Kristy Nilsson

Dancer / Teacher / Choreographer

Teaching Aids:

Concepts to Apply in Choreography

 

 

 

Syllabus from Kristy Nilsson available at 2Nilssons.com

 

1. ContourThe shape a dancer or group of dancers creates with the body
    SymmetricalBoth sides are identical, as in first and second position
    AsymmetricalBoth sides are not identical, as in arabesque or tendu
    Negative SpaceThe space NOT occupied by a dancer
              Example:Arms en haute create a circular negative space above the dancer's head

 

 

2. Levels of Space 
    LowLying, crouching, sitting
    MiddleBending, lunging

    High

Standing, jumping

 

 

3. Groupings, Positions and Traveling Floor Patterns

    Dancers may work in solos, duets, trios, etc.
    They may perform unison movement or non-unison
         (all perform same step at once, or not)
    Additionally, dancers may work together for partnering work

 

Dancers may be arranged in any of the following formations
These shapes also serve as floor patterns for traveling combinations

Horizontal Line

Vertical Line

Diagonal Lines

Pyramid

Open or Closed "V"”

Staggered/Serpentine 

Circle

Scattered Randomly

4. Movement Quality & Dynamics
Variations in Movement Quality & Dynamics help create mood & style,

and will prevent your work from seeming too repetitive or monotonous.

 

 

Doris Humphrey’s Movement Qualities & Dynamics

PercussiveStrong, sudden movements: stomp, clap, jump, jerk
Sustained AdagioLong, smooth, extended movement
SwingingThe U-shaped suspension, drop & suspension of a pendulum
VibratoryVibrating any body part
SuspendedA floating breath or lift at the top of a movement or balance
CollapsedSudden falling/dropping movement of entire body or one body part (often preceded by a Suspension)

 

 

Charles Weidman’s Movement Qualities & Dynamics

Press

Direct

Strong

Sustained

Wring

Indirect

Strong

Sustained

Glide

Direct

Light

Sustained

Float

Indirect

Light

Sustained

Thrust

Direct

Strong

Sudden

Slash

Indirect

Strong

Sudden

Tap

Direct

Light

Sudden

Flick

Indirect

Light

Sudden

 

 

 
5. Musicality
Remember, sound is created by objects moving: clapping hands, ringing bells, strumming guitar strings…
This means that when we move, our bodies “imply” sound, even if we are silent:  swishing arms, booming kicks, rolling turns…

 

The best musicality comes when the music

seems to be created by the dancers and their movements,

not the other way around.

~ Kristy Nilsson

 

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Helpful Hints to You as a Choreographer

by Mary Martha Lappe

founder, Houston School for the Performing and Visual Arts

 

1.    Choreography is a creative art: your dance should reflect your personal creativity and originality; it should not be just a regurgitation of choreography of another choreographer or teacher.
 
2.    Unison movement is best used when a section of the piece needs more emphasis or power; too much unison movement can become predictable and boring.
 
3.    Contrast, Contrast, Contrast: the more contrast in levels, movement quality and  dynamics, the more interesting your piece will be.
 
4.    Avoid complex, lofty and involved subject matter; you will communicate your main concept more easily if you keep it simple.
 
5.    Stick to one subject.  If you add more and more themes, your dance will become confusing.
 
6.    Repetition of movement is useful if you trying to add more emphasis to a particular phrase; however, using the same movements over and over just to fill up time will become boring and tedious.
 
7.    Don’t stress out: this is just for practice and fun.  Enjoy your own creativity as well as the work of others.
 

 

 

Movement becomes dance

when the emotions created by performing the movement

are the reason for moving.

~ Kristy Nilsson

 

Syllabus from Kristy Nilsson available at 2Nilssons.com

 

 

 

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