonal studies again- to appreciate the ability to use one tone to add depth to a piece.

Pieces by Bernie Wrightson.

12463488_10201222243876157_1772465393_nFull body tonal study of Jackie.

I didn’t get any feedback this week (Michael never stopped by me) – unsure if this is a good or a bad thing. I was really pleased with the tonal I was achieving in the body- next time I’ll focus on a larger area to achieve more detailed hatching. I’m quite excited for next week- pen is one of my favourite mediums.

Dance movements and life drawing

So our next step was to create motion drawings from these dance sets. We decided to take a ten second snippet from each dance style to show how a move would progress.

Video courtesy of Hamilton Cline.

I showed my group the video above by Hamilton Cline on how to animate a walk cycle, to help us create the frame by frame drawings that would form the basic movement of our character. We wanted to create a basic frame by frame animatic of sorts to lay down the key poses for each step. Inspired by the motion drawings of Glen Keane (I originally was made aware of him through Facebook) I thought it would be a good start point for the look for the movements.

ballerina

Ballerina by Glen Keane.

For this process I wanted to have a look into life drawing itself. I had a look back at the previous life drawing sessions with Mike that we had, more specifically at the 60 second sketches. The line of action and movement was a lot stronger in these than my longer time period drawings as I had to work with time to demonstrate the movement.

Keane used the gesture drawings as shown above to create this beautiful video based off of a ballerina. After studying this we realised it would be important to get a grasp of these poses. We therefore did a bit more research into gesture drawings.

Video courtesy of Opéra national de Paris

After further researching I found ‘Duet’ by Glen Keane too. I loved the scene in which the ballerina goes from graceful dancing to a fall. Her elegance subsiding completely to clumsiness- possibly like our characters as they move from familiar dance styles to unknown ones.

Video courtesy of Pedro Daniel Garcia Perez.

tumblr_n7swt41nz11rekr9fo4_r1_500Movement from graceful to careless.

Sorcha saw me watching these videos and suggested I look at ‘Thought of You’ by Ryan Woodward. I thought it was very beautiful- you can really capture the love of Woodward for his wife from this piece.

Video courtesy of RyanWoodwardart.

The idea of a gesture drawing is that it captures the movement of a character in its distilled form. Each drawing acts as a keyframe, put together they form the overall animation. These drawings convey the emotion and character of the person, what they are trying to show as they move. Fluidity (as told to use weekly by Michael) is one of the key aspects to this. It brings the action to the piece and combines the action of each limb together in harmony. I used Clara Lieu as a guide line, her blog provided good insight into this drawing type.

I also looked at the art of Matt Jones and Alex Woo for their guidance on gesture drawings. They even had a section on dancer sketches which was really interesting! My favourite thing was the quickness to these drawings- you could actually feel them as if the dancer is moving passed you.

Finally, Jakub found this video below on life drawing and gestures too!

Video courtesy of Sycra.

I have a lot of the gesture drawings in my sketchbook based on the reference videos of  Clíodhna dancing.  After we felt confident enough, we then went to the reference videos and added frames to create the movement for our character in the little animation we wanted. Clíodhna worked painstakingly to do this for Jakub to work over.

My first attempt at blocking in the poses for the ballet video.

Clíodhna’s gesture drawing for the hiphop video with the added frames to make it more fluid. Jakub had begun to block in the key poses for our square character.

I did a very quick brief animation of the gesture drawing alongside the character to demonstrate to Lina what we were doing.

From these initial drawings and the frames from the animation tests, we then wanted to place the characters in the poses, based on the designs from the previous groups. (Even, Jack, Samantha and then Kirstin’s take on these designs which was the style I focused on). Although we knew we were using the square character for our final animation, we wanted to show all the species and how they moved, as all partake in the game.

3I was inspired by the graceful look Kirstin managed to capture in these frames from her groups animatic.

While we worked on these, Jakub worked on the animation, adding the keyframes between each pose to create the square character.

 

An Animation for Our Game

OK so are game, as mentioned from our story is a dance game. It takes place between the three species of the world, competing to find one person who can control the world. As a group we decided it would be good to have a little animation of this competition based on our characters. We wanted to show one of our characters acting the two opposing dances, or the two it is not used to. We decided that since the square guy was used in our story we would use him, and have him transition from say a ballet move to a hip-hop move.

