What is Choreography

Xiaoman Ren, Abd Al Hadi Abunahleh

By Jonathan Burrows

Published 14th May 2010 by Routledge

ISBN-13: 978-0415555302

ISBN-10: 0415555302

What is choreography?

“Choreography is a negotiation with the patterns your body is thinking.”

— Jonathan Burrows

We recommend a book “A Choreographer’s Handbook” by Jonathan Burrows. Jonathan Burrows is a British choreographer and teacher.

It is a book for anyone interested in making performance, at whatever level and in whichever style.

It is open, honest and fun.

It gives a range of exercises, principles and ideas on choreography that allow artists and dance-makers to find their own process.

Title: Body Not Fit For Purpose

by Jonathan Burrows, Matteo Fargion

2 October 2015 

Halle G, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien, Austria

“Body Not Fit For Purpose” is created by ormer Royal Ballet soloist, Jonathan Burrows and composer, Matteo Fargion.

Jonathan Burrows and Matteo Fargion have created a body of work over the last twelve years which has delighted audiences worldwide.

“Body Not Fit For Purpose” is an overtly political work, taking as its starting point the inadequacy of the dancing body as a vehicle to express that which is of concern, and at the same time the inherent radicality of the attempt.

Photograph courtesy of Ben Packs

What I think choreography is?

It is the art or practice of designing sequences of movements of physical bodies.

What do you think?

3_iMMVEnQ 3

In the performing arts, choreography applies to human movement and form. In dance, choreography is also known as dance choreography or dance composition. Choreography is also used in a variety of fields.

It is used in opera, musical theater, cheerleading, cinematography, gymnastics, fashion shows, ice skating, marching band, show choir, theatre, synchronized swimming, and animated art.

Choreography example

1. Choreography in Choir or chorus

This is Grammy Award-nominated production, called ”INALA”.

“INALA” is a Zulu word meaning ‘abundance of goodwill”. It is a South Africa ballet with one of the local choral legends, Soweto Gospel Choir, that celebrates diversity and African culture.

“INALA” is by choreographer Mark Baldwin.

Title: INALA

by choreographer Mark Baldwin

2 October 2014

Lighthouse, Poole’s Centre for the Arts, England

Celebrating 20 years of democracy in South Africa, INALA presents choral legends, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, in a unique artistic collaboration with multi award-winning choreographer Mark Baldwin.

Mark Baldwin’s richly visceral choreography unites Zulu traditions with classical ballet and contemporary dance, performed by an exceptional company of eighteen dancers and singers.

What were the challenges faced by the choreographer Mark Baldwin?

  1. A large groups of dancers
  2. South African male choral group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo was challenging to choreograph, , with its free rhythms and un-notatable harmonies
  3. How to find a dance language that was responsive to the choir’s Zulu culture without looking tackily “tribal”.

What did the choreographer Mark Baldwi do?

He aimed for a creative hybrid.

The final result looked unlike anything Baldwin has previously choreographed – a wide spectrum of twisting, voodoo expressionism, communal circle dances, animal and bird-like shapes, with a twist of ballet.

Rehearsals for Inala

featuring Ladysmith Black Mambazo

by choreographer Mark Baldwin

Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

7 August 2014

Choreography example

2. Choreography in TV show

This is a scene from the American dark comedy-drama web television series “Why Women Kill”.

Why Women Kill follows three women from different decades who are connected through having all lived in the same house.

This Tango scene is from the last episode “Kill Me as if It Were the Last Time”.

Title: Why Women Kill

by Marc Cherry

20 February 2005

Choreography example

3. Choreography in Animation

Robot Chicken is an American adult animated stop motion sketch comedy television series.

It is based on a popular, humorous comic strip in the monthly magazine ToyFare, called “Twisted ToyFare Theatre”.

The show mocks popular culture, referencing toys, movies, television, games.

It employs stop motion animation of toys, action figures, claymation, and various other objects.

Title: Robot Chicken

by Seth Green, Matthew Senreich, Mike Fasolo

21 August 2015

Choreography example

3. Choreography in Puppetry

This is a 75-minute performance includes theatrical performance, puppetry, photography, dance and film with original music.

This performance is inspired by Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 Trans-Antarctic Expedition.

The performance took its title, “69°S.“,  from the latitude at which Shackleton’s ship sank, forcing the heroic leader and his crew to spend seven months hauling their lifeboats to the sea and seven days rowing out to Elephant Island.

Title: “69°S.”

by phantom limb company, Kronos Quartet

When asked what about working with puppets appeals to you, Jessica Grindstaff, the Phantom Limb Company’s founders and co-artistic director, said puppets can do things physically that humans can’t do.

In the scene of the boat emerge Shackleton and his crew of the performance, each explorer represented by a white-robed puppeteer on stilts manipulating a three-foot-tall marionette realistically costumed in period dress.

The puppets completely captivated their audiences with their slow, gentle movement quality and their amazingly expressive faces—underlining the extreme fragility, preciousness, and minuteness of man vis a vis Mother Nature.

As the puppets progress through their adventures, the audiences watched with enthralled attention, riveted not so much by the themes of teamwork, death, and sacrifice that emerge but by how magnificently these collaborative artists have translated this piece of history into a sublime aesthetic affair.

Photograph courtesy of Rob Strong

Are you interested in puppets? 

Here is a bonus. You don’t have to be an experienced artist to create beautiful DIY puppets. All you need? An extra hour and a few simple supplies.

We have a great example of an artist called called Barnaby Dixon. He said that he was having a good time designing puppets for fun. Then he made many short “silly” films with his puppets. Now this has become his job…

by Barnaby Dixon

Choreography example

3. Choreography in Fashion

This is the story of New York City Ballet’s 7th annual Fall Fashion Gala where we can see collaborations between famous fashion houses and choreographers and unique exhibitions

Title: 2018 Fall Gala

Costume design by Gareth Pugh

This session starts at 11:00 am (Saturday), 29th, August, 2020.

  • 11:00 – 11:20 Greeting
  • 11:20 – 12:50 Introduction of Studio 8, CCC, and Choreography
  • 12:50 – 1:05 Break
  • 1:10 – 1:50 Introduce yourself & your idea ( keyword game )
  • 1:50 – 2:00 Summary

Who are the speakers?

Who are the speakers?