Doing Choreography

White Christmas LP Cover. Photo by Ryan. Used by Creative Commons License.

Do you remember the scene from “White Christmas”, where Danny Kaye is singing about “Choreography”, surrounded by modern dancers? (I would have put it here, but I can’t find it on YouTube!) I love this, because of it’s Martha Graham-ness. But I only recently have “got”ten it. The words at one point are “They aren’t dancing any more, they’re doing choreography.”

There is no problem with doing choreography. There is certainly no problem with Martha Graham! The problem comes when the choreography is there is.

Yesterday, I talked about dance in context. That history, theory and technique are important parts of learning dance. Choreographers, teachers and dancers who ignore those things are then only creating and performing steps as a physical activity. Not dance as an art form.

Yesterday, I got a lot of feedback from many of you who agree with me, that dance instruction is lacking in history, context, and theory. So, how do we correct this? Is certification of dance studios and/or dance teachers going to help with this? What have you done in your creation, teaching, performance that incorporates these things? What has the feedback been from your students/audience?