Проект “Современная английская литература в танцах”

Межрегиональный конкурс “Я – исследователь”. Проект “Современная английская литература в танцах”. Автор: Ксения Н., г. Тосно, 2024 г.



     Millions of people in Russia know English. Thousands of schoolchildren study grammar every day. Hundreds of them go to language camps or take various language courses. However, there are very few people who read English literature, especially in the original.

     What are my classmates reading? What could I recommend   them? This question interested me. The answer was obvious. I really love the work of the modern English writer J.K. Rowling. Her magical Harry Potter books are unique. “Harry Potter” is a fairy tale. A fairy tale that can satisfy a person’s need for a miracle. Without faith in miracles, everything becomes grey and useless.

     There is a constant struggle between good and evil in the world. Each book by J.K. Rowling is a vivid example of the immeasurable possibilities of virtue and mercy. I believe that my generation, turning to such books, will always learn to choose goodness and love in their world of moral norms. This story  about a young wizard can help the children  pay attention to such values as true friendship, mutual assistance, humanity and good-naturedness.

     During the summer holidays, I read the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.” This literary work inspired me so much that I, who was passionate about dancing in everyday life, decided to create my own dance based on the book. It is through dance that you can convey the fullness of emotions, meanings and feelings. Dance, in conjunction with music, cannot leave anyone indifferent. It appeals to the sense of beauty that every person has. That is why I decided to use such a powerful tool as dance to attract people’s attention to reading. I set myself the goal of showing the world of modern English literature to the masses, primarily to my classmates, for which a video clip was shot and posted on the Internet. This format will attract the viewers to familiarize themselves with the values that the authors put into the books.

     The relevance of my topic is due to the fact that Joan Rolling’s books are known all over the world but modern English literature is still not widespread enough in Russia. My creative work will be interesting to watch: a vivid image, magical content, a suitable and modern form of presentation of the material, an original soundtrack – all these means will warm up the audience’s interest in English literature, thereby expanding their horizons and filling their inner world. A book is not just a story. I want to show how a book can inspire a person to do something more and develop their imagination and creativity. The deep meaning of the story about the boy who survived will help each of its readers feel special, believe in themselves and understand that every person is important.

      The purpose of the project: to attract the attention of a wide audience, primarily 5th form students, to modern English literature.

     To achieve this goal, you need to complete a number of tasks:

  • to study the biography of J. K. Rowling
  • to analyze the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”
  • to create a choreography
  • to design and sew a costume
  • to make a video
  • conduct a survey among 5th form students
  • publish the video on the Internet

     The methodological basis of the theoretical level of the study consists of:

  • the method of data collection and analysis
  • the method of study and generalization
  • the method of induction and deduction, as well as analysis and synthesis.

 The methodological basis of the empirical level is compiled by the questionnaire method.

     The novelty of the project: a new method of involving the masses in the world of literature and art has been provided.

     The practical significance of the project lies in the staged and filmed dance, which is dedicated to the theme of the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”.

The theoretical part

  1. The analysis of the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

1.1. A brief description of the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

      J.K. Rowling wants to bring a little bit of magic into the everyday readers’ lives. Her goal is to give us a story about a little boy wizard. “The boy who survived” [1p.8], using the example of his own life. She shows the important values of this world, indestructible rules and principles, traditions and laws.

 Eleven-year-old Harry Potter, who loses his parents, lives with the relatives who do not like him. After discovering the boy’s magical abilities, he begins studying at the Hogwarts School of Wizardry, where he finds his best friends: Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley. The three of these young wizards are fighting evil and defeating it, thanks to their fortitude, bravery, intelligence, courage, love, friendship.

1.2.  Literary analysis of the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

     Rowling tells us about the importance of family, helping loved ones; about the greatness of their own thoughts, principles and beliefs; about good and evil and how light and darkness are intertwined in every person in an inseparable chain. They lead an eternal struggle inside each of us and only we can decide which side to take and what to do.

