Choreography: Dynamic Content

Choreography: Dynamic Content

  • Dynamics in choreography represent the energy or emotion underlying movements in a dance piece. It’s the manner in which dancers execute movements, and adds depth and complexity to a performance.

  • Dynamic content typically refers to variations in energy, momentum, weight, and flow. It can be modified to drastically change the way a particular movement or sequence is perceived by an audience.

  • Key dynamic elements include: speed (fast or slow), strength (strong or light), flow (continuous or broken) and weight (heavy or light).

  • Dynamics can also be used to convey a range of emotions. Movements may be fast, frantic, and abrupt to suggest panic or fear; alternatively, they can be slow, smooth, and fluid to represent calmness or serenity.

  • Choreographers frequently use dynamic contrast within sections or between different sections of a dance to keep audience attention.

  • It’s important to understand relationship between dynamics and other choreographic elements like space and time. For example, the same action can feel entirely different when performed in a tight space compared to an open area, or if performed quickly instead of slowly.

  • Dynamics can also link with the rhythm and timing of the dance, such as movements going with or against the beat.

  • Experimentation and improvisation often play a crucial role in finding the most effective dynamics for a given choreographic intention. Use of a variety of dynamics is often encouraged for creating more interesting pieces.

  • Key vocabulary for discussing dynamic content in dance includes terms like: punchy, soft, sharp, smooth, percussive, floating, sustained, vibratory, collapsing, swinging, slashing, dabbing, flicking and gliding.

  • Notations such as Labanotation or Benesh notation include symbols to represent dynamics, showing how integral they are to the total choreographic result. Familiarize yourself with these notation systems.

  • Analysis of dance performances, both live and recorded, is a valuable method for understanding the powerful role dynamics can play in choreography. Watching a variety of dance styles can help broaden understanding of how dynamics can be manipulated.

  • Practicing dynamics physically through dance exercises and routines can help develop a more nuanced understanding and ability to use them effectively in choreography. This hands-on experience is invaluable for both performing and creating dance.