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A career as a choreographer


aileen
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Aileen, my husband's cousin is a choreographer - I'll get back to you.

 

Edited to add:

 

My dd has a book with a very good section on choreography, and the book also covers much of the GCSE & A-level dance syllabus.

 

Essential Guide to Dance, by Linda Ashley

Edited by taxi4ballet
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I can't think of a choreographer who has not also danced - however, not always professionally.

 

I can think of several I know who are wonderful choreographers who were in dance (ballet/modern) classes but did not dance professionally. Sort of reminds me of musicians who can't read music but still make great music.

 

I think it is important for an aspiring choreographer to take dance class - to get the feel of it - how it flows - where the weight is placed - the phrase structure - what is possible - and where one comes from and where to go next. But, just as important is knowing the music - seeing the music - for itself as well as in a love affair with movement.

 

I would advise an aspiring choreographer to take dance class, attend concerts (see how the musicians and the conductor move), study the old lithographs of dance, study the large size photograph books of dance, - imagine where the dancer come from and where the dancer is going next. Look at the sculptures of both classical works as well as modern.

 

Then study the workings of the stage - it's corners - its sides - entrances and exits. See it as one space and see it as composite spaces. What is it capable of? It's moods, the lighting, sight lines, where to place emphasis - what is important and what is backdrop.

 

Look at paintings and observe the composition - does the artist have a focus and does the finished work lead the observer's eye to that focus? And how is that done?

 

Study space both positive and negative. What does shape mean - angles, curves and lines. Lines which are foreshortened and lines which go out to inifinitive space.

 

I would assume some of this can be learned in a formal sit-down classroom setting with a teacher and a textbook - but not most of it. Most of it, I think, has to be acquired in the actual setting. The sit down classroom is an arid setting. The dance class, however, offers the beginning of possibilities.

 

For me, I found it all began with the music. The dance was already full born in the music - I just had to bring it into focus so others could see it, too. And, then, I had to add a little pragmatism - what the dancers were capable of and the venue in which the dance was to occur. Always open to amendment without hollowing out the original intent.

 

One can read and study a textbook - but that's just chewing. To truly get on with a performing art one must be able to swallow it and for that - one must be on site - in a theater.

 

Experience, I think, is the only real teacher. Someone can teach you how to farm but until you face the empty field, it doesn't really happen.

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Aileen, just to update you, I spoke to my relative and she said that hers is not a typical career path, she fell into it almost by accident after having been a professional dancer.

 

She suggested that your dd could watch as many performances as she can, listen to as wide a variety of music as possible, and get a notebook and write down her ideas and everything she learns along the way.

 

Also she said the best thing to do is to get her out there, and do as many workshops, courses and days of dance as she can - and get her face known to as many people as possible.

 

Hope this helps

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I would like to recommend a book by Twyla Tharp....it is called The Creative Habit and i stumbled upon it in Waterstones (£8.99)

It is not aimed specifically at choreographers, but as her personal experiences are as a dancer and a choreographer it is really pertinent.

it is a great read, and full of inspiration and method to help channel ideas, impressions, and create good work habits.

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I would like to recommend a book by Twyla Tharp....it is called The Creative Habit and i stumbled upon it in Waterstones (£8.99)

It is not aimed specifically at choreographers, but as her personal experiences are as a dancer and a choreographer it is really pertinent.

it is a great read, and full of inspiration and method to help channel ideas, impressions, and create good work habits.

 

Thanks for this, have just ordered it off Amazon for £5.66! :D

 

Think it will be useful for my DD when it comes time for audition solos.

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