Thoughts About Teaching Beginning, Middle, and Ending In Dance

Thoughts About Teaching Beginning, Middle, and Ending In Dance

Reposted from an earlier date.  Blog by Brenda Pugh McCutchen September 10, 2015 This is written in honor of National Arts Education Week starting September 13, 2015. Today as I wrote teaching materials for dance composition several points of clarity emerged.  I thought they were worth sharing.   Today’s writing topic was beginning-middle-ending (B-M-E), which I have always thought of as the primary “structure” for dance choreography of any length. While that is true to an extent, I also realized that B-M-E is more than a structure. I now believe it is actually the “developmental framework for all dances” and not a structure at all.   What brought me to that conclusion was the search to find the exact words to set B-M-E apart from the dance structures posters which I had just written for dance forms such as AB, Rondo, narrative, theme and variation that will be published in a Choreographic Structures teaching kit for middle and high school.  The unintended consequences of writing instructional materials –which includes teaching posters for teachers to use in the classroom–is that what you think you’re going to say on a poster can back you into a corner. What you thought was right can show you unequivocally that it is wrong. To create coherent posters, which must explain each vital aspect of dance and how it differs from other aspects, has been the most instructive thing I have ever done.  (Incidentally, that is how “choreographic processes” and “choreographic devices” distinguished themselves in 2011 while I wrote Creating Dance: Processes for Choreographing. Initially, I thought all of them were choreographic processes because that’s...