Jakub is well used to animating on flash- but when creating this animation we wanted to have a look at  some that have been previously created.

Niamh suggested these two videos to be by Vivziepop. I love the bouncy look to character, her moves reflect her personality. So sassy. In fact, I love all the videos below. They capture the personalities of each character so beautifully and the transitions from move to move are skillfully done.

 

 

Videos courtesy of Vivziepop

We kind of had a basic idea of what we wanted to show in our animation after looking at these videos. So our next step was to record some of  Clíodhna dancing to decide which moves to use.

Ballet.

Hip-Hop.

The Jive.

Ballroom.

Rhumba.

Gianni kindly lent himself to aid in some lifts. As you can see, not all of them went accordingly to plan.

Almost killing Clíodhna part one.

When we didn’t kill Clíodhna.

We decided to use the ballet and hip-hop video for our two moves that we will incorporate.

Rules of Dance Battles

So for our world it is like a dance battle we realised we needed to look into actual dance battle rules themselves before designing our game, to come up with the basic structure of how it will be played. The judge itself is the world, i.e. the person who has the biggest impact on the world structure will be the winner of the game.

Dance Battle Rules

I found quite a lot of research into dance battle’s rather than just say individual styles being judged. I did a lot of research online and through books, (Judging Dance Battles by Daniel “MaGNuM” Maliy was very helpful).

The ukstreetdancechampionships and Melbournebreakdance.com gave the following rules;

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From a lot of research into these areas, online and through books, I found that the key elements in judging are the following; rhythm, musicality, creativity and difficulty level. Other areas that can be judged, dependent on the dance style of course, can include facial expression and costume.

I then had a look into each individual dance type and how these are judged.

Ballroom 

Dan Radler summed this nicely on his website for the amateur looking into judging with this sport. The judge listed the following things as being key aspects when judging ballroom competitions;

`’POSTURE – One of the most important aspects. Good posture makes you look elegant and exude confidence. It improves balance and control, and allows your partner to connect well to your body in the smooth dances. One’s competition result is often directly proportional to one’s postural correctness. Hence the old adage, “Persistent practice of postural principles promises perfection.”

TIMING – If a couple is not dancing on time with the music, no amount of proficiency in any other aspect can overcome this. The music is boss. 

LINE – By this we mean the length and stretch of the body from head to toe. Attractive and well- executed lines, either curved or straight, enhance the shapes of the figures. 

HOLD – The correct and unaffected positioning of the body parts when in closed dancing position. For instance, the line of the man’s arms should be unbroken from elbow to elbow. Also, there should be symmetry of the man’s and woman’s arms coming together to form a circle, which, although changing in size, should remain constant in shape so that the dancers remain in correct body position relative to each other. The silhouette of the couple should always be pleasing. 

POISE – In smooth ballroom dancing, the stretch of the woman’s body upwards and outwards and leftwards into the man’s right arm to achieve balance and connection with his frame, as well as to project outwards to the audience. 

TOGETHERNESS – The melding of two people’s body weights into one, so that leading and following appear effortless, and the dancers are totally in synchronization with each other. 

MUSICALITY AND EXPRESSION – The basic characterization of the dance to the particular music being played and the choreographic adherence to musical phrasings and accents; also the use of light and shade to create interest value in response to these accents and phrases. For instance, in foxtrot, the stealing of time from one step to allow another to hover; or a quick speed of turn in an otherwise slow rumba; or the snap of a head to suddenly freeze and then melt into slowness in tango. 

PRESENTATION – Does the couple sell their ballroom dancing to the audience? Do they dance outwardly, with enthusiasm, exuding their joy of dancing and confidence in their performance? Or do they show strain or introversion? 

POWER – Energy is exciting to watch. I’ve noticed that, in a jive, it always seems to be the most energetic couple that wins this dance. But the energy must be controlled, not wild. For instance, powerful movement is an asset in waltz or foxtrot, but only if it is channeled into the correct swing of the body, and not just by taking big steps. The lilt of the music must be matched by the action of the body. In a waltz for instance, the dancers’ body action must clearly show the influence of the one down beat and two up beats. So the release of power into the beginning of a figure must be controlled and sustained during the rise at the end of the figure. 

