Sunday, May 04, 2008

A Choreography Experiment

Our Theatre Unleashed intro show was Thursday night, and it was a wild success. Our first fundraiser brought more attention and money than we initially estimated, which is a fantastic thing to say for a company that was officially incorporated on April Fool's Day.

I choreographed a cabaret chair dance number for the show. We have a Latvian pop star in our company and a lot of talented ladies, so she sang while some of the ladies did a chair dance. We had about a month to put the whole show together. My dancers were all in other acts in the show, so that limited our rehearsal schedule. I'm a professional burlesque dancer so I have shows of my own, limiting our rehearsal schedule even more. I estimated that the last two weeks of the month would be spent running the show, so those nights were out for choreography. Finally, this is Los Angeles. It's really difficult coordinating six people's schedules and a rehearsal space when you don't have money to throw into booking a space at the one perfect time when everyone is available.

My solution was to choreograph the first minute and change and video it in my living room. I uploaded the video to You Tube and told all of my dancers to learn that piece of choreography before our first of four scheduled rehearsals. We went over that bit of choreography at the first rehearsal and added a little more. I videotaped the second chunk of choreography and uploaded that to You Tube so they would have the first two minutes down perfectly for our second rehearsal. This was also helpful with people having vacations and acting classes and other rehearsals on rehearsal nights; this gave them the opportunity to keep up. I continued with the videotaped choreography to the end. The dancers were able to run the number in their homes when it was convenient so they all had it fantastically when they ran the number together.

I'm happy to say my little experiment worked. The girls all looked fantastic on show night. They were seductive, playful, naughty and fun. I think I may try this again the next time I have to choreograph a piece that needs to be ready in a short period of time.

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