Choreography: Choreographic Devices

Choreography: Choreographic Devices

  • Choreographic devices are tools that are used by choreographers to develop and modify dance material.

  • One such device is repetition. This is used to reinforce a certain movement or sequence of movements. It can establish a theme, create a rhythm or sequence, or emphasise certain movements.

  • Retrograde is another device that involves performing a sequence of movements in reverse order. It can be used to create contrast or surprise within a piece.

  • Motif development is a process in which a basic motif or theme is transformed in various ways to provide new interest and depth to the work. The changes may involve direction, speed, level, or dynamics.

  • Canon can also be used as a choreographic device. In this, a sequence of movements is performed by different dancers at different times, likened to a round in music. This device can be used to create texture, complexity, and visual interest in the dance.

  • Another device is contrast, which helps to provide variety and prevent monotony in a dance. Elements that can be contrasted include speed (slow/fast), energy levels (high/low), motion (stillness/movement), and space (using different areas or levels of the stage).

  • Augmentation and diminution refer to the process of increasing or decreasing the scale of movements. Augmentation might involve making a movement larger, longer or stronger, while diminution involves making it smaller, shorter or weaker.

  • An important part of choreography is improvisation, which involves the dancer spontaneously creating or changing movements without prior planning.

  • Accumulation is a choreographic device where new movements are added to existing ones in a successive manner.

  • Fragmentation is another technique where a movement theme or sequence is broken into smaller parts and then rearranged to create something new.

  • To be successful in choreography, understanding and implementing choreographic devices effectively is essential. They can effectively present and develop ideas, affect the audience’s feelings and responses, and contribute to the overall aesthetic and artistic aspect of a dance piece.