Movement and music
The combination of music and movement from written patterns has been only marginally looked into by Poi-players. When music and movement are combined the movement is structured to the precise mathematical pattern of speed and intervals, the beat and the structure of the music. This determines that, through music, the timing of the movements is very exact.
Through writing a choreography to a song or music, swing patterns can be combined to produce one long continuous movement. On the other hand the precise twirling to music creates a basis for the understanding of music and how it is written. By having patterns of movement appointed to them, parts of music, especially songs, are listened to more intensively and, for example, a better feeling for the rhythm is acquired.
Many hits, folk songs, main stream music from the charts, pop, rock and the majority of modern music are written in four-four time. A big advantage of Poi-twirling in the school: "Welcome to the World of Poi" is that this system is based on a four beat rhythm: First of all, a parallel move is twirled, then the right hand is transposed half a turn followed by another parallel move and finally the left hand is transposed half a turn. The sequences of moves are equally demanding for both sides of the body. They are never one-sided which produces a harmonious, moving picture. The four beat rhythm is therefore reflected in the moves.
The movements can be defined as follows:
A parallel move corresponds optically to a crotchet. A split or transposed move is like two quavers. However, a parallel move can also have the value of a minim (half note) and a split move that of two crotchets. Changing moves and tempo in a choreography requires a high degree of sensorimotoric ability especially in relation to the acoustic and visual perception of the poi student.
You can download an example by clicking here.
Notes to the example:
A Four Beat Rhythm is comparable to a four-four-time. One beat is a crotchet. If the Poi is on the lower vertex, you will do the counting. If you do parallel moves, count crotches: "One", "two", "three", "four", etc. If you do split moves count quavers: "One", "&", "two", "&", "three", "&", "four", "&", etc. The double line is like a repeating mark. The amount of repeats within two reapeating marks is written above the second repeating mark.
Intro, verses, the chorus, the solo and the fade out are annouced at the beginning.
If the symbol is drawn bigger, do the move with the streched out arm. If there is no symbol in the next box the move before is played for two beats.
All the symbols are listed in the book: "Welcome to the world of Poi"