Posted on September 24, 2015 by Haymaker


Famous People Deaths

“Writing in 1907 Robert Hertz, a young student of Emile Durkheim, noted that in virtually all cultures the death of an important leader brought on a significant response by the society at large, while that of someone less critical to the functioning of the community was often barely noticed…The death of an important individual thus brings with it serious damage to the social fabric, and a natural and spontaneous effort is then made by the society to compensate for the loss.” p.x “Death in America”

1. As a group, list famous people’s deaths.
2. Try not to think too hard. The goal is to list them as quickly as you would count together from 1-60 or say the alphabet.
3. When you say a name, or hear someone else say a name, that you vividly remember the death, please say aloud: where you were, what time of day it was, how you felt about it. Share this information with feeling, but again be quick about it.

Existence Dance

“We all come into existence as a single cell, smaller than a speck of dust. Much smaller. Divide. Multiply. Add and subtract. Matter changes hands, atoms flow in and out, molecules pivot, proteins stitch together, mitochondria send out their oxidative dictates; we being as a microscopic electrical swarm. The lungs the brain the heart. Forty weeks later, six trillion cells get crushed in the vise of our mother’s birth canal and we howl. Then the world starts in on us.” – p. 468 “All the Light We Cannot See”

1. Use the above text to make a dance
2. Restrictions:
—The text must be heard by the audience while the dance is performed. It can be recorded or spoken live.
—Please insert or layer on sound effects

The Feeling of Loss

1. Through a gesture or phrase of movement, show us your feeling of loss:
—for an object you did not want to lose
—for an argument where you were wrong but wanted to be right
—for time spent doing something you later intensely regretted
2. Put all three gestures or phrases together
3. Pair up, combine your moves
4. Pair up again, combine all the moves
5. Dance


“For the phenomenon of death has become something of an acute embarrassment to modern man: in a technological world that has effectively ruled out of order explanations of a mystical nature, man is brought up short in his inability to understand or give meaning to death.” — p.vii “Death in America”

“Even the words for death and dying are bypassed in much of everyday language by means of euphemism. It is not the disquieting ‘I die,’ but rather the anonymous ‘one passes on,’ ‘one ends his days.’ We ‘exit,’ ‘cease,’ become ‘defunct’ or ‘demised,’ but rarely die. The military makes death impersonal, and prevalent entertainment treats death not so much as a tragedy, but dramatic illusion.” p. 44 “The American View of Death”

“Jessica Mitford’s controversial treatment of ‘The American Way of Death’ provides countless examples of how the funeral industry, and the American people, still refer to death euphemistically. Funeral directors call themselves ‘grief therapists,’ the room where the body is laid out ‘the slumber room,’ and the total scene of the casket, flowers, and corpse, ‘a loving memory picture.’ The euphemistic manner in which we handle death exemplifies the proscription against talking directly about death; it reveals our desire to protect ourselves from the reality that is death.” p. 36 “The American View of Death”

1. Pair up.
2. Have a conversation about a fictional person that just died.
—Never use the words die, death, or killed in the conversation
—During the course of the conversation, give a description of what happened to the person who died.
—Be embarrassed that they died.
—Be specific about why that wouldn’t happen to you.