I've been working on choreography for Cinderella, and I'm loving it. I love choreography. I don't get to do it nearly enough. The thing about musical choreography is that the steps don't have to be complicated or intricate. If it's Broadway, then yes, they do, but for community/school theater the steps can be a little simpler.
The first time I choreographed a show, I started out trying to make things too complicated. I quickly realized that I was working with a group of people with varying dance abilities. Another thing I quickly learned, choreography makes many actors nervous. I had to change my approach.
When choreographing a show, there needs to be a balance between the choreographer's artistic vision and the ability of the actor. Some things can be learned fairly easily. Some things may beautiful but will have to be cut for being too far out of the actor's range.
The balance can be found. Simple steps combined with timing and placement can create a beautiful, intricate picture. Individually, an actor may have a simple, uninteresting movement, but when seen as part of the group, it is breath-taking. This makes it less stressful for the actors and gives them confidence.
Confidence is what really sells choreography. An actor who is afraid to dance is going to feel more comfortable with simple steps, and it will show. Even if the steps aren't right, a big, confident smile will make everyone think they are.
I love watching the parts of a dance come together. Each small movement adding up to an interesting and beautiful picture. Add in confidence, and it's ready for opening night!
Em is a writer, theatre director, and hiker. She likes mixing horror with magical realism and adding sci-fi twist.