Friday, April 11, 2008

Choreography vs. Improvisation

I'm trying to work on my Solo for the upcoming showcase. I want to dance to Jemileh, by Pangia. I love that song. It's so beautiful, it puts me into that "magical dance place," where you can feel the music and forget about the audience - you can just dance.

I love impov-ing to that song. With it's predictable rythym, it's easy to make your improv look like a choreo, as long as you know the song. And I'm no stranger to improv - it's what I do. When I dance, 95% of my performance is improv. I really enjoy it - for parties. Not for stage shows.

For some reason, I feel as though standing on a stage means I must have a choreography prepared. I feel absolutely uncomfortable doing improv on stage. Maybe it's because I feel more comfortable improv-ing in an environment where I can interact with my audience, and where it is necessary for me to be able to change things up in response to the actions and emotions of the audience members. Maybe it's because when I'm on stage, I don't get that interaction - on stage, it's like I'm on display - no matter what the audience is doing, I just keep on truckin' with my dance, especially since I can't see the audience from stage half the time anyway, what with the glaring spotlights and all.

But I'm having a hard time with it here - I want to dance to Jemileh, a song I know like the back of my hand and that I am so used to improv-ing to. But, it's going to be on stage, so I want to choreograph something. But I'm finding that extremely difficult because I just want to improv.

Ugh. And so, two weeks before the show, I still have no solo.


Nepenthe said...

I've said the same thing about staged vs. restaurant/parties. I usually choreograph for stage & competitions. But this year for my student recital, I'm going to go with a spot-choreographed improvisation. It's basically a piece I have danced to so many times that I do have particular movements I do, but on the other end, I don't feel tied to those movements. Maybe you could do the same for Jemileh - just plan a few impactful things like the beginning and end. I also LOVE That song - it's my favorite veil song.

I just wrote a post in MY blog about choreography and improvisation! Funny.

Daniela said...

I love that term - "spot choreographed improvisation". I think that's what my solo is turning into now, anyway!! I tried to do what I had "choreographed" at our dress rehearsal yesterday, and I totally forgot it midway and ended up improvising anyway....