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Drama

Focus on body language

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Body language is an important aspect of performance. An actor's body language plays a crucial part in telling the audience about the character they are playing.

In this Revision Bite, you will learn how to evaluate body language.

What is body language?

Body language is the way in which our bodies communicate our own or a character's attitudes. An audience or viewer can watch it to pick up on someone's age, emotions, status, or health.

For example, a student being told off by a teacher in a drama can easily tell the audience that she's not feeling sorry for what she's done by:

  • curling her lip
  • showing a bored look in her eyes
  • having her head slightly lowered
  • putting a hand on her hip
  • having her hip stuck out, with her weight on one leg.
a still from the tv series little britain showing the characters vicky pollard and mr collier

An example of body language

In this still from the comedy series 'Little Britain', the schoolgirl character's body language suggests defiance - she has her hand on her hip, and is not making eye contact with the teacher. Notice the teacher character's body language too - his face is stern, and he is looking down directly onto the schoolgirl character.

When you're acting, make sure your body language is appropriate for the character you play. It's important that your gestures communicate to another person in your group what you intend.

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