Student Work: Reflective Writing in Blackboard Blogs Prompt 3

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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: 


 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. 


Rickman's movement definitely has strong weight. Every character he portrayed in 

these clips was intense and forceful with his movements. 


 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.  


 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.


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