I am looking for responses from choreographers on the following questions:
why do you choreograph? Why this medium of expression?
where do you start? (improv? a concept, a movement idea?...) Where does your movement come from?
Where do you find inspiration?
How do you "structure" a piece of dance choreography? Is structure important?
How often do you rehearse and can you describe your rehearsal and choreographic process in a few sentences?
What does it REALLY mean to be contemporary in dance?
How would you describe your movement/choreographic style?

Tags: choreographer, choreography, creativity, inspiration, movement

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Hi Ariella---these are some really great questions. I'm going to pick just a couple...
The start: for me it's always different. However I think that as a choreographer, I am mostly concept driven, more than anything else. I've posted a couple of videos on here so fee free to look and see if that comes across to you---I think it does. Usually, I start with concept or music or both, and then the movement comes from there. I often work from literature, and find the movement in the language, as in, I use verbs to build dances. Of course, then all the other fun choreographic games we play can follow (structured improvs, writing, manipulating phrases). I like dances that appear to mean something, to have order, so concept is important to me, because it creates a touchstone for the piece...which brings me to "structure".

I'm a structure junky. Usually there is some kind of concept, I throw in a movement puzzle of some kind, and then a structure. The structure doesn't have to be something obvious, but for me, it usually is based on the manipulation of motivic phrases (a,b,a,a,d...whatever) or based on the source material, the inspiration. I have structured dances off of sleep cycles and big chunks of "idea", but whatever the case, I have difficulty dealing with arbitrary-ness.

I think the question about what it means to be contemporary is huge, and fascinating, but maybe too huge for me. And for the last question---check out my vids and you can tell me:)
Why choreograph?....I think like anyother artist the need to be creative and express.
Why this medium?.....for me because I was a dancer first but I see as also as a moving painting or a film.
Starting points?....can come from all sorts of sources depending on what is important to you....one the first piece's I made was called 'Is yours' I began by writing a poem about how I felt about what is considered to be entertainment/experiment/art or not?
Inpsiration for me has largley been from working as a dancer with some of the greatest choreographers of our century, the amazing variety of proccess and form has inpsired me to make my own work.
Structure is something we find through lots of doing!!! not thinking....it's like we all have a unique way of
organising things...even the way we dress or undress, eat, sleep or read the paper. If you can harness this though awareness you can start to find your own signature through structure. It's like watching a tap driping....if you film it over a long period of time you will start to see re-occuring patterns...it's called organised chaos theory. Rehearsal is like feeding the work....it grows naturally like a plant....the work looks and feels more 'lived in'.
What does it REALLY mean? thats up to you.......the individual......for me it's about being at the forefront of developing a high level of quality with new ideas in dance and being part of 21st century arts.
My style is informed by my training and companies I danced with.....in in my case thats quite a broad spectrum, from ballet, modern, clogging, juggling, music, poetry, for me the cross art form factor plays a big role.

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