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Choreographic Devices

Explanation of some of the key choreographic devices

Claire Travers

on 18 July 2018

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Transcript of Choreographic Devices

Repetition – complete repeat of a motif

Variation – when you add another action to the movement

Development – you repeat it at different levels, fronts, etc
Repetition, variation, development
The same movement at the same time
Similar or complementary movements at the same time
Contrasting movements at the same time
Simple canon – strict order, sensitive timing and an awareness of others
Simultaneous canon – dancers doing the same motif at the same time but starting from different points
Cumulative canon – each dancer joins in with the lead dancer and all finish at the same time
Loose canon offers more opportunity
ie different levels, facing or placements
Canon devices
Also can be referred:
Lead and follow
Question and answer
Two or more dancers dancing one or more dancers dancing one or two motifs at different times
Motifs are danced in succession
Are movements that have already been seen but are performed using
Different body parts
Movement which is noticeably different from anything seen so far
For example: a light slow motif can be contrasted with fast large jump
Complementary & Contrasting
Below is a list of ways in which motifs can be developed
Add or change the action
Change the size
Change the level
Using different body parts
Alter the focus
Change the direction,dimension or plane
Alter floor pattern
Reverse the order
Change the dynamics
Fragment the motif ie change only some parts
Mix bits from different motifs
Motif development
Motif – is a sequences of action/ movements which can be developed
Will consist of the six basic actions
The dance should be organised to gradually build towards this making it seem inevitable
Final climax should confirm the audiences expectation
Yet also provide an element of surprise
Distortion alters the shape or movement, the intent, the meaning, of the movement or gesture.
Dance abstract from behaviour, tangible things, gestures, other works of art, images, emotions, symbols, stories, and pedestrian movement. The choreographer singles out a specific quality and focuses on one small detail to bring attention to it through movement, time, and space
When emphasis is on pure movement or design dance is capable of high levels of abstraction. The more a dance is abstracted the more it is reliant on pure movement, qualities, timing, line and shape.
To take an everyday aspect of life (movement) and condense it, not replicate it however to represent it.
To select, isolate and refine an aspect of normal movement.
It takes the essence of a literal interpretation of movement and gives it symbolic meaning.
Upside down, literally
A choreographic device or structure where new movements are added to existing movements in a successive manner, for example, A, AB, ABC, ABCD
ABA form begins with an opening theme, leads into a contrasting theme that complements the first, and concludes with a return to the opening theme. This conclusion is recognizable but somehow changed in order to bring the piece to its resolution. There is a cyclic feel, a sense of continuity, order and inevitability.
Ternary – Three part structure, ABA
Binary AB two part compositional form with an A theme and a B theme. The binary form
consists of two distinct self-contained sections that share either a character or quality, i.e., the same tempo, movement quality, or style.
Binary - Two-part structure; AB
A choreographic structure that follows a specific story line and intends to
convey specific information through that story.
A story line.
A choreographic form of three or more themes with an alternating return to the
Main theme (ABACADA).
A form that is characterized by three or more themes with an alternating return to the main theme. A technique of composing movement in which the principal movement then is often repeated.
The rondo (ABACADA) is an expansion of ABA form. It uses a recurring theme (like a musical chorus or refrain) to which the choreographer returns, interspersed with contrasting themes, all building to a conclusion.
A choreographic device whereby movements or a motif are performed backwards (like a rewound video).
A choreographic form in which a dance phrase or section of a dance is followed by subsequent phrases or sections that are variations of the original, usually for the sake of variety.
The introduction of an initial statement in dance or music that is followed by two or more variations of the original theme. A technique of composing movement in which a movement theme is changed and altered
Theme and Variation
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