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College dance application stuff...help!
By balletbella23member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 62, member since Fri Feb 10, 2012
On Tue Jun 02, 2015 03:50 PM

Hello

I'm 17 and almost done with my junior year in high school. Currently I'm looking at dance in college and the different requirements of dance auditions to get into dance programs. In submitting a portfolio (the other way to complete an audition if you can't make it to the school), there are certain things that I have to include for certain schools (this is about one school in particular).

For example, include:
-"ballet bar with plies, tendus, degages and battements
-modern center floor: a phrase of movement that travels across the floor and incorporates jumps and/or turns
-contemporary/modern based solo: choreographed and performed by applicant" ~ from a college applicant's webpage

The ballet bar is fine, its the modern center floor stuff and even more so...the solo.

Coming from a dance background with a stronger background in ballet, lyrical, and jazz, I'm not really sure what they'd be looking for in terms of "contemporary" and "modern."

I've already talked to one of my dance teachers who said she'd help me with the ballet bar and the center stuff, but I have to come up with a solo.

Because of my more ballet style centered background, I'm not really sure where to start with a solo in contemporary/modern. I've taken a year long modern class as well as contemp. and modern master classes, but I'm worried that whatever I create is going to end up being more lyrical since I'm more knowledgeable in that area.

I can't even think of a song because I'm afraid that the one I pick is "too lyrical." In this sense I don't even know where to begin.

Some of my song ideas:
Immortal - Marina and the Diamonds <--- I have ideas for this in terms of a solo, but they are lyrical ideas
Valley of the Dolls - Marina and the Diamonds
(Dark Paradise (either the original or radio edit) - Lana Del Rey <--- not too hot about this...?)
Young and Beautiful - Lana Del Rey
The State of Dreaming - Marina and the Diamonds
No One's Here To Sleep - Naughty Boy ft. Dan Smith of Bastille
Echo - Jason Walker <--- I like this song a lot for this, but I'm not sure?

(please feel free to add on with more song ideas or give me feedback on my ideas)

I've never choreographed a solo before, at least not to the point of writing it down. Any/all of the choreography I've done has been with groups in mind. I've actually already choreographed (not for a solo) The State of Dreaming by Marina and the Diamonds and Dark Paradise by Lana Del Rey (the instrumental version). I thought that since I've already choreographed those songs it would be easier to turn them into a solo since I already have ideas, but their style is lyrical and I'm worried that that's not what they want...and I didn't just choreograph a section or part of the song, I choreographed the WHOLE song.

I need to have this stuff filmed by October, since the early apply date is November/December, so this is my summer project.

No where on the application page on the website does it say any time length requirements or anything, just that there is a limit of 500 MB each for each video and a range of 1 - 10 items. So that's another thing to figure out. Is a 2 minute solo too long? Or too short? How many across the floors? Left and right side I would presume? Same with ballet bar, left and right side?

In the portfolio, should I include dance recital photos (the ones that are professionally taken) and a head shot? I feel like I'm asking stupid questions, but on the website they just don't say this stuff.

Maybe I'm just too paranoid about the whole contemporary/modern thing, but I'd rather be on the safe side, unless it doesn't matter that much. (In my mind, this is how lyrical, modern, and contemporary work:

BALLET.......(middle).......JAZZ <--- the two major styles on the scale

BALLET..lyrical...(middle)contemporary...modern..JAZZ

basically, lyrical is closer to ballet in terms of technique, but with a little bit of jazz influence, modern falls on the jazzier side but still has influences of ballet, and contemporary falls right in the middle with 50% ballet and 50% jazz technique. Modern is not super similar to jazz, but it has some of its style and upbeat feelings as its not so graceful and ballet like. Now, this could be 100% totally wrong, but at my dance studio, this is how they styles are broken up. So when I say lyrical, I mean a more ballet and graceful style *with pointed toes* and things like that.)

So yea, any help with this stuff would be really appreciated. :)

Thanks!

5 Replies to College dance application stuff...help!

re: College dance application stuff...help!
By hummingbird Comments: 10419, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Tue Jun 02, 2015 04:07 PM
Is there no instructor that could help oversee you with a piece of choreography? I've done that for my students before. Just giving them guidelines as to which direction a step might look better from and if there aren't better ways of putting their ideas across and then helping them rehearse their piece.
re: College dance application stuff...help!
By balletbella23member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 62, member since Fri Feb 10, 2012
On Tue Jun 02, 2015 05:09 PM
I can get help, but I have to have ideas first. The whole reason why I said that I can't have help is because the studio is closed right now, we finished for the year. I can't put it off until September when we all come back, I wouldn't have enough time to make something up. I could go asking for input or comments in September, but I can't walk in not having anything to start off with. Because of this, I have to figure something out myself, but I can't even decide on a song.
re: College dance application stuff...help!
By majeremember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 5889, member since Sat Sep 29, 2007
On Wed Jun 03, 2015 02:31 PM
Lyrical is not really a style, it's a way of dancing. You can have lyrical jazz, lyrical ballet etc.

If you can find videos from the school dance performances or a list of class offerings (they might say what style of modern they teach) and clue you in to what they might be looking for.
re: College dance application stuff...help!
By balletbella23member has saluted, click to view salute photos Comments: 62, member since Fri Feb 10, 2012
On Wed Jun 03, 2015 03:52 PM
From my studio'a website: "Lyrical- Lyrical dance is a cross between Jazz and Ballet based movements. This style of dance focuses on the emotion and story behind a particular piece of music. We use this style of dance to tell a story through our movements." I'm not really sure if that's super helpful, but here are contemporary and modern.

"Modern – Modern dance was created by a group of dance pioneers who did not want to conform to the style of traditional ballet. This style of dance will include a lot of loose movement, movements through the spine, and some floor work. It is a very creative style of dance set to all different types of music."

"Contemporary- This style of dance is fairly new to the dance world and is always evolving. We will mix the styles of Jazz, Ballet, Modern, Lyrical and Hip Hop. Using many different genres of music, Contemporary dance usually tries to tell a story. Most often a topic is decided on and we tell a story through our dancing."

I hope that's helpful.
re: College dance application stuff...help!
By hummingbird Comments: 10419, member since Mon Apr 18, 2005
On Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:15 PM
From my studio'a website: "Lyrical- Lyrical dance is a cross between Jazz and Ballet based movements.


Exactly, it's a hybrid, in the old days it was just called slow Jazz.

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