Student Work: Reflective Writing in Blackboard Blogs

Prompt 3

Here are some YouTube links to look at - Alan Rickman transforming: For your reflective writing can you hypothesize about what he is doing (not thinking) to create such vivid characterizations? Pick one, or compare a couple....Use the Laban terms if you can. Remember, acting is the visible expression of an inner event....

I love love love Alan Rickman and I think he is very interesting to watch. You can see some of his mannerisms cross over roles, but other than that he does a wonderful job transforming into characters. I think when I say mannerisms I really mean his swift sweeping movements. Sort of punch and kick maybe? These are seen in his Sheriff of Nottingham character, as well as Severus Snape in Harry Potter. This may be because of the costume too though. Regardless, it works for both characters. I love how Alan carries himself when he is "in character" in Galaxy Quest. Right before he goes onstage he is irratated, mad, and all hunched over trying to sneak out, when he goes onstage though, he straightens up and glides across to his spot. Very cool! I've never seen the Barchester Chronicles, but his character seems to be very direct and to the point. Not very flexible. He's so young in that movie!

This was very helpful to watch because it showed me how to apply everything we've been learning. It is nice to have someone who can transform so well to watch. I think I understand a little better now!

My hypothesis of Galaxy Quest Scene(link 3):

Alan Rickman explores many different continuums and ranges on each continuum within this short clip. I have divided my Laban terms in chronological order of the actions his character creates in this film.

-      when he sits in the chair- free, light, sustained, indirect

-      when he leans on the vanity- more toward bound, successive, strong, sustained, direct

-      in the movie- free, direct, sudden

-      trying to escape- direct, strong, bound, strong, sudden

-      when pinned against wall- bound, then turns free for a second (you can see this in his shoulders) then turns to bound again once he leaves the grasp of the other actor. When we walks away, he is bound, simultaneous, strong and direct.

-      On stage- zipping up his jacket- strong, bound, sudden, direct.

  walking to the edge of the stage- fairly free, simultaneous

  hand across chest- free, light, sustained, direct

  bow- sustained, indirect, bound and strong.


It was really cool to see the wide range that Alan Rickman has in these video clips. It is very clear what he is doing as Severus Snape. He comes into the since in a very pinpointed fluid manner. He switches into a controlled channeled manner when he is at the podium. When he moves slightly to address Potter a lightness enters his movement but it is still very focused. When he moves to talk directly to Potter his flow becomes a little freer just enough to see it only if you are looking for it. This is in response to Potters back talking him in front of the class. Once he sits down though his flow becomes bound again and directed toward the boy. His time qualities become sharp and to the point and his space qualities become pinpointed as he zero ins on Potter.

It is really cool to sit down and examine a scene like this. It was kind of a eye opener watching the scene and then finding what he as doing in it physically. I saw glass menagerie this weekend and the one thing about the show that let me down was the physicality. I felt that a lot of the actors stayed in one plane the whole show and i think that if some of the physicality had been changed that would have opened them up to finding the different levels of the character. These Laban words might have been useful in exploring different ways of doing the same thing. It obviously has worked for Alan Rickman whether or not he is using these exact terms or not.


After watching the clips of Alan Rickman, my reactions to his movement are as follows:

Flow: Free, because I do not think he could stop his actions in the midst of them. I would also describe the flow of is movement as abandoned at times because he gets so furious and his movement is so intense.

Weight: Rickman's movement definitely has strong weight. Every character he portrayed in these clips was intense and forceful with his movements.

Time: The timing of Rickman's movement, again in all the clips, was definitely sudden. His movements were fast and short, and could be described as slashing. His movements as Severus Snape can be described as pressing, yet he has many moments where there is a sudden, flicking or slashing movement. 

Space: Overall, I would describe Rickman's movements as very direct. His character is usually very single-focus and pinpointed. 

The character of Rickman's I feel is the best example of his movement work in Severus Snape of the Harry Potter series. This may also be because this is where I've seen so much of his work, being a pretty diehard Harry Potter fan myself! In his movement work as Snape it is obvious Rickman had to work to become very sudden, direct, and strong. If I remember correctly, the Laban term used to describe this type of movement is 'slash' which I think is a very accurate term to describe Rickman's work at Snape. When he enters a scene in the movie his stride is always very sharp and you can see in his eyes he knows exactly where he is going. It's almost like he is an unstoppable force, and nothing in his path could prevent him from getting exactly to or what he is going towards. I have also observed how although most of his movement as Snape is very sudden, he can have moments of almost sustained movement where he lingers, especially when he is speaking to Harry or very much enjoying something mean he is saying, he will almost draw it out longer. I always enjoyed Rickman's work as Snape, he was one of those characters I loved to hate. I found it interesting to make myself think more intensely and more detailed about his movement work as a specific character.