Words Used To Describe Gesture In Performance
Here is a list of words I have compiled that will assist students of drama and theatre to describe an actor’s use of gesture in performance. Often as part of their coursework, students need to analyse the play making process of a piece of their own work or evaluate a performance by themselves or others. Questions about the use of gesture by performers can also appear in written examinations.
Many known gestures are universally recognised as symbolising nervousness, frustration, excitement, etc. Others may simply be used by actors at different times in a performance that require a simple description when analysing them for your drama/theatre studies.
|arms folded||head down||Scout handshake|
|back of hand to forehead||head in hands||scratch|
|biting nails||head shake||sign|
|body shrug||head shrug||stiff|
|car horn sign||head tilt||stroking chin|
|chin in hands||high five||talk to the hand|
|clasping hands||hitchhiking thumb||tapping fingers|
|curtsy||legs crossed||thumbs down|
|finger clicking||loser (L)||thumbs up|
|finger gun||Nazi salute||touching nose|
|fist pump||nervous||two-finger salute|
|glove handshake||patting hair||Vulcan salute|
|gripping hands||peace sign||wave|
|hand over mouth||pointing||wink|
|hands in pockets||raised fist||wooden|
|hands on hips||rubbing ear|
|hands wide apart||rubbing hands|
Not sure of the meaning of a word on the list? Look it up in the dictionary.
What the F???????
Imagine a play about wartime Poland, Germany, or France without the gesture.
Why would one of the most recognizable, dramatic, and emotion-triggering gestures in history be excluded? It’s not like including the Vulcan salute is an endorsement of Star Trek.
A drama that involves gesticulation is what there is no specific circumstances answer here
List of words now alphabetical by column, repeated words deleted, optimised for mobile view.
Great list Justin. Zen Zen Zo talk about 3 different kinds of gestures – abstract, behavioural and cultural ABC. Then of course in Laban they use combinations of words to classify quality of gestures / movements – effort actions.