FOOT AND LEG ACTION – The stroking of feet across the floor in foxtrot to achieve smoothness and softness; the deliberate lifting and placing of the feet in tango to achieve a staccato action; the correct bending and straightening of the knees in rumba to create hip motion; the extension of the ankles and the pointing of the toes of the non- supporting foot to enhance the line of a figure; the sequential use of the four joints (hip, knee, ankle, and toes) to achieve fullness of action and optimal power; the bending and straightening of knees and ankles in waltz to create rise and fall; the use of inside and outside edges of feet to create style and line all fall under this most important of categories. 

SHAPE – Shape is the combination of turn and sway to create a look or a position. For instance, in Paso Doble does the man create the visual appearance of maneuvering his cape? Does the lady simulate the billowing flow of the cape through space? In foxtrot, does the man use the appropriate shape on outside partner steps to enable body contact to be maintained? 

LEAD AND FOLLOW – Does the man lead with his whole body instead of just his arms? Does the lady follow effortlessly or does the man have to assist her? 

FLOORCRAFT – In Ballroom dance, this refers not only to avoiding bumping into other couples, but the ability to continue dancing without pause when boxed in. It shows the command of the couple over their choreography and the ability of the man to choose and lead figures extrinsic to their usual work when the necessity presents itself. 

INTANGIBLES – such as how a couple “look” together, whether they “fit” emotionally, their neatness of appearance, costuming, the flow of their choreography, and basically whether they look like “dancers”; all have an affect on a judge’s perception and therefore on his markings.”

Ballet

Ballet (a dance type that my sister has Grade 6 in) has another set of rules included for this style. Dance.about.com provided some of the additional knowledge into this type of dance.

“Feet

Ballet dancers are known for their beautiful feet. Some dancers refer to perfect ballet feet as “banana feet,” as the curved arch and instep somewhat resembles the shape of a banana. Notice how their toes are always pointed, especially when they leave the ground. Excellent ballet dancers have incredible arches and flexible ankles. Watch for their crisp, clean footwork. A good dancer will not take any noticeable steps in between the bigger steps. 

Alignment

One of the first things a ballet dancer learns is how to properly hold the body. Notice the incredible, unwavering posture of each dancer. Look how their arms and legs form graceful parallel and perpendicular lines with each step.

Weightlessness

One of the most amazing qualities of a ballet dancer is the appearance of being able to float through the air. Notice how the dancers appear weightless as they glide effortlessly across the stage.

Pointe shoes can make a dancer seem weightless. They also emphasize the gentleness of the dance. The ballerina appears to gently dance on her toes. Also, watch the men leap high into the air and complete countless rotations before their feet hit the floor.

Expression

Classical ballet is meant to be dramatic. Romantic ballets often feature themes that emphasize intense emotion as a source of aesthetic experience. Notice the emotion on the faces of the ballet dancers as they dance. Excellent ballet dancers seem to speak volumes without uttering a single word. Ballet mime is a set of conventional gestures that allow dancers to speak without words. After you have watched a few ballets, you will become familiar with the basic mime gestures and find it easier to understand the underlying themes.”

Irish 

Diddlyi provided the information on this genre- there’s a whole website dedicated to rules.

Facial Expression was one I would never have thought of – it states to insure the head it tilted and a smile is always present as it helps with posture- who would ever have thought of that?

Overall Rules

  1. So what are our overall rules? Well we decided to have a general rule set based on the dance battle rules, and then the different dance styles would be judged as they are above.
  2. No fighting among competitors will be tolerated
  3. No additional props or costumes to be worn
  4. Each dance section will last thirty seconds, the World will decided at random which to dance to
  5. The competitor’s performance will be judged on the following : skills/accuracy of dance moves, musicality and how they interact with the music, the creativity of moves, the performance itself.
  6. The performance will be judged by the World, skill and ability will be reflected as how the equalizer reacts with each competitor.

http://www.ukstreetdancechampionships.com/files/UKSDC___EASDC_STREET_FREESTYLER_RULES.pdf

Sound World- Music Research

Ok so for each species we have a music genre that matches with their dance styles.

