Thursday, October 29, 2015

Choreography: The theories and attitudes

prepared dance

emotional privacy

meanings of the word

origin of the word

improvised choreo - planned choreo

ronda - a choreography

There was a period when I appreciated only the improvised tango performances and could not find any reason to go for the stage performances. Later on this attitude changed and one of the reasons was the fact how the performance was prepared. I started to appreciate the couples who were working with the steps, exploring the possibilities in music and choosing the total atmosphere for this special performance. It offered a possibility to express their professionalism in a different way compared to the couples who went to the stage and moved to the music creating an instant performance.

The second thought was about the greediness of the audience. When the dancers are using choreography they also take a role which is like cloths on their private personality, protecting their privacy. An audience wanting them to dance only improvised forces them to be emotionally naked before their eyes. Many times you could easily see how the dancers relationship was for the moment and I started to be uncomfortable with that information. I started to appreciate the neutrality of a dance role, which leaves the personal life outside. There is also a special kind of atmosphere on stage performances which I learned to be fond of!

I want to add that a badly planned performance is not nice and not the badly rehearsed one!  But if it is well done don't we agree about a special kind of beauty of these performances?

British Dictionary definitions for choreography is

choreography:  /ˌkɒrɪˈɒɡrəfɪ/   noun

1. the composition of dance steps and sequences for ballet and stage dancing

2. the steps and sequences of a ballet or dance

3. the notation representing such steps

4. the art of dancing

The same source defines the words origin and history :

1789, from French chorégraphie, coined from Latinized form of Greek khoreia "dance" (see chorus ) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy ).


Dances are designed by applying one or both of the following fundamental choreographic methods:

Improvisation, in which a choreographer provides dancers with a score (i.e., generalized directives) that serves as guidelines for improvised movement and form. For example, a score might direct one dancer to withdraw from another dancer, who in turn is directed to avoid the withdrawal, or it might specify a sequence of movements that are to be executed in an improvised manner over the course of a musical phrase, as in contra dance choreography. Improvisational scores typically offer wide latitude for personal interpretation by the dancer.

Planned choreography, in which a choreographer dictates motion and form in detail, leaving little or no opportunity for the dancer to exercise personal interpretation.

One of the surprises for me was the possibility to understand the ronda, the circle of social dancing in tango, as a improvisation type of choreography. The choreography consists about the form, the dance circle, the lines and  the spacing among the dancers. The couples are advancing in the line of dance but their steps are created for the moment so the dance itself is improvised.

Some planned steps in the autumn forest!

British Dictionary definitions for choreography Expand


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