Wednesday, February 27, 2008

choreography week 3

I went to work again today with the high school kids I've been choreograping on the past few weeks. Last week they had school vacation, so I was a bit nervous that we'd be thrown off this week, but luckily everyone came in refreshed and remembering all we had done.

Again I gave them a brief ballet class before diving into my choreography. Their attendance has been a little odd, with people showing up one week and not the next and so on, but I guess there's a lot of them total and only 16 today. We went over what I had previously taught them, and then I added a whole new section.

Since I'm pretty new to being the choreographer in charge, I'm still trying to figure out my approach to setting this dance. Mostly I make up combinations and steps from week to week and teach as much as I can of what I have prepared in the time I'm allotted. What I've had them doing is basically connecting a few phrases together back to back, with everyone doing it as a large group and then broken up into smaller groups so they can really use the (little) space they have.

Today, however, I realized it was time to crack down and start making it actually look like a dance rather than just a long combination. I taught them a new phrase that uses a lot of level changes, and then turned it around so that they do it in a big circle. It was hard for them to grasp which way they needed to face along the circle at different points. For instance, there's a part where they fall to the ground and lay straight out, but there was no space to do so along the circle, as if they were head to toe with one another. So I had them fall away from the center of the circle. This proved a challenging concept for some, but I understand since many have very little dance training.

By the end of the rehearsal we figured out the circle and made some additional changes to what we already had for phrases to make it more like a performance. I'm happy with the way it's coming, but we still have a lot of work to do. They seem to be enjoying it though, which is definitely important. Their usual teacher, whom I'm working for, seems pleased with it as well. It's definitely a new experience for me, but I'm glad I'm tackling it.

Besides that it was a super busy day...class, meeting at school, etc etc.

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