The application of an ‘eternal dance’ methodology in the development of an original screenplay
The Palgrave Handbook of Script Development
Palgrave Macmillan / Springer
Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)
This chapter proposes a new metaphor/model of screenplay structure which can be used by screenwriters to represent the dramatic design of their own work back to themselves in the flow of practice. Dance is chosen as the metaphorical framework because dances play out in defined spaces and within webs of social expectations and private passions. The core elements of a patterned dance include intent, movement and engagement between individuals. Moreover, intentional and unintentional improvisations can intervene in a dance, ‘raising the stakes’ for other dancers. As a form of visual shorthand, the methodology foregrounds dramatic moments within their physical and spatial contexts. Replacing retro-active models of screenplay structure, the eternal dance can be used to transform a screen idea into a storyline or script, and can be equally useful for redrafting: a tool of creation as well as of analysis. This chapter describes the use of the eternal dance methodology as part of the development of an original screenplay.