Dance Composition Basics : Capturing the Choreographer's Craft

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Package
  • Copyright: 1/20/2006
  • Publisher: Human Kinetics

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Text instruction can go only so far in teaching how to create dances. Dance Composition Basicspicks up where other textbooks leave off, with a bound-in DVD that features professional choreographers and dancers in action.Designed for beginning college-level dance composition courses and dance educators at the middle and high school levels, this textbook and DVD package highlights selected portions of original dance compositions by two noted choreographers. The works of Alonzo King (Chants and Dreamer) and Dwight Rhoden (Verge) are recorded and analyzed to sequence the choreographic process. Students are able to witness a progression that takes them from conceiving and refining an idea to improvising and solving movement problems to shaping and performing dances.The methods featured in Dance Composition Basicscan be applied to a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern, and jazz. Each of the 27 lessons serves as a starting point that encourages novice dancers to embark on their own attempts at choreography with more confidence.Structured to present concepts from simple to complex, the chapters cover the body, space, time, energy, and choreographic devices. Each chapter is divided into lessons based on the dance element or concept highlighted. The lessons challenge students to create solo, duet, trio, and group works. Each lesson includes the following components:-One choreographic concept-Video documentation of the choreographic concept-Vocabulary words-Introductory statement-Warm-up-Structured improvisations-Creative choreographic problems-Questions for discussion-Assessment rubricsThe DVD supplements the written instruction in a progression that no textbook alone could achieve. It shows dancers as they solve movement problems, and it shows choreographers as they mold their works from conception to stage performance. DVD footage also captures the decision-making and problem-solving tactics used by each choreographer. With these concrete examples, students can form a basis of comparison when completing their own assignments.Dance Composition Basicsis a practical introduction to the methods and tools used in composing dances that engages students in the processthe preferred method of learning and teaching dance composition today. Through real-world examples, this text and DVD package demonstrates the direct relationship of the activities learned in the dance composition class to the current practices used by professional choreographers.

Author Biography

Pamela Anderson Sofras is a professor of dance and dance education at the University of North Carolina.

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Featured Artists and Works: Alonzo King xi
Featured Artists and Works: Dwight Rhoden xiii
How to Use the DVD xv
Dance Composition Basics DVD Menu xvii
Acknowledgments xix
The Body: Exploring the Ways We Move
Lesson 1 Impulse: Origins of Movement
Lesson 2 Phrase: Linking Movements
Lesson 3 Gesture: Personal Vocabulary of Movement
Lesson 4 Shape: Body Design
Lesson 5 Problem Solving: Creating a Solo
Space: Exploring the Expanse We Move In
Lesson 1 Air and Floor Pathways: Mapping the Route
Lesson 2 Diagonals: From Corner to Corner
Lesson 3 Symmetry: Balancing Shapes
Lesson 4 Positive and Negative Space: Sharing a Shape
Lesson 5 Balance: Supporting Each Other
Lesson 6 Imitation: Reflecting Each Other
Lesson 7 Problem Solving: Creating a Duet
Time: Exploring Tempo
Lesson 1 Slow Motion: Dancing in Reverie
Lesson 2 Speed: Learning to Dance Quickly
Lesson 3 Pacing: Combining Different Pulses
Lesson 4 Accelerating: How Fast Can It Go?
Lesson 5 Problem Solving: Creating a Trio
Energy: Force Generating Movement
Lesson 1 Inertia: Readiness to Move
Lesson 2 Opposites: Contrasting Energies
Lesson 3 Dynamics: Qualities of Movement
Lesson 4 Intensity: Increasing and Decreasing Force
Lesson 5 Problem Solving: Creating a Small-Group Composition
Choreographic Devices: Creating Finished Compositions.
Lesson 1 Call and Response: Antiphonal Movement
Lesson 2 Canon: Dancing in Unison a Few Counts Apart
Lesson 3 Directional Mirroring: Parallel Reflecting and Reverse Reflecting
Lesson 4 Variation: Interweaving and Varying Patterns
Lesson 5 Problem Solving: Creating a Movement Suite
Glossary 151(6)
Bibliography 157(2)
Index 159(4)
About the Author 163

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