Triangle- traditional folk music and percussion african type music

Square- Pop/R and B/Dubstep/Techno

Circle-classical music- string based music

Tradition Irish Folk

Traditional Irish music was introduced by the Celts around 2,000 years ago, which was influenced by the East. Traditionally this was learnt orally, tunes were learnt by ear and not recorded on paper as such, allowing adaptations and variations in tunes. In ‘A History of Irish Music’ by W.H. Gratton Flood it states that there are ten main instruments used in Irish Folk music. These are the cruit (small harp), a clairseach (larger harp), a timpani (small string instrument), the feadan (fife), the buinne (oboe/flute), guthbuinne (horn), the bennbuahal and corn (hornpipes), the cuislenna (bagpipes), the stock and sturgeon (clarions or trumpets) and the cnamha (castanets). Fiddles were also recorded as being used in the 8th century. Irish music was used mostly for celebrations for dancing at celebrations such as weddings. Each tune is divided into two eight bar strings, played repeatedly. This type of music is isometric (of equal measure) as they contain steps. Each 16 measures are known as a “step”, with one 8 bar strain for a “right foot” and the second for the “left foot” of the step. Tunes that do not follow this are known as crooked, making them very danceable. Below are some examples of traditional Irish Folk music- hopefully I’ll be able to record some live in Belfast.

Video courtesy of Shooter McNally.

Video courtesy of Uğur Bektaş.

Video courtesy of Livetrad.

I noticed the beat of the music- how it makes you want to move, to clap and throw your arm in the air and grab a partner. It’s intoxicating and very catchy.

African Music 

Music in Africa is part of every day living – it is communal and allows people to connect as the sing and dance and clap together. This music type is also oral, not written down, and taught by ear. It was mainly driven by the slave movement as a way of unity for people. Instruments that are used are predominantly drums (made from wood and coming in a variety of sizes), which are beat either by hand or with sticks. The most common used one is the West African Djembe. These drum ensembles are structured in that they have a lead drummer who forms the basis of the main beat, with the other drummers playing alongside him. They play through cross-rhythm (playing conflicting beats at the same time) and polyrhythm (when two different pulses of beat are played at the same time). These beats act as a timeline, single beats pulsing together to hold the piece together. Other instruments used are of the string variety such as the lute, harp or zither. Two xylophone like instruments, the balafon and mriba are also used. Finally, sometimes wind instruments such as the flutes, horn, trumpets and reed pipe are used. The below videos show the use of these Djembe drums and balafons.

Video courtesy of Jalikunda African Drums.

Video courtesy of World Street Music.

Video courtesy of My Africa.

Maori (Haka)
This form of music is most known for its use with the Haka dance routine. Started by the Maori in New Zealand (19th Century), the Waitata music style was not for entertainment purposes, but rather to convey emotions and stories in public areas. The melodies themselves are low in sound, and have limited notes, almost foreboding in sound. Traditional songs are sung in minor third (three half steps or semitones). Originally these songs were sung solo, however in more recent examples instruments are used to accompany the rhythm.
Pop
Pop music originated from the 1950-1960s, in the Western world. Literally meaning ‘popular’ it spun from the Rock genre, a mix of urban, dance, rock, latin and country. Following a basic verse-chorus structure, songs are usually medium length and have repeated choruses, melodic tunes and hooks (a riff or phrase used to make a song appealing).
 “Early pop music drew on the sentimental ballad for its form, gained its use of vocal harmonies from gospel and soul music, instrumentation from jazzcountry, and rock music, orchestration from classical music, tempo from dance music, backing from electronic music, rhythmic elements from hip-hop music, and has recently appropriated spoken passages from rap.[4]“- wikipedia
Singers such as Madonna and Michael Jackson are those most associated with this genre and its start up. Songs such as Madonna’s ‘Vogue,’ Katy Perry’s ‘Roar‘ and Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal‘ are all examples of this music genre.
Techno
Techno originated from Detroit Michigan in the 1980s.
“techno resulted from the melding of African American music including Chicago housefunkelectro, and electric jazz with electronic music by artists such as KraftwerkGiorgio Moroder, and Yellow Magic Orchestra.”- wikipedia
Techno is usually repetitive instrumental music, played in a continuous music set. The central rhythm is mostly in common time (4/4). The time is marked on each quarter notes with a bass drum. Tempo for these songs can vary from 120-150 bpm depending on the techno style. These songs can include a lot of music technology, including drum machines, synthesisers and digital audio work stations. Alton Miller’s ‘Progressions‘ and Darude’s ‘Sandstorm‘ are examples of this music style.
R and B
R and B (rhythm and blues) music evolved from the 1940’s Blues genre, blues chords following a continuous back beat. The name was coined by Billboard Magazine when trying to describe the music that combined rhythm and jazz. These songs now concentrated on the music itself rather than the improvisation that blues allowed. Artists like Ray Charles and Ruth Brown pioneered the vocals of such music.