     The writer proves that all people are capable of making mistakes and changing their minds, changing themselves. In her opinion, a person is an absolutely fickle being who is characterized by changes, failures and victories. The most important thing is not to lose ourselves and “turn to the light even in the most difficult times.”[14 p.84]

     The main idea of the book is that everyone can become a hero, everyone has their own role in this world. Everyone’s most important weapon is Love. Love for a mother, for a child, for neighbors, for friends, for your country, for all living things on the planet.

1.3. A genre-forming aspect of the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

     The genre of the work is a novel. It is characterized by such signs as fictional reality, magical events, magical heroes, and helper objects. The novel is mainly set in the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. All wizards live in a special world that ordinary people do not see. You can enter the world of magic through the barrier at King’s Cross station on Platform 9. Wizards’ favourite game is Quidditch, which is played on flying broomsticks with balls capable of knocking down a person of their own free will. At school, students study subjects that are unusual for us: potions, protection from the Dark Arts, transfiguration, and herbology. Something magical happens to the characters all the time. Harry and Ron fly in a magic car, turn into other people with the help of a polyjuice potion. The heroes are helped by magic items. Each wizard has his own magic wand, which chooses its own owner, as well as an owl delivering mail (a rat, toad or cat are also acceptable). Hogwarts School has a sorting hat, very old in appearance, it distributes freshmen to the right departments.[2 p.34]

     It is impossible to explain the success of the book only by the genre of a fairy tale; upon careful reading, “Harry Potter” reveals features not only of a literary fairy tale, but also of fantasy (a type of fantastic literature based on the use of mythological and fairy-tale motifs).

     It contains mythological images: the Phoenix bird, which is known in the mythology of different cultures, it is able to be reborn from the ashes; the unicorn, which is a symbol of chastity; centaurs – half-humans, half-horses and others. It seems that the magical world created by Rowling includes myths and legends from different countries and cultures. This book cannot be imagined without snot-tails, giants, mandrakes, as well as without spells that sound in Latin, the meaning of which may seem rather strange to us, but memorable.

     The features of the detective are also presented in the novel. In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, there are strange attempts on students, as a result of which the victims turn out to be petrified. Investigating these mysterious events, Harry and his friends find out that there is a secret room that has kept a terrible secret for many years.

     I think that the detective genre is an integral part of the work, since all the actions that take place with the main characters have such an exciting and unpredictable plot.

“Harry Potter” can also be called an educational book. In such novels, the following can be seen: their hero is usually an orphan, raised by relatives, in an orphanage, or even on the street, and many unfair trials and difficult events fall to his lot. The main character endures everything, preserving dignity, finds friends, grows up, retains honor, and in adulthood finds love and creates a happy family.

     Rolling’s work can be compared with classics known all over the world. For example: Charles Dickens “Oliver Twist”, in American literature the heroes of this genre are Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, both orphans.[13 ] In Soviet literature – Sanka Grigoriev from “Two Captains” by A. Kaverin, and of course, “Cinderella” by the brothers Grimm. After these works, there was a big break: for almost half a century, this one did not develop. J. Rowling filled this gap.

     So, one of the reasons for the uniqueness of the Harry Potter book is the synthesis of genres, as well as the mental immersion of the children into the world of mysteries and magic, allowing them to dream, imagine and believe in a miracle.

  1. Biography of the writer J. K. Rowling

2.1. Bibliographic summary

     Joan Kathleen Rowling was born on July 31, 1965 in England, in a place called Chipping. The real name of the writer is Joanna Murray Rowling, not Joan Kathleen Rowling, as many people think. Before the first publication, the publisher feared that boys would be reluctant to buy a book written by a woman. Therefore, Rowling was asked to use initials instead of her full name.

     At the age of six, she composed her first fairy tale – about a sick rabbit and his compassionate friends. After graduating from high school, J. Rowling went to university in Exeter and studied French at the insistence of her parents, who said she could pursue a career as a bilingual secretary.

     In 1991, at the age of 26, she went to Portugal to teach English. She says she liked it. Rowling gave lessons in the afternoon and evening, and composed in the morning. At this time, she began working on her third novel (the first two were abandoned and not finished, as “very bad”).

