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Training: The Butterfly Lion

Choreographer instructions

Please see the written information below the video.


To play the video in sync with the voiceover instructions: 

  1. Type the password in to the video if required
  2. Press play on the voiceover
  3. Listen to the spoken instructions, and press play on the video when instructed

The Butterfly Lion
If the volume of the video is quiet you can turn up the five vertical bars on the Vimeo bar at the bottom of the video which are a volume control. (And your computer volume as well of course!)


Bringing Books to Life - The Butterfly Lion

1) Warm Up

2) Games

a) Space Game
b) Lion to Lion

The children end the game in pairs. Ask the children to remember who their partner is as they will need to work with this partner again. (ask the teacher if anyone is inappropratly paired, and let them feel free to change children around if they wish)

Put the children in to 3 groups (or 6 groups if you feel you have time for half the class to perform to the other half at the end) keeping pairs together, it doesn’t matter is you end up with uneven groups, its more important that pairs are in the same group.

Talk though what is going to happen in each stage of the workshop, (the whole of it) without music, and doing the movements yourself whilst talking through the story.

Explain that when you say freeze everyone must crouch down.

Then go back and reiterate what each group is to do

Group 1

  • Bertie saving the white lion cub from the hyenas at the watering hole, and Bertie’s mum trying to in turn save Bertie. Children become characters- Hyenas Bertie, Bertie’s mum and the lion cub.

Group 2

  • Bertie leaving for boarding school in England and the lion Prince being taken to the circus in France. Children to become charaters- Bertie, white prince, Frenchman, mum and dad, and others saying good bye.

Group 3

  • Bertie and soldiers in the trenches (this is not where the fighting takes place) Children to become soldiers- playing cards, reading letters, injured, scared cold wet n muddy and itching cause of lice, helping injured friends etc.

Each group come up with a freeze frame (picture) that shows part of the story then each picture comes to life by the children doing exaggerated and slow motion movements to tell their part of the story.

Watch each group

Start back at the beginning and split the class down the middle. Ask the children to stand in a line on either sides of the room like a soldier waiting for the start of the music. Then they will move into there groups as African animals. Do this with the music. Work through each section with the musib, pausing in between to explain the next bit or teach the choreography, then practice with the music.

4x10 African animals
counts 1 2 call freeze (they will all crouch down)
2x10 Group 1 picture
2x10 Group 1 comes to life in slow motion

call partners 1
4x10 Bertie and Cub Playing (get them to do things as if they are both children to show friendship)

call freeze
1x8 group 2 picture
1x8 group 2 picture comes to life in slow motion

call partners 2
3x8 Bertie and Millie flying Millie’s kite (get the children to work as a team one following the others movements as if they were one and were holding onto one kite)

call freeze
2x6 Group 3 picture
2x6 group 3 picture comes to life in slow motion

call partners 3
4x6 Bertie to crawl to his friend and help him back to the trench (get the children to crawl to their partner and help them up, injured moving around the room showing the emotion of war and the danger)

1-4 all face front right arm across chest
5-8 bow head (accepting victoria cross)

1-4 right side of room step turn step outwards end holding up their charts (they are the doctors and nurses)
5-8 left side step turn step outwards end holding the injury (they are the soldiers)

1-4 Right side turn in to face left side with arms open as if to hug (they signify Millie)
5-8 left side turn in to face right side with arms open (they signify Bertie)

1-4 both sides open arms wider and then bring arms across to hug them selves (this shows millie and bertie finding each other)
5-8 all turn from and repeat the hug- arms open and close (this signifies they need to find the lion together)

1-8 2x slow motion runs (running through france to find the lion)
1-2 drag to the diagonal
3-4 reach forward on diagonal lunge, arms sweeping open and grabbing to pull back and hug, leaning away from the lunge (they must bring the lion home to England to live with them)
5-8 arm sweeps right step right and then repeat left (searching through the woods for the lion)

1 lion pounce low (found the lion)
2-4 ripple up to mid way (shows the lion has grown up)
5-8 repeat pounce and ripple this time from middle to high (showing the lion growing old)

Sharp look up to the corner (pick an item in the room all the children can look to) (This is them looking at the lion head carved out in the hillside)

All children bring arms up as butterfly wings and all flutter down slowly, flapping wings (the buuterflies settling on the chalky water to drink, turning the white lion into the butterfly lion.)