 

“The meaning behind the name is this: the “rhythm” part comes from the music’s typical dependance upon four-beat measures or bars and employ a backbeat (beats two and four accented in each measure). And the “blues” portion came from the lyrics and melodies of the songs, which were often sad, or ‘blue’ during the music’s emergence in the World War II era.”- randbabout.com.

Some of my favourite songs of this type of music include Ray Charles’ ‘Hit the Road Jack,’ Aretha Franklin’s ‘Rough Lover‘ and Backstreet’s (ft. Dr. Dre, Queen Pen) ‘No Diggity.’

 

Classical
Classical music stemmed from the religious Western world, from 500AD-present day.Classical music has several sub categories for each variation of instruments, tones, rhythm etc.
“The major time divisions of classical music are as follows: the early music period, which includes the Medieval (500–1400) and the Renaissance (1400–1600) eras; the Common practice period, which includes the Baroque (1600–1750), Classical (1750–1820), and Romantic eras (1804–1910); and the 20th century (1901–2000) which includes the modern (1890–1930) that overlaps from the late 19th-century, the high modern (mid 20th-century), and contemporary or postmodern (1975–present) eras.”- wikipedia
 
The two periods that I really think would suit the ballet and ballroom movements of our characters would be the Romantic eras (1804-1910).
In this period, the piano melodies became more subdued, the string sections of the orchestra were expanded for a bigger, full bodied sound. Other instruments, such as the brass section, were then introduced. Even wind machines were used as sound effects.
A few of the tracks I found most interesting were:
-Piotr Tchaikovsky- ‘The Nutcracker.’
-Piotr Tchaikovsky- ‘Sleeping Beauty.’

Shapewinism

As a scientist I was excited to come up with the background elements to our world’s game as I love anything to do with evolution and species adaptations.

Darwinism is defined as the theory of the evolution of species by natural selection advanced by Charles Darwin.

darwinism

Charles Robert Darwin in English scientist that theorised that all species started from a common point, whether it be plant or animal. Throughout time each species has modified from simplistic ancestors to the ones we know today. These views were not originally hypothesised from Darwin, Greek philosophers such as Anaximander hypothesised the idea of life coming from nothing. A mechanism implied that has lead to such developments in life is known as ‘Natural Selection.’ This is the the process whereby organisms better adapted to their environment tend to survive and produce more offspring. The theory of its action was first fully expounded by Charles Darwin, and it is now regarded as be the main process that brings about evolution. For example say a member of a species has wings that serves as an advantage. It acts as the superior species, with more successful mate cycles, passing on this gene. Whereas the inferior members without wings die out as they can no longer mate or have a lesser successful chance.

Below are two videos I used at A-Level to help with revision, created by Stated Clearly.

Videos courtesy of Stated Clearly.

When coming up with our historical story behind our world we wanted to imply this evolution style, so our world just doesn’t appear from nothing. We also have the idea that the judge for such a competition will be the world itself, as it is an equaliser. Much like Darwin’s theories, the creatures must adapt to the world evolving with sound and therefore so must the leader and how they control each sound genre (as explained below). Movies like ‘Avatar’ the ‘X-men’ and even ‘Wall.E’ show various responses to adaptation throughout their screen play. Wall.E for example shows the adaptation of humans in space as their bone density decreases due to gravitational forces.

Video courtesy of playyy87.

Video courtesy of ermantheman.

The evolution of the Human race in Wall.E. Video courtesy of Joe Ludwig.

