Uncovered- Choreographic Process for Concert Dance

Faculty Mentor(s)

Professor Maxine DeBruyn, Hope College

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In many post-performance open forums, an audience member will ask, “How did you get the idea for this piece? What did you start with?” Each choreographer has a unique approach to their choreography. In [uhn-ri-streynt], a dance performed at the Fall Student Dance Concert Knickerbocker performance in December of 2011, one dancer struggles with the various pressures and expectations placed on her. Inspiration comes from all different directions, and there are many choices to make within the choreographic process. Do you start with music, movement, or concept? First, I searched for inspiration, a purposeful message to communicate with my audience. Next, I did basic research for conceptual material in academic journals, various books, and personal conversations with the dancers. From this, I formed a more concise concept, informing improvisational sessions where material was created for the dancers. Once the piece was structured and outlined, music, costumes, and lighting were added. These elements enhanced the movement and aesthetics to create further clarity within the piece. This process resulted in five dancers embodying the demand and pressure of society and one dancer who was forced to confront these aspects of life. This demonstrates the value of dance research and performance as a way to artistically analyze various parts of the human condition.

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