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Bunraku Puppetry Movement

Moving As One Part 1


Moving As One Part 1


Students will be able to move their puppet through unified group movement by practicing and applying breathing exercises to small puppet scenes.


  • Bunraku Puppets
  • Brain Dance Outline see 

Activity Group Flocking

  1. Explain that we are going to try and move as a class. Kind of like the mirror exercise but with a group.
  2. Discussion: What are some examples of when groups move as one? and what are the benefits?
  3. Birds/Fish traveling, protects them from danger.
  4. Rugby, tells you where to go, how to move as one organism instead of individuals to accomplish a greater goal.
  5. Merging onto a road
  6. walking in a mall with friends
  7. social dancing
  8. .How are animals or teams able to move as one?
  9. sight, touch, smell, voice hearing
  10. Have the class cluster in the middle of the room.
  11. There will be one leader at a time, the person most forward or prominently at the front of the group.
  12. Everyone will match the movements of the leader. All eyes should not be on the leader they should be on the people immediately around you.
  13. Now the way the leader switches up is by turning the group. As soon as the leader has turned to the point that another person is at the forefront they will begin passing the leadership to that person.
  14. During these turning phases leadership passes slowly. Like when we played the energy game the first day and we would pass the energy and then receive it.

Side Coaching

  1. Make sure that you are using all your senses to submit to the movement of the group.
  2. See if you can find different planes or levels to move on?
  3. Challenge yourselves to not stay stationary. Try moving.
  4. If you find yourselves moving in the same pattern or style for a while, mix it up, change the flow.


  1. Ask students if they felt they were successful at moving as a group? Why or why not?
  2. What would have made it easier? or more successful?


Activity Team Flocking

  1. Have the students get into their puppet teams and try flocking for a minute before they start working with their puppets.
  2. They should focus on getting in tune with their partners energy and movements.


Review Puppet Positions

  1. Person A = Head and Arm
  2. Person B = Waist and Arm
  3. Person C = Ankles
  4. Should be a slight push into the ground on the ankles.
  5. Should be a slight pull up from the waist.
  6. Knees in front of spine.
  7. To get going Breath together until you find a natural place to move in.
  8. Give students a minute to try moving around the room, see what they can do with their puppet.


Side Coaching go ahead and watch each other, try what other people are doing, come up with you own movement. Try interacting with the other puppets.

Puppet Scenes

  1. Split the class up into groups of two teams. So 2 full puppets per group, aka six people.
  2. They should take the next 5 minutes and come up with a small scene.
  3. You aren’t allowed to use words but you can make sounds
  4. The scene must have
  5. One Entrance
  6. One Exit
  7. Beginning Middle End
  8. A discovery must be made
  9. Must include one sneeze, hiccup, or giant spit.
  10. Give students time to rehearse. Make sure to give them time updates.
  11. Form an audience and perform.
  12. Make it a rule we clap a group in and out of performing.


  1. So over the next couple days we are going to create longer puppet shows.