Jan 9, 2014

The 6 books I'm choreographing to.

I don't like the idea of basing who recitals around one theme. It limits me as a choreographer.
Except when the theme is books. Somehow, this idea which was brought up by a student became accepted as our theme and I couldn't be more pleased.
I have 6 classes and while these books aren't set in stone yet, I wanted to shared what I'm using and what ideas I do have so far. Keep in mind, I'm not restaging the plot of the book. I'm taking thoughts, words, passages and in some cases themes and translating those to movement.

Jazz Youth 1 (class 1)

This class is truly a band of merry boys and girls. I think it will be fun to devise choreography based on the movement ideas of stealing, stage fighting and celebration. 

Jazz Youth 1 (class 2)

I was having a really hard time with this class. They are a little more unpolished then their class counterparts doing Robin Hood so I was afraid to pick something too structured for them. While discussing that with them this past monday, one little dance just blurted out "Where the Wild Things Are" and it was a stroke of mini genius. The class is a little wild and I think tapping into that general energy they have as a class will bring out movement that is authentically them and therefore more fun. 

5/6 year old combo (class 1)

These little dancers are surprisingly defiant for this age group. I don't mind the challenge and it's a fun challenge for me as a teacher. I think they are Dr. Seuss material and especially this book about saying no to things you've never even tried. Though, the Cat and the Hat is another option I'm thinking about for them. 

5/6 year old combo (class 2)
This is a high energy bunch and there are a lot of action words going on in this book. Flying, swimming, soaring etc etc. The personalities of this class are very unique which is what this whole book is about. I think they will definitely excel.  

Tap level 4.

If I can pull this off, it will be one of my greatest choreographic triumphs to date. Again, not basing movement off of plot is a key thing to remember. My idea is basing choreographing on the themes of the factions. It will require different music, costumes and in some cases shoes but I think the class is capable especially if I get going now. The one faction that I'm already envisioning epic choreography for is Candor. Something about the straight forward honesty and black and white imagery in the book is making my job easy. The two that I'm going to struggle with are Abnegation and Amity. Remembering this is a tap class makes those two softer factions a little harder to work with but I still have ideas. Big ideas.

I am missing one class and that is my Tap level 3. I would love to hear any ideas anyone has. They need something high energy and fun to do but I can't pinpoint what that is exactly. Something more modern  (even futuristic) for sure. Help??

A little side note: The one book I would've loved to find a place for is The Night Circus. The movement/color ideas of the clock really intrigued me while reading the book. I just don't have a class advanced enough that isn't tap to pull it off. Who knows though, a lot can happen between now and June :)


  1. This is really amazing!!!! :)

  2. Green eggs & ham! I love reading this book to the kids I work with :).

  3. Dude! This sounds so awesome! I hope they take these, I'd love to watch them!

  4. Millie's class is actually called "Dance a Story Time". They read a very small part of a book and then act out a scene from it during part of the class. :)


Any thoughts?