Well, perhaps that’s simplifying it a bit, but it doesn’t have to be a torturous twelve year process, either! With all the Halloween shows and student showcases coming up in NYC, I’ve been hearing a lot of, “I really want to put together a piece, but I have no idea where to begin”. Fret not, Dear Dangers, help is on the way!
5 Steps to a (Potentially) Damned Good Piece
- Give yourself enough time to pull together a piece you can really be proud of! Two weeks before the show is NOT the time to start putting ideas together and frantically gluing rhinestones to an old leotard.
- Decide on a theme, scenario, or feeling for the piece. Is it seasonal? Fluffy? Dramatic and expressive? Who is your audience? The more specific you can get with it, the more inventive and creative you will be forced to be. Yes, you CAN do a piece who’s only goal is to highlight your amazing splits and ballerina toes, but wouldn’t it be more interesting to be an alien who got gummed up in her own space goo? Or an aerialist who’s partner has just keeled over (see below)? If you’re a bit hemmed in by having to create a corporate piece, just keep in mind that, while they may not want a space-goo-ed alien, that same sense of creativity and specificity still applies (just temper it for your client/audience as needed).
- Make a list of your current favorite moves or bits you want to force yourself to work on. This is a GREAT way to corner yourself into tackling tricks you’ve been avoiding, while showcasing your particular brand of fabulousness!
- Arrange the segments in a logical order so you don’t make like a demented bumble bee and kill yourself with unnecessary transitions. Try to make sure you’re including a reasonable amount of variety (above/below/on the bar, fabric open/closed, extended/contracted, you get the picture).
- Work creatively to add transitions that are deliberate, seamless, and really add to the character you’re portraying or to the theme of the piece. Please (PLEASE) resist the urge to “noodle” (randomly wave your arms and legs around) – even if it’s pretty, it gets old so fast. This is your chance to really have some fun and express yourself! Don’t be afraid to really work outside the box here – you can always pull it back.
TRAINING TIP: to figure out where you’re most likely to blank on choreography, mark the piece on the ground as fast as you can; this prevents you from thinking ahead, and shows you where the spacey bits are.
Putting it All Together
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