Choreography Tips – Part 2

Hit a brick wall with choreography?

Need some tips?

Read on for my second set of choreo tips that will help ANYONE produce great quality choreography quickly, effortlessly and with amazing results!

  1. Use the space! Make sure you use all of the space on the stage. Particularly strong points are centre stage (downstage centre, dead centre and upstage centre) and the four corners (downstage left, upstage left, downstage right, upstage right). So if you have special moments in your dance, or for a starting or finishing position, make sure you do it on one of these hotspots. It will be way more effective (your audience won’t know why it hits them harder but it will!! Ninja skills!). I hate to say it, but if you plan to die in your piece (!) do it upstage centre – this is known as the ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ position – THE most powerful space to die onstage. Ever! If you’re working in a duet, trio or group, make sure you have lots of transitions and formation changes to keep changing it up for your audience. This will keep them interested.
  2. Take a chance! Got stuck? Don’t be! Try chance choreography. This method was devised by Merce Cunningham, one of the most influential choreographers and teachers of the 20th century. It uses chance to help generate the choreography which means you often come up with stuff that’s much more exciting and unexpected than your regular choreo. There are lots of ways to do this but for example, try allocating movements/movement concepts/spatial concepts to the six numbers on a dice then roll the dice to build sequences. Interested? click here
  3. Keep. Making. Decisions. Just keep going! Survival specialist Bear Grylls says just keep making decisions. And the same is true for choreography. Don’t second guess it, don’t review, don’t over-analyse – just keep making decisions until you finish your piece. THEN if you want to review and improve it, go for it but ONLY once the piece is finished. Otherwise you may never get past the first phrase. I always say “run it up the flagpole, see if anyone salutes!”. In other words, have a bash, see what happens, if it’s not effective then by all means change it, but don’t pursue perfection until you have something to perfect. Done is better than perfect!

Check back soon for the next round of tips!

Feeling inspired? This coming Saturday we’re holding Dancewise Studios annual choreography competition at Hanger Farm in Totton. It’s not too late to enter! Email us or call 023 8001 9845 for more info or to enter.

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