Dance improvisation is a requirement for some auditions. We’ve given tips on improv before but what if you have no tools or experience at all? Here’s our crash course to help you successfully get through your first improv session.
Need hints and ideas for creating musical theater choreography? You’ve already got a toolbox of composition tools, now learn how to use and adapt these for choreographing in a way that supports your production’s characters and story.
The very first ballet class I played for was a big surprise, because I had no idea what to expect or what would be expected of me by either the teacher or the dancers. I walked into the studio and the first person I saw was the teacher (who seemed to me to be very old), holding a lit cigarette in one hand and a cane in the other!
Begin with a very structured 4/4 song that does not have any strange segues or extra measures. Have all students beat their hands on their legs, clap or snap to the beat. Continue their time keeping, but have them now count out loud – “1..2..3..4”. Be sure you do not have them count “5..6..7..8”. This is a cardinal sin in the music world, as you’ll find out if you dance with live musicians! Explain to your students that each set of four counts is a measure, or a bar. I often use this with my elementary students who are learning addition and/or multiplication.
7. Watch dance online. Peek into the professional dance world with DancePulp on Hulu. Each eight to ten-minute video offers a behind-the-scenes look at the lives of dancers and choreographers. Christopher Wheeldon, Andrea Schermoly, Lourdes Lopez, and don’t miss William Wingfield talk about So You Think You Can Dance and combining the concert and commercial career.
In 2004, Houston Dance Critic Molly Glentzer in her review of the book for Dance Magazine stated, “Li’s tenacity is an inspiring lesson to any reader, dancer or not. It’s the stuff of which great movies are made. Expect this one soon, and bring Kleenex. But read the book first.” A handful of years later, Li’s story is now a motion picture. It has already done well in Australia but unfortunately distribution in the U.S. is still speculative.