Forum: Ballet / Ballet Choreography

Ballet Choreography
Coda or Allegro?
By calla45 Comments: 228, member since Tue May 08, 2012
On Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:25 AM

okay so I am working on choreographing a new ballet piece for a preprofessional dance company I dance for.

the theme is "stroll through the sky" and it is inspired by a part of an anime film where a wizard saves a girl from trouble and then takes her on a walk through the air over a town of people (the film is Howl's Moving Castle)

the song we are using is: www.youtube.com . . . and we are using the first 2:30ish of it.

in the beginning there is a very soft adagio like section then a weird little transition section of the music. after that the tempo picks up a little bit. In the section with the faster tempo I am not sure if I should have it as a coda or an allegro. I feel like a bunch of jumps might be cheesy looking and I am not sure how it would look if it was more of a coda. opinions?

5 Replies to Coda or Allegro?

re: Coda or Allegro?
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Sun Jul 14, 2013 10:50 AM
Musically the edit you propose might be very hard to pull off as a Coda. (BTW Coda and Allegro are not mutually exclusive, what you are calling a Coda is actually an introduction or intro; Coda in Italian means "tail" or "ending".) That being said, putting the Intro at the end to end the piece (which could make it a Coda) sounds like it would be awkward as the harmonic resolution of the intro as it leads into the waltz sound like it wouldn't really resolve very well as an ending. You probably would have to find a pianist who could play it and recompose the ending (problematic on copyright grounds.) It is OK as a lead-in to the waltz part, but ending the piece with it with a big cut makes it sound musically unresolved to me.


Jon (not a choreography by any means, but a symphony violinist)
re: Coda or Allegro?
By toroandbruinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 3627, member since Fri Oct 10, 2008
On Sun Jul 14, 2013 05:18 PM
I'm not sure I understand the question. The tempo IS allegro and whatever bars of music you use for the finale WILL be the finale. Since you are asking about choreography perhaps you want to know which would be more effective steps: quick petit allegro steps, large grand allegro steps or a slower, more sweeping group of movements bringing everybody together on stage as is more traditional for an ending.

The unfortunate fact is that, although the music pauses at 2:30, it doesn't really resolve as an ending. It starts over with the theme from the beginning and, although that too pauses, it is a very anticipatory (i.e. unresolved) pause. As Jon pointed out you might be able to find a pianist who could rewrite the music.

However I propose a different solution which will also take up 2-1/2 minutes. Why not simply START at 2:30 and go to the end? It is perfectly satisfactory start and, narrative-wise the music goes through an even better group of changes allowing your dancers to show off various styles and weave an even more intriguing story. And just as important, there is a short but truly satisfying finale.
re: Coda or Allegro?
By greenpumpkinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2214, member since Thu Dec 20, 2007
On Mon Jul 15, 2013 07:15 AM
Edited by greenpumpkin (189572) on 2013-07-15 07:25:15
Edited by greenpumpkin (189572) on 2013-07-15 07:32:43
The section from 0:50 to 2:30 is a waltz, not an allegro or coda in the ballet sense. Most typically, one would choreography a waltz dance to it.

It is also quite common for waltzes to have extended introductions, as this music does. See, for example the first 2:00 of:

www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .

(This is a really really nice performance of the Emeperor Waltz)

Here's a waltz with no introduction, but a coda (I believe starts around 2:50, when the time signature of the music changes):

www.youtube.com . . .
re: Coda or Allegro?
By calla45 Comments: 228, member since Tue May 08, 2012
On Mon Jul 15, 2013 08:50 AM
thank you so much greenpumpkin. I am always terrible with noticing when music is a waltz or mazurka. it makes so much more sense now and I think I know exactly how I want to choreograph it from here.

I might also go along with some suggestions made here and seeing about finding a pianist who can help me out (after of course checking that it complies with copyright laws)
re: Coda or Allegro?
By greenpumpkinmember has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 2214, member since Thu Dec 20, 2007
On Mon Jul 15, 2013 10:05 AM
Waltz has the accent on beat 1 (OOM pah pah, OOM pah pah), you can dance it like (DOWN up up, DOWN up up). Mazurka has accent on beat 2 or 3. Waltzes (usually) sound grand and flowing, Mazurka has quite a different feeling. Visually, waltzes generally happen a ballroom, whereas mazurkas in ballet are used to depict peasant/village scenes.

www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .
www.youtube.com . . .

Technically, you would have to get permission for a public performance of this piece, which is under copyright. If you sought that route, you would be one of very few dancers who do so. Whether or not you seek permission, you are unlikely to get notice from the copyright holder.

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