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Modern Dance - General
Choreographic Exercises
By Qwiksylver Comments: 182, member since Tue Jan 06, 2004
On Fri Feb 14, 2014 10:55 PM

So I haven't been active on here in years except to occasionally pop in and say hi to someone. Over the past few years I've ended up teaching quite a bit of composition - as well as refining my own choreographic style. So I figured, since this board seemed a little dead, that I'd try to liven it up a bit. I'll post choreographic exercises here. Things to help individuals interested in choreography find new movement, new ways of expressing themselves, hone their skills, etc. I'll try to post at least once a week - sometimes it'll be more often, on busy weeks it might be less often. If it gains traction and there is interest, I'll keep doing it. If not, then it will slowly die off in the cobwebs of the internet.

Exercise 1 - Simple Manipulation 1:

Find a gesture - this can be a gesture that you use everyday in your life (brushing your hair behind your ear, patting your pocket to check for keys, etc), or a new gesture that you make up for this exercise.

First manipulation: using the gesture as the base for your movement, modify it so that you end up moving several feet in any direction as you perform the movement. Maybe the gesture stays the same and your body just reacts to it, maybe the gesture is larger now and requires your body to counterbalance it, etc. Play with it to see what happens.

Manipulation 2: Make your gesture as large as you can, it might only barely resemble your initial movement, and that's ok. Make it so that completing it takes you quite a ways from your initial starting point. There are no strict rules here. Play with the movement to see what you can come up with.

Next step: You now have 3 movements - your initial gesture, your medium gesture variation, and your large gesture variation. Start again with a different gesture and complete the exercise again twice.

Last step: You now have 9 different movements - 3 original gestures, 3 medium variations, and 3 large variations. Think of them as building blocks that you can put together in any order to build a new dance. Play with the order you perform them in. Try doing all the small gestures, then the medium, then the large. Try doing them in order (ie: gesture 1, then medium variation 1, then large variation 1, then gesture 2, medium 2, etc). Try reordering them in several more patterns of your own choosing.

Remember that the goal isn't to complete a new dance, but to learn how to build dances better. So reflect on what you found and write it in a dance notebook. What did you like? What didn't you like? What worked well? What was hard for you? Etc... Make a note of anything you can use to better your choreography whether it was good or bad!

1 Replies to Choreographic Exercises

re: Choreographic Exercises
By ForeverDancer1 Comments: 2, member since Tue Mar 11, 2014
On Tue Mar 11, 2014 05:34 AM
I have just done a Choreography Basics courses and this is a useful add-on. Keep 'em coming!