Choreography Prompts for Movement Invention

Choreography Prompts for Movement Invention

CHOREOGRAPHY PROMPTS FOR MOVEMENT INVENTION By Brenda Pugh McCutchen April 18, 2014 Teachers of dance are always on the lookout for danceable topics that will stimulate innovative choreography. Finding a wide array of movement ideas is often elusive, especially topics that meet the diverse interests of our students. Our aim is to identify a variety of topics worth abstracting into dance so students find abundant opportunities to create original movement material. A variety of stimuli that sparks different textures and timbres of movement is very useful to developing movement vocabulary for choreography.   It is especially helpful for beginning choreographers to learn how to convey one topic clearly. The single topic dance is one we often overlook in our quest to teach choreographic skills. Alwin Nikolais stressed the importance of conveying one idea clearly without extraneous movements—and one idea presented in a concise, imaginative way can become a dance masterpiece. He insisted that students invent new ways to convey an idea in order to stretch their vocabulary, impose creative limits, and discover ways to make clear, intelligible dances. His sharp eye ferreted out the extraneous moves which he insisted be removed for clarity. As a result, the dances his students created were delightful as well as innovative. Unless students learn to convey one idea clearly and inventively, what hope do they have of conveying multiple ideas through such an abstract medium as movement and dance.   Gone are the days where pop music should be allowed as the inspiration for choreography in K-12. Pop music is an invitation for novice choreographers to string their favorite moves together and call...