Choreography: Iterations

On Sunday, I banged out what turned out to be a kind of very rough first draft of the choreography for an upcoming Lyra performance that opens with a bunch of ballet.

I video-ed the initial draft choreography and discovered that, at least for me, video is a really useful tool for the choreographic process. It let me analyze my own dance from an audience perspective (only one: the person sitting at the corner of audience R, heh), which in turn helped me figure out what worked and what needed to change.

Today, I worked the ballet part again, and I think I’ve resolved some of the problems I ran into with the first draft — particularly the excessive repetition and the fact that I’d boringly choreographed everything down the same diagonal and back.

I didn’t record video today, but instead wrote the choreo down by hand. This is progress; I used to have trouble doing that because I couldn’t always figure out what to call intermediate things.

Now I just write “step through in coupé” (or short-hand “step thru coupé) or whatever best describes the action if it doesn’t have a really discrete name.

Also, I no longer get my Eighty-Seven Cardinal Directions of Ballet confused (thanks to Company B), which makes it soooooo much easier to write out the instructions.

I just realized, though, that for some reason I dropped one of my favorite sequences (your traditional:

pique arabesque – chassée – tour jeté – something else

…So maybe I’ll put it back in on the next iteration, with or without the interesting little pivot that kept appending itself to the landing of the tour jeté.

That said, I also addedtombé – pas de bourrée – glissade – Pas de Chat Italien into a balance à la seconde.


This iterative process feels very comfortable, which surprises me.

As a choreographer, I’m apparently quite happy to just bang out a very rough initial draft.

By contrast, as a writer, my initial drafts tend to feel pretty finished because I work into the diction and sound and feeling and imagery of the writing so much.

This means that my initial drafts as a writer take foreeeeeeeeevar, while an initial choreographic draft can be accomplished in a few minutes for a short piece (obviously, you’re not going to choreograph a 3-act ballet in 10 minutes, unless each act is like one minute long).

I think we have another Open Fly session tonight, so I might shoot some video of the second draft of my choreography, and possibly also the lyra choreography, if I’m feeling up to it.

Maybe this time I’ll remember to bring an external speaker so I can have video and sound AT THE SAME TIME!!! O.O

I think I will, in time, post my various iterative videos here. I haven’t ported the first two (both first-draft videos, but recorded in two separate phrases) over to the YouTubes yet, though.


In other news, yesterday’s rest day went well, and I learned that one of my favorite dancers and instructors is also an incredibly good cook. Like, somehow, in the midst of teaching and rehearsing and generally being amazing, he also found time to make two really good pie crusts from scratch and fill them with amazing savory pies also from scratch.

I already knew that he was a really lovely human being … only, now I’m not so sure that’s accurate.

Specifically I am not entirely sure he’s actually a human being; he might really be a unicorn in elaborate biped drag.

About asher

Me in a nutshell: Standard uptight ballet boy. Trapeze junkie. Half-baked choreographer. Budding researcher. Transit cyclist. Terrible homemaker. Neuro-atypical. Fabulous. Married to a very patient man. Bachelor of Science in Psychology (2015). Proto-foodie, but lazy about it. Cat owner ... or, should I say, cat own-ee? ... dog lover. Equestrian.

Posted on 2016/08/02, in aerials, balllet, choreography, cirque, performances, video and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Did either pie sparkle or glow in the dark?

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