Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

Choreography Conundrum

Do songs move you? Or are you captured by costumes? compiled by Debra Danese When it’s time to choreograph, we all look for the idea that will spark our creativity. Inspiration doesn’t always come quickly—or easily. Here at Dance Studio Life we noticed that when it comes to recital choreography, some teachers start with a…

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Media Hub | Inside the Dancer’s Art

Inside the Dancer’s Art by Rose Eichenbaum Photographer Eichenbaum pairs more than 250 color and black-and-white photos with inspirational quotes from an array of dancers, including Bill T. Jones, Katherine Dunham, Mitzi Gaynor, Rennie Harris, Ohad Naharin, Tiler Peck, Gregory Hines, Mark Morris, and Jawole Willa Jo Zollar. The words and images explore creativity, art…

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FYI | Choreography Assistant App

What’s up in the dance community Stuck in a choreography slump? Surprisingly, there’s an app for that. Dance Maker, a free app from the Dance Education Laboratory at New York City’s 92nd Street Y, offers tips, prompts, and guidance to help dance teachers create choreography. Users can choose from hundreds of pre-selected themes such as…

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January 2016 | Compassion, Cooperation, Creativity

In New York City’s Chinatown, they’re studying hip-hop; in Brooklyn, they did Bollywood; in Harlem, they’re learning Latin ballroom from a former ballet dancer who grew up in Taiwan; and in the Bronx, they’re belly dancing. In a city known for its diversity, it’s often difficult to bring different cultures together. But Dance to Unite, Inc., with its corps of dance volunteers, is teaching unity and celebrating difference through dance.

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October 2015 | On My Mind

I’m noticing a lack of creativity in choreography lately—or maybe it’s people’s inability to think for themselves. At a respected ballet company’s performance, on the competition stage, and on TV, choreographers are creating contemporary work that’s strikingly similar. Yes, the level of technical mastery among dancers is diverse, but there’s a disturbing sameness to the mood, expression, and movement—which typically convey ideas about suffering and tragedy. This dark subject matter combined with moody lighting and zero humor add up to a sad observation: today’s dance productions may be depressing audiences instead of entertaining them.

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September 2015 | No Experience Necessary

Organized by the Oakland-based, mixed-ability Axis Dance Company, this class for non-dancers is one among many that keep popping up in studios around the country. They enlarge traditional curriculum offerings and widen a studio’s customer base—similar, perhaps, to how tap and hip-hop did so in the past.

Part of this interest in dance as a pleasurable, non-technique–driven activity may be related to an increasingly sedentary society’s need to become more physically engaged. But not everyone is comfortable in a gym’s competitive atmosphere or jogging in the park. Dance tunes the