Do you qualify to Choreograph a Tango Routine?

Published on by CMe

 

 


 Do you qualify to Choreograph a Tango Routine?

 
 

El Tango es la directa expresión de lo que comúnmente los poetas han tratado de definir en palabras como: la creencia de que la lucha puede ser un festejo

   
Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself, which is sometimes expressed by means of dance notation. The word choreography literally means "dance-writing" from the Greek words "χορεία" (circular dance, see chorea) and "γραφή" (writing). A choreographer is one who creates choreographies.

The term choreography first appeared in the American English dictionary in the 1950s. Prior to this, movie credits used various terms to mean choreography, such as "ensembles staged by" and "dances staged by.

Choreographers need:

  • a thorough knowledge of dance and an interest in other art forms
  • dance experience and ability
  • teaching and communication skills
  • the ability to visualise new work and translate ideas into movement
  • the ability to work well in a team.

Choreographers are almost always trained dancers. Most dancers start training at a very early age and often take graded examinations before going on to vocational training or higher education. There is a wide range of dance qualifications available, including GCSE and A level dance, BTEC National Certificates and Diplomas, degrees and postgraduate qualifications.

Choreography is an option on several full-time dance-related courses. Some colleges and universities offer degrees and postgraduate courses specialising in choreography.


Many new choreographers work with an experienced choreographer, sometimes for no pay, while they develop their skills. They need to maintain their fitness levels throughout their career and continually research and learn new dance styles.


Many choreographers supplement their work by continuing to dance or teach. Some form their own dance companies. Experienced choreographers may work abroad.


What is the work like?
Choreographers
create dance or movement routines for performance, which might include ballet, musical theatre, TV, film, music videos to accompany new releases, ice dance and fashion shows, or corporate events. They may have complete creative control or work closely with a director, interpreting their instructions and contributing ideas.


Choreographers use a wide knowledge and experience of different dance techniques, including both historical and contemporary styles. They usually specialise in a particular form, such as classical ballet, contemporary dance, ballroom dancing and folk dancing, jazz, or non-western (such as Indian or African).


Choreographers:

  • discuss the brief and come up with ideas
  • work with the director to audition and cast the dance roles
  • choose music and sound or work with a composer to create a score
  • design routines to fit the music
  • carry out research and experiment with new ideas
  • teach steps and routines to dancers and other performers
  • rehearse with the performers
  • help to set up shots and check for continuity when working in recorded media such as film, tv, and music videos.

Choreographers may also work as movement directors, demonstrating correct period (historical) etiquette, robotic movements, movements for fight sequences, or helping male actors to play female characters and vice versa.


They might use a form of dance notation to record the movements, such as Benesh movement notation or Labanotation. Steps can also be recorded on video.


Choreography is a collaborative job. In addition to directors, dancers and other performers, choreographers may work with producers, composers, artistic directors, costume designers, and other production staff.


Choreographers who work freelance or run their own companies may have to spend a great deal of time applying for funding and writing proposals for projects. They also have to do administration and market themselves or their businesses.

 

 



Hours and environment
Working 
hours can be long and unpredictable. Choreographers usually work out routines and rehearse dancers or actors during the day, and they also attend evening performances. They may be working on more than one production at a time. They may also continue to perform or teach dance.


Part-time work is possible, usually for freelance choreographers.


Choreographers work mainly in dance studios and rehearsal rooms, but they also work in film and TV studios, theatres, nightclubs, hotels, cruise liners and holiday resorts. There may be a lot of travel involved, possibly overseas.


Salary and other benefits
These figures
are only a guide, as actual rates of pay may vary, depending on the employer and where people live.


Some choreographers are employed by dance companies, but many choreographers work on fixed-term contracts and negotiate a fee, which may depend on their track record and experience, the location and the production budget available. Equity, the performing arts union, can give advice on rates.

  • Minimum theatre rates are around £113 a day.
  • The recommended minimum fee for choreographing a West End musical is £3,248.
  • Well-known choreographers, or those working for national companies, can earn £40,000 or more per year.

Skills and personal qualities
Choreographers need:

  • a thorough knowledge of dance
  • dance experience and ability
  • teaching and communication skills
  • the ability to visualize new work and translate ideas into movement
  • creative and problem-solving abilities
  • stamina and concentration
  • the ability to work well in a team
  • a knowledge of health and safety requirements
  • business and organizational skills.

Interests
Choreographers
need to be interested in:

  • dance, movement and music
  • other art forms.

Getting in
There are around 200
dance companies in the UK and some choreographers are employed full time, but many work freelance. There are also opportunities in theatre, musicals, opera, film, television, live music and video, corporate events, variety shows and clubs. Freelance choreographers often have to juggle projects.


Although many jobs are based in London, regional and touring opportunities are also available.


Choreographers usually start as dancers and may progress to dance captain (who leads other dancers but doesn't create steps) on theatrical productions or work as an assistant choreographer. They often begin by choreographing small pieces, gradually building up to bigger projects. There is a lot of competition for jobs and choreographers must be dedicated and prepared to work hard. They may have to continue to perform, teach or do other work to earn a living.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Illustration from Clyde Mendes column at  Latin Oracles, UK


 


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