Elements of Drama: Rhythm
Things have been a little slow around here for a while, so it’s time to jazz this blog up with some new content!
This is the first in a series of posts about the elements of drama. These elements are essential to all effective theatre performances, from the multi-million dollar spectacular to the classroom skit with a table, a chair and two rostrum blocks.
In recent weeks I have been workshopping various “dramatic elements” with my Year 11 Drama students, who, at the end of each workshop, discuss and record their findings … the first of which is in this post. Their discoveries, however, are just as relevant for a junior or middle school Drama class because the elements of drama are universal … crossing all cultures, skill levels and age groups.
My definition of rhythm:
Rhythm refers to the timing and pace of the drama. It also means the beat or tempo of the performance. As a rule, rhythm should never be the same throughout the drama, regardless of its length. Rhythm can follow the emotional state of one or more characters or the atmosphere of the performance at particular moments.
Examples of Rhythm
- rhythm in exchanges of dialogue between characters
- rhythm in the walk of a character
- rhythm in the reactions of characters to events in the drama
- rhythm in the speech of a character
- rhythm in the repetition of words and phrases
- rhythm in stylised or synchronised character movements
- rhythm in the changes of pace in scenes
- rhythm in non-vocal sound made by an actor