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Thoughts on my Choreography

I spent an hour today on the train, choreographing about 45 seconds of music.

Dayum! I read about people who say they take an hour to choreograph one minute of music, and I think to myself, why can't I work that quickly? The 45 seconds I did was already prepped, in that I'd got my music mapped out, I'd done all my detailed counting and analysing beforehand and I knew what I wanted to achieve during that particular verse. I'd even got a particular step combination in mind for it, that I just had to make sure it would fit , and would fit the group dynamics that it needed to fit, and two sets of 8 are repeats using the other leg, and one of the sets of 8 is a sort of mirror (not an exact copy) of an earlier arm combo. So it's not like I was doing it all brand new from scratch.

And yet I'm so flipping slow!

I guess I am a bit of a perfectionist. I do like to make sure I've made an Interesting choreo. If I repeat a combination, or a chorus, it's for a good reason, not just to pad out the routine, or to keep it simple for my students.

And this particular 45 seconds had a specific job to do, to get two groups of dancers to change lines, from facing opposite directions, to end up all facing the same way. And, yes, I do think I've achieved this in a visually stimulating way for the (as yet putative) audience, and in a challenging and interesting way for the dancers, if I do say so myself *breathes on nails and polishes them on lapel*.

But dearie me, I feel like such a lumbering slowcoach, when Lauren & Shira, and no doubt half my flist, are all saying they could have done this in 5 hours. It's a 5½ minute song, and I swear I've taken a good 15 to 20 hours over it so far, what with all the prep and what I've done so far, but I've still got another 3 minutes to go. I know what I want to use those 3 minutes for (roughly), but they're definitely going to take me another 5-10 hours to get just right.

So those who can create a good and interesting choregraphy in 3 hours have my total admiration.

And this is why I will never have a career as a personal choreographer. No-one will ever be able to afford my rates!


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 10th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
I am very erratic with choreo mainly it all comes together in a massive rush but not till I have spent hours and hours and hours listening thinking and rejecting stuff-I am even slower on the stuff I do for myself
While I was driving up today I had a brainwave for my saidi tableau for the show and I have spent weeks on it till the flash of inspiration dawned today and I got the whole of it in a listen through-of course I have yet to work with other people and special guest.
Oct. 10th, 2011 07:03 pm (UTC)
I'm very impressed that you can choreo on a train! I simply can not chore without dancing.
Oct. 10th, 2011 07:38 pm (UTC)
There's a certain amount of foot twitching that goes on when I'm trying to work out stepping patterns! And hand twitching when I'm trying to work out the arms!
Oct. 10th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
I do it all the time and then discover I've remembered the music wrong.
Oct. 10th, 2011 11:19 pm (UTC)
Oh I couldn't possibly do it without the music! I might have a vague idea, but until I've actually either danced it for real, or danced it in my head, to the music, to see if it works, I don't view it as choreographed. It's still just an idea.
Oct. 10th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
See, I get brain worms of music and play about with them.

But of course, not choreographed till I've actually done it with my body a LOT of times.
Oct. 10th, 2011 08:55 pm (UTC)
To each their own madness when being creative! I have choreos that have litterally lept out at me totally ready to go in an hour and ones that took me weeks to finally lumber through. So long as the end result is a choreo that you're proud of, who cares how long it took to create? And I second Andalee, you have oodles of my respect. I can't choreo unless I have no other distractions. I can't imagine trying to do that on a train.
Oct. 10th, 2011 09:05 pm (UTC)
"lept out at me totally ready to go in an hour"

I'm jealous! I've never been able to just put them together like that. It's always a labour of... labour!
Oct. 11th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)
I have a weird synthastisa (and I probably spelled that all wrong) where I can "see" a choreography, costumes, lighting everything when I hear music. Sometimes its uber clear and I can literally write it down from that and it just takes enough run throughs of the music to write each chunk down. Of course then I have to fine tune it because what the little dancers in my head and what real people can do are often totally different things...LOL!
Oct. 10th, 2011 11:11 pm (UTC)
When I am choreographing it takes me a very very very very very very long time because I have to play around and revisit and change it all the time. Usually what I started with is FAR TOO FANCY.
Oct. 10th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
ALSO, Dr Mo used to talk abot an hour a minute to TEACH a choreo, which is a very different thing.

I felt quite good one day when I arrived at ballet and Mr Ballet was going over one tiny snippet of music to choreograph it for his kids, and it was over and over and over and over trying this, trying that, with one motif he was clearly keen on. I thought 'this is familiar. And this is someone who choreographs a couple of ballets at least every year. I feel better now.'
Oct. 10th, 2011 11:48 pm (UTC)
Wouldn't the time measurement depend on the choreography? The song's complexity, the complexity of the movement you're selecting, the limits of the dancers, and with a group, how fancy do you want to be with formation.

I'm sure yours will be lovely.
Oct. 11th, 2011 10:05 am (UTC)
You would have thought...
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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