The art of Choreography: where do I start?

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Every creator painfully experiences the chasm between his inner vision and its ultimate expression. ~Isaac Bashevis Singer

Over the last few days I have found myself stuck, trying to put together choreography for the remix I surrender – Dillon Chase.

The song is not the usual dancer’s choice as it is not one to just evoke excitement and cause one to just jump around and feel good. The message of the song is something else. You see, dance is a language expressed not in words but in movement.

Every once in a while as a choreographer, you get stuck whether you are working alone or with your crew/dance partners. You almost find yourself repeating movements or having none to make. So what do you do then? I have put together a few pointers that may be of help.

  • Listen to the music piece as many times as possible

Knowing the genre of the chosen music is not just enough, you need to know the music piece by heart. Not just the words, although they definitely help, but also other details such as the sections of the piece, how they are repeated and even the mood. This will be important in helping decide what kind of movements to place where.

  • Pick a style

Depending on the music, pick the dance style you think will best bring out what you intend. It would also be good to choose one that the dancers are comfortable with. Be it hip-hop, contemporary, traditional, folk dance, disco, reggae, liturgical, or whichever it is that rouses your interest, you can definitely make it work. You can also decide to merge different styles.

  • Just start dancing

Respond to the music in dance. Move as you feel the music and take note of the kind of movements you make. You can also get the basic footwork outlined and then add other body movements.

  • Practice

You may not get it the first time, but hey, who said it would be easy!! Just don’t settle for mediocrity. In the words of Scott Adams, “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

So there you have it, don’t get stuck trying to dance, dance. And remember, “All art requires courage” ~Anne Tucker

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