Zombie Connectivity: Want to be a Zombie?

Photo by Rachel Cobcroft, Flickr

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year–not only because there is an overwhelming plethora of candy at every corner, but because it is the one chance during the year that I can delightfully disguise myself as a pirate, zombie, creature, fairy, sports star, vampire, and a witch with little explanation. It doesn’t seem out of the ordinary to stagger down the street with my eye patch on wielding a sword and slashing stray branches out my way, and it’s logical that I would scurry off to my next class or appointment with my green face, cackle, and broomstick. I get to try on the Effort lives of characters, heroes, monsters, ghouls and ghosts. This Halloween, I’m thinking zombies!

Here’s what I would work on:

1.Zombie Moan (Breath Pattern)

2.Zombie Reach (Directional Movement)

3.Zombie Walk (Effort Qualities)

What is the movement life of a zombie? Though technically dead (or undead!), Zombies are alive in their moans and lurches and reaches!  Who doesn’t know that Zombies are always moaning their way down a dark and desolate street, or lurching and limping out of cemeteries?

Zombie Moan: Breath

As I enter the ranks of the Zombie horde, I would practice a proactive three-dimensional breathing to sustain my moaning by filling the lungs with air in an efficient way. I would consider lengthening and shortening, widening and narrowing, and bulging and hollowing in the chest cavity to increase my inhale and exhale to moan efficiently and effectively (the longer the phrasing of moaning, the better). For more assistance with Zombie moaning check out this clip from the movie, Shaun of the Dead:

Another important aspect of a Zombie is their capability for reaching. They reach in order to fulfill a basic survival need: feeding!

Zombie Reach: Directional Spoke-like movement

I would practice strong, direct, spoke-like directional movements with my arms. As a Zombie, I might need to bust out of my grave. I may also need to break my way through a glass window or be able to reach towards my victims.  (OR for Trick-or-Treating, I will also want to be able to reach out for my candy…but I might tone down the strength effort quality and remember to say thank you in my best zombie moan voice).

Photo by Scott Garfield, photobucket

Zombie Walk: Weight Sensing and Bound Flow

Lurching in my decomposing body, I will want to consider having a passive attitude towards my walk. I will let gravity be the active force and surrender to the weighted-ness of my undead self. It might be good to expand the range of passivity from a light wilting limp to a heavy hopeless collapse of a body part, or of the entire upper half of my body. I would think about controlling the Flow of my walk, and work towards controlled, contained and restrained movement.

(Happy Halloween and Happy Zombies!)

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Crystal is a Certified Movement Analyst (CLMA), Dance Educator, and Choreographer. She holds an MFA from Smith College and a BS in Dance Performance from Ball State University, and she is currently an Adjunct Instructor at both Springfield College and Deerfield Academy. Crystal’s choreography has been presented throughout New York City and the New England area.
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