03 May 2012

Day 3 - New Personal Best!

For the start of our self-proclaimed National Choreography Month, I decided to knock off the shortest song on my set list first, to give me some momentum.

The lucky winner was Petra's King Of Kings (from Petra Praise... The Rock Cries Out, 1989 Word Records). I already had a strong idea for it and it was only one minute and forty-five seconds long. Perfect.

I just finished writing the end pose about ten minutes ago. That's three days, start to finish. I had no choreography written beforehand (as per our mutually agreed-upon rules for the contest), this was all from scratch.

Things learnt:

1. A song that does not end with a fade-out is about ten thousand times easier to choreograph an ending to. Both of my previous pieces had fade-out exits and each took me at least three days to figure out.

2. 'Echoes' (in which one dancer does a movement, copied by the next dancer a beat or half-beat later, copied by the next dancer a beat later, etc... also called a 'ripple') are a pain. in. the. neck. They look fantastic on stage, but choreographing them is a common cause of being admitted to the local insane asylum. This is why you hardly ever see them despite their effectiveness.

3. You can give the illusion of a different rhythm by holding a beat between steps. This is especially effective in a song with a quick tempo (not that I've ever really tried it in a slower song, but I would imagine it would be more obvious that you're holding a beat when the beats come slower).

4. Writing a dance for pointe is actually harder than you'd think. You can't just do any old thing like you can in jazz or something -- you have to be conscious of where the dancer's weight will be and how it would have to move to change to the next position and you have to be especially careful about the ankles -- one awkward move and you could snap your foot off.

Onward now to DeGarmo & Key's Apathy Alert. (Commander Sozo & The Charge Of The Light Brigade, 1985 Power Discs)

I hope to finish it by the fifteenth, worst-case.

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