Dance Composition Basics
BookText instruction can go only so far in teaching how to create dances. Dance Composition Basics picks up where other textbooks leave off, with a bound-in DVD that features professional choreographers and dancers in action.
Designed for beginning college-level dance composition courses and dance educators at the middle and high school levels, this textbook and DVD package highlights selected portions of original dance compositions by two noted choreographers. The works of Alonzo King (Chants and Dreamer) and Dwight Rhoden (Verge) are recorded and analyzed to sequence the choreographic process. Students are able to witness a progression that takes them from conceiving and refining an idea to improvising and solving movement problems to shaping and performing dances.
The methods featured in Dance Composition Basics can be applied to a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern, and jazz. Each of the 27 lessons serves as a starting point that encourages novice dancers to embark on their own attempts at choreography with more confidence.
Structured to present concepts from simple to complex, the chapters cover the body, space, time, energy, and choreographic devices. Each chapter is divided into lessons based on the dance element or concept highlighted. The lessons challenge students to create solo, duet, trio, and group works. Each lesson includes the following components:
- One choreographic concept
- Video documentation of the choreographic concept
- Vocabulary words
- Introductory statement
- Structured improvisations
- Creative choreographic problems
- Questions for discussion
- Assessment rubrics
The DVD supplements the written instruction in a progression that no textbook alone could achieve. It shows dancers as they solve movement problems, and it shows choreographers as they mold their works from conception to stage performance. DVD footage also captures the decision-making and problem-solving tactics used by each choreographer. With these concrete examples, students can form a basis of comparison when completing their own assignments.
Dance Composition Basics is a practical introduction to the methods and tools used in composing dances that engages students in the process—the preferred method of learning and teaching dance composition today. Through real-world examples, this text and DVD package demonstrates the direct relationship of the activities learned in the dance composition class to the current practices used by professional choreographers.
Textbook for undergraduate-level dance composition courses (levels I and II). Reference for middle and high school dance educators.
Table of ContentsPreface
Alonzo King: Featured Artist and Work
Dwight Rhoden: Featured Artist and Work
How to Use the DVD
Dance Composition Basics DVD Menu
Chapter 1. The Body: Exploring the Ways We Move
Lesson 1 Impulse: Origins of Movement
Lesson 2 Phrase: Linking Movements
Lesson 3 Gesture: Personal Vocabulary of Movement
Lesson 4 Shape: Body Design
Lesson 5 Problem Solving: Creating a Solo
Chapter 2. Space: Exploring the Expanse We Move In
Lesson 1 Air and Floor Pathways: Mapping the Route
Lesson 2 Diagonals: From Corner to Corner
Lesson 3 Symmetry: Balancing Shapes
Lesson 4 Positive and Negative Space: Sharing a Shape
Lesson 5 Balance: Supporting Each Other
Lesson 6 Imitation: Reflecting Each Other
Lesson 7 Problem Solving: Creating a Duet
Chapter 3. Time: Exploring Tempo
Lesson 1 Slow Motion: Dancing in Reverie
Lesson 2 Speed: Learning to Dance Quickly
Lesson 3 Pacing: Combining Different Pulses
Lesson 4 Accelerating: How Fast Can It Go?
Lesson 5 Problem Solving: Creating a Trio
Chapter 4. Energy: Force Generating Movement
Lesson 1 Inertia: Readiness to Move
Lesson 2 Opposites: Contrasting Energies
Lesson 3 Dynamics: Qualities of Movement
Lesson 4 Intensity: Increasing and Decreasing Force
Lesson 5 Problem Solving: Creating a Small-Group Composition
Chapter 5. Choreographic Devices: Creating Finished Compositions
Lesson 1 Call and Response: Antiphonal Movement
Lesson 2 Canon: Dancing in Unison a Few Counts Apart
Lesson 3 Directional Mirroring: Parallel Reflecting and Reverse Reflecting
Lesson 4 Variation: Interweaving and Varying Patterns
Lesson 5 Problem Solving: Creating a Movement Suite
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Dance Composition Basics DVD