It has been awhile since I’ve posted for The Choreography Series, but time has given me the opportunity to gather thoughts that I need to share.
I can remember from the time I started dancing until about my senior year in high school, choreography was all about the story-telling and technical movements. Since I had been trained this way, it is what I stuck with from being a student into teaching. Recently, I have been disappointed with some choreography I have seen in different situations.
About half (or a little over a half) of the dance field has been so focused on teaching “tricks” and winning trophies, they have lost sight of the artistic side of dance. When I work on Improv with students, I literally tell them no tricks. The reason why I don’t allow tricks, it is so the student can focus on finding their own movement and work on technique. For a student to explore their individual creativity will go a longer way throughout their career, than learning a trick.
I feel as though this is a main reason why students struggle with Improv and choreographing; if you keep pushing the constant tricks and flips, but not their technique and creative movement–they won’t grow. Also, by including an obnoxious amount of tricks in a dance piece, it becomes more gymnastics than dance. I am not saying there shouldn’t be any tricks at all, but we must be careful to not drift away from dance itself.
Do me a favor, the next time you watch a dance, see the difference between technical dance moves versus tricks. By noticing how dance has changed over the years, I hope it will help teachers and choreographers redirect dance.
I hope you enjoyed this! Please feel free to comment below your thoughts, only positive comments that can contribute to a positive conversation.