 

Story- The Evolution of Sound

In the beginning the world was quiet. It was sessile, nothing moved and nothing was heard. The creatures that lived on this world were simple blobs, with no purpose. However, the always felt they each had a calling. Then the day of dawning occurred. The day that kick started Sound Evolution.

A meteor struck the world, creating what was known as Sound. It was loud. It was movement. It was a new way of life. The creatures began to adapt to the music types, blobs forming three individual species of Shapes. The Circles favoured classical music, simple flowing movements. Whereas the Triangles preferred a more upbeat Pop and R and B music type. The Squares, however, were very set in their ways and were in fact square in actions, so preferred a more traditional approach, traditional music and war music being their specialty.

The three species, although now in harmony with themselves, could not be with each other. The world around them was too loud, too chaotic, static sounds echoing through their once silent planet. The city itself was a glitch- building inhabitable due to their unpredictability. They needed a resolution, a hero, someone who could command all these music styles, that could contain each genre in turn.

They needed to find this person, but did not want a war, adding more sounds of guns blazing would only make the atmosphere worse. Much worse. They met in the city’s most central point, a Council of Sound to try and find resolve. In the midst of all the talks and arguing the world flared more and more, the sound deafening, life threatening to everyone. That’s when it happened.

An unknown Square made his way to the centre of the ring of people. He stood still, eyes closed in concentration. The world suddenly silencing around him. Each and every Square, Circle and Triangle ceased their bickering. Only then did it happen. He began to dance. The young Square gracefully moved from move to move, embodying every genre that each species knew. His plie was graceful, changing into a sharp front click before sliding into a moonwalk. The world around him began to respond, playing music to his steps, the buildings finding harmony in beat and sound with each movement.

For the first time in a long time, the world had peace.

Alas, like all good things, they must come to an end. Sound fades over time, much like the leader of this world. Therefore with each Cycle of Frequency (aka Lifecycle of the Creature) a new leader is decided. However the world itself is the deciding factor in this, acting as the judging panel for the individuals themselves.

Game Research- dancing games

So before looking at our game we decided to look at some historic dance games (and boy did I find some from my childhood).

Musical Statues- this game (origins unknown) involves playing music and dancing. With the pause in sound, the participants must freeze. Any player that moves is out. We introduced this game for the first time to Jakub (yes he had never heard about it before). We could possibly implement this in some way, such as the ability to master sound in the soundless caves that lie below the world. The video below shows an examples of this game being played.

Video courtesy of Brian Roach.

Zumba- invented by Beto Perez when he had to improvise with music for an aerobic class, resulting him in playing Latin music. Used as a toning exercise, it combines slow and fast rhythm toLlatin music, with a lot of exotic moves. I have participated in these classes before and it is not as easy as it looks! Although not necessarily a game, the technique involved is amazing and is really fun to try and recreate. Possibly something to consider would  be a mass dance for the whole world? The most skilled being the leader or winner so to speak. We could also look into cult/ tribal dances like the Haka for ideas for this.

The Haka as done by the All Blacks. Video courtesy of World Rugby.

Audrey does Zumba. Video courtesy of Scott Nether.

More modern adaptations of Zumba dances. Video courtesy of SHiNE DANCE FITNESS.

Just dance/Dance Central/Dance Mat- all of us will have played at least one of these games in our lives. They are based on the same principle- a set of moves that the player must match with as shown on the screen. Whether through the use of a mat (like Dance Mat) or with a controller (Just Dance/ Dance Central). Possible ideas that came from this included possibly a giant dance mat over the world and the residents must match with the symbols on the ground in order to let the world survive.

Dance Mats are used in the 2010 remake. Video courtesy of Hussein Sansoon.

Step Up 3- Dance Mats used by the kids at the end of the video (2010). Video courtesy of rajiv chaudhari.

Video courtesy of AverageAsianDude.

Expert Level Just Dance Routines (2010). Video courtesy of AverageAsianDude.

After watching all these videos and researching  this type of gaming, we decided to have a game in which there is one winner- that person would therefore be crowned the leader. We also realised that there is a set was in which games like these are judged- such as direct alignment with moves, though mostly based on hand movements. In our own game we will try to focus on the judging of the whole character.