New vs. Old

Choreography that is. I mentioned last time that I was able to set my entire dance in one weekend. The reason that was possible is because my choreography for Cultivate is a piece that premiered in 2009. I am simply re-staging the choreography for Cultivate. While there are some great positives about re-staging a piece of choreography – i.e. you can teach the entire dance in one weekend and essentially have a big weight lifted off your shoulders! – it does come with its own set of cons.

When I originally created this dance, I was working with 12 dancers, had a full proscenium stage with wings and I was working with dancers who were used to working with me and my style of movement. For Cultivate, the dimensions and layout of the stage are completely different, I am only working with 7 dancers, and none of them knew me prior to this process. This has presented many challenges. I have had to re choreograph small sections of the dance to accommodate the stage space and/or better utilize my dancers’ strengths and abilities. Aside from just teaching the steps to the dancers, I have had to try to help them understand the movement qualities and energy I want from them throughout the choreography. I think a huge con is that I was not able to tailor the choreography to my dancers. The piece was composed with a specific group of dancers in mind – the original 12 back in 2009. If I were creating new choreography for Cultivate, I would have been able to create movements that best suited my cast’s strengths and weakness and their movement styles. This has been a great learning experience for me as a choreographer and I hope it has been for my dancers as well.

Amanda

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