     The new book was about a young wizard. J. Rowling set herself the goal of completing a novel about Harry before starting work as a French teacher, and, of course, trying to publish it. She was writing on a table in a cafe while her daughter Jessica was sleeping in a stroller. At this time, J.Rowling is already working as a  teacher of French and suddenly becomes a popular writer. A year later, the second novel about a young wizard was published, called “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”. It was the book that became special to me. It inspired me so much that I could not distinguish it from the rest ones.

2.2. The relationship between the biography and the characters of the novel “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

     When studying Rowling’s biography, we understand that some of the characters of “Harry Potter” had prototypes – specific personalities who the writer met in real life. The creation of some other characters was influenced by life events or Joan’s inner experiences.

     This idea can be proved by the image of Hermione Granger, Harry’s girlfriend. According to J. K. Rowling’s biography, studying  in high school, she turned into a “nerd” who knows the answer to every question and pulls her hand in every lesson. It is the way  how  Hermione behaves. Rowling “copied” Harry’s best friend Ron Weasley from her loyal and reliable friend, British Army officer Sean Harrison. Joan made some of the Hogwarts professors look like their school teachers.

      Joan invented Harry Potter character on a train in the summer of 1983, when she was returning home to her dying mother . It was very hard for Joan. Later, she wrote about a boy left without parents. Harry and Joan’s birthdays coincide and he got his last name from the neighborhood children – Jan and Vicky Potter, who Joan played  with as a child. They imagined themselves to be wizards very often.

      If we analyze the images of the chareaters of the books, we can understand that they are divided into two halves – the representatives of the “light” side, led by Harry himself, and the representatives of the “dark” side, led by Volondemort.

       In 1998, the Warner Bros film studio bought the rights to the film adaptation of Rowling’s novels. It was with the film adaptation of the novel. In my opinion, the writer’s world fame began because films are watched much more often than books are read. In the following years, J. Rowling wrote several more books about Harry Potter and his friends. The Harry Potter series of novels have been translated into more than 65 languages including Russian. More than 300 million copies of books have been sold worldwide.

     Adapting the series has become a challenge for all countries. After all, the original text was filled with unusual surnames, punning names, cultural references and, of course, English jokes. Sometimes the translators managed to keep the original meaning but sometimes they had to bring something of their own into the text to make it more accessible to native speakers of another language. However, what a pleasure it is to read in the author’s language, where each letter reflects the writer’s intention. Unfortunately, very few people in Russia have read the book in the original language and may not even have thought about it. That is why this topic has become so important to me.

The practical part

  1. Preparatory work for the creation of an individual creative project

1.1. The idea of dancing

     While reading the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”, thanks to my imagination, I clearly saw everything that was happening there: sports competitions, a magic tree, spiders, a snake, lessons at a magic school and much more. Most of all, I was impressed by a polyjuice potion that helps a person change their image, become another person or even an animal for a while. Also in this part of the book, I saw a mythical phoenix bird that can be reborn from the ashes, as well as heal a person with its healing tears. It was this bird that helped the guys to overcome evil and escape from death.

     Thanks to these impressions, the idea of dancing was born in my head: a girl, a student of a magic school, turns into a phoenix bird with the help of magic. This dance, mystical and bright, filled with energy, should be remembered by the audience and arouse interest in the book to find out what else could have happened to the students at the magic school.

1.2. The image for the magic dance

     All the students at Hogwarts wore black robes, so it was absolutely necessary for me. For the image of the phoenix bird, a red suit was needed, with many bright accents imitating fire and radiance. (see Appendix 1)

     It took a whole week to create the sketch: a magic wand, fiery wings. My imagination ran wild and I had to ask my parents for help to implement all the ideas. It took us 15 meters of different fabrics and a whole box of rhinestones, and 10 days of work to sew the costume. (see Appendix 2)

1.3. Musical accompaniment

     To create a unique track, the Slicer program was used, two tracks from the film of the same name were combined, and the words of Hermione Granger about the spell and Director Albus Dumbledore about the phoenix were added. (Appendix 3)

     As all the preparatory work has been completed, we can proceed to the most responsible and interesting stage of my project.

