30 tips for emerging choreographers…….

  1. Unison dancing is only impressive in small doses
  2. To get maximum excitement use a canon build up when the music instructs you to, always be led by the score
  3. Place numbers along the front of the stage to help with spacing. Start in the centre with zero then move outwards in even numbers
  4. Video your work in rehearsals and study it that night with a clear mind, note down adjustments straight away. Remember if you work in America to moderate this
  5. Never make a rash choreographic decision in the heat of the moment, try not to feel forced into making a decision. It’s hard to undo a choreographic problem once a number is set – take your time
  6. Don’t give all your tricks away in the first number
  7. Work with dancers you trust but it’s also valuable to inject a company with new talent
  8. Sometimes the most technical of work can be least effective to the general public. Don’t over complicate your vision
  9. Find a reason for the character to dance. Dance with no purpose can be vacuous. Vary styles of dance in a show – a singular theme can become monotonous, surprise the audience and mix it up. Partner work can give you those spectacular moments. Remember that tap dancing is one of the most joyous genres of dance. It can send people out of the theatre with a zing in their step
  10. Decide which opinion to listen too. Trust those nearest and dearest. Don’t act on notes straight away. Impulse can often lead to a blurred decision
  11. Don’t leave the finale until the last minute to stage. It could be your time to shine. It’s the final thing the audience will see and can turn a joyous production into an unforgettable one
  12. Props in choreography should add to the story telling and not distract. Use them wisely and sparingly. Make sure every prop has a purpose and you can get at least a couple of moments out of each one. If bringing them on and off become complicated or too obvious find a clever way to hide them in the set
  13. Develop your own style. What makes you different from the next person, What is your ISP?
  14. If your choreography includes solo tap work fight for having tap microphone so the beats can be heard clearly
  15. Strive for proper dance shoes for your company. Cheaper shoes are a false economy
  16. Choreograph clever transitions between scenes, if you set up a style in the production continue it through
  17. Like stories, make sure your routines have a beginning, a middle and an end. They should have exposition. conflict, surprise and a conclusion
  18. It’s OK to not always have the answer
  19. Experiment with different tempe, different time signatures and cross phrasing. The unexpected is always exciting
  20. Great theatre is all about collaboration. Spend as much time as you can with your team in order to all be on the same page
  21. You do not own your choreography, your producers do
  22. The dreaded health and safety and risk assessments is something to be mindful of. Double check everything, try it yourself first and remember that safety is paramount both legally and ethically
  23. Work with an associate who is honest and whose view you respect. Remember you might be in this person’s company 24/7. Someone you can share downtime with as well as work time.
  24. Don’t be afraid to throw an idea out of the window and start again
  25. Connect with a company but also keep your distance
  26. Strive for billing and credits whenever you can, it is very important to get your name out there, especially in the beginning.
  27. Channel your nerves in rehearsals, use them and the company to create exciting vibrant work, don’t over prep, leave an element to the moment”
  28. Learn about instruments so you can be knowledgeable when it comes to orchestrational ideas, the same with lighting and sound. If your team realize you have an understanding of their departments they may serve you better for it
  29. Remember just how important good casting is, fight your corner. The more potential the cast have the better your work will look.”
  30. …..And always remember there is NEVER an excuse for a box step!!!!!!

Andrew Wright

August 2020


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