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Jazz - General
How long should a dance be?
By jnsdance Comments: 12, member since Wed Jul 31, 2013
On Mon Sep 02, 2013 09:53 AM

I am choreographing a dance to the song "Feelin Good" by Escala. It will be sort of a jazz piece. I don't know whether to cut the song at 3 minutes or do the whole thing at 4 minutes. Is 4 minutes too long.. will the dance get boring?

8 Replies to How long should a dance be?

re: How long should a dance be?
By hummingbird Comments: 10442, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Mon Sep 02, 2013 10:54 AM
Is it a solo? If you're dancing on stage on your own, full out, four minutes will really be difficult.

If it's being choreographed for a competition then I would check the rules, all competitions have a time limit and for solo's it's unlikely to be 4 minutes.

When I choreograph I always keep in the back of my head that I want the audience to wish it was longer, nothing is worse than seeing people looking at their watches or wondering when it's going to end. Personally I would cut it.
re: How long should a dance be?
By imadanseurPremium member Comments: 16604, member since Thu Dec 04, 2003
On Mon Sep 02, 2013 11:09 AM
It should never ever be over 3 minutes. The audience's attention span is just about that, and all of our solos never go over 2:30. Once you've shown the majority of the best skills in your repertoire it is time to get off the stage.
re: How long should a dance be?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Mon Sep 02, 2013 01:44 PM
It always, always depends on the context.

2-year-old recital dance? Four minutes is laughable. University choreography analysis piece? Four minutes could be too short. It's all relative.

I probably wouldn't do a 4 minute or longer solo for anyone, even the best dancer, unless the performance is for them specifically (such as "senior concerts" that I have been to in the past where the point is to highlight select seniors getting ready to graduate) or there is some element that requires lots of time (like some of my school projects or competition limits).

For a recital or competition performance of a solo, I would shoot for between 2 and 2-and-a-half minutes. Larger groups can tend to keep interest for longer, so if it were a dance for 15 dancers I'd probably shoot for 3 to 3-and-a-half.
re: How long should a dance be?
By jnsdance Comments: 12, member since Wed Jul 31, 2013
On Tue Sep 03, 2013 11:35 AM
My dance has five people in it including me and we are all in a pre-professional company so we are not bad dancers. I don't want the audience to get bored but I really want to do the whole song! Ugh:(
re: How long should a dance be?
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member Comments: 7417, member since Sun Apr 18, 2004
On Thu Sep 05, 2013 05:03 PM
What is the performance for? Recital / Charity Performance / other?
re: How long should a dance be?
By jnsdance Comments: 12, member since Wed Jul 31, 2013
On Fri Sep 06, 2013 01:09 PM
It is for our annual choreography showcase recital. It is not a big performance but it is still a pretty big deal for us.
re: How long should a dance be?
By MuffinHeadmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5172, member since Thu Jun 10, 2004
On Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:18 PM
2:30/3:00 is my attention span when it comes to a dance piece.

Once you've made your point... stop dancing. Don't be a slave to the music. Just because a song is four minutes long-- doesn't mean the dance has to be.

We tend to cut ours at 2:30/2:45.
re: How long should a dance be?
By kr_WDance Comments: 158, member since Mon Aug 05, 2013
On Fri Sep 20, 2013 06:17 AM
I choreographed a 10 minute piece for my college dance company and this was about average. But of course most people can watch advanced dancers perform for a longer period. If you need 4 minutes to say what you need to say in a piece, I'd go for it. Recitals and competitions are often about "showing off" your best tricks in 2 minutes and 30 seconds unfortunately. Hence, why they all look the same at competition. If you think you can do a nice solid piece that keeps the audience attention then you should. Unless you just are unsure where/how to cut the music? Then maybe u can give it to someone really good at that? Good luck! Hope its going well!

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