  1. The main stage of creating an individual creative project

2.1. Creating choreography

     This is a dance of a 12–year-old girl. She is a sorceress, so it should be light with a lot of turns, alternating sharp, clear movements and gentle, smooth one. It was necessary to fill it with magic and bright accents. The image   changes three times in the dance. The first one is the student’s appearance wearing a robe. Then she turns into a phoenix with the help of a magic spell but this was not enough. Magically, huge fiery wings appear in the dancer’s hands, hidden in secret pockets on the robe. The work combines several types of dances. There are elements of ballet, modern and oriental dances. All the bright accents are put on the strong parts of the music.

2.2. Shooting a dance based on the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

     To shoot my video, I needed an extraordinary room that would help create a magical atmosphere. The choice was the hall of the photo studio “Polygon” in St. Petersburg. As if it was made specifically for filming about Hogwarts, there is a huge tree in the center, just like in a book. The lights are twinkling everywhere. There is a library on the wall. Ali the decorations and special effects make you feel like you are in a school of witchcraft and wizardry. We shot a video which is the basis of my creative project in the studio. I am glad that everything worked out.

2.3. Posting the video on the Internet

     I have chosen the social network VKontakte where I have my own page. I made the video available to all the users. Nowadays we live in the time for quick submission of material as many people prefer small videos that catch the eye. My video fits these modern requirements.

     After posting my video on the VKontakte network, I saw a great response from the users of the social network. My work has more than 2000 views, more than 100 people reacted positively to the publication, and many users left pleasant comments.  (see Appendix 4)

The atmosphere of the dance, the conformity of the image, energy and beauty were noted in these comments . It was very nice to see what the users wrote in the comments under the video about how accurately I conveyed the idea of the book. Some of them noted that they got goosebumps from watching this work. There were a lot of reposts, which made my video spread even more on the web.

     I can see how the rating of my video has  begun to grow, and there are more views every day.

  1. The survey.

     To confirm my opinion that modern English literature is not widespread enough in Russia, I decided to conduct a survey of my classmates. 27 people took part in the survey. I have divided this study into two parts.

The first part of the questions:

  • Do you like to read?
  • Do you know who Joan Rolling is?
  • Have you read this author’s books?
  • Are you familiar with the Harry Potter universe?
  • Do you like to watch small videos on the Internet?
  • if you like the video, will you continue to be interested in the topic covered in this very video?

     After answering the questions above, my classmates were offered to watch the video I created, and then they answered the questions of the second part:

  • after watching the video, did you want to read the story reflected in the dance?
  • why is it important to read?

     After conducting a survey, I found out that 55% of my classmates like to read, but 51% do not even know who J.K. Rowling is.62% have not read her books, while 77% of the classmates know about Harry Potter from the movies and 100% of the respondents watch and like small videos on the Internet. 88% of their peers confirmed that if they are interested in the video, they will continue to learn about this topic. After watching my video, 85% of the students in our class showed a desire to learn the full story, read the book and get acquainted with the work of J.K. Rowling. (see Appendix 5)

     Also, my project made the classmates think about what reading (especially in a foreign language) brings to our lives. They noted that it develops intelligence and language skills, trains memory, attention and concentration, forms a worldview, expands imagination and increases the level of creativity.


     In the process of doing my creative project work, I tried to tell you step by step about all the features of creating a thematic dance. During the work, all the tasks were completed: I analyzed the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” and made sure that this is one of the most interesting books that I will be happy to recommend to my friends.

 А music track was created, an image sketch was developed and a costume was sewn .Choreography was chosen according to the spirit of the book.

      The goal of the creative project work has been achieved. The video was posted on the Internet and attracted the attention of a large number of people to my favourite book.

     The video of my dance, based on the book “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” published on the Internet is a modern and effective form of drawing attention to a topic that concerns me. I received a great response for my work, the audience appreciated my work and became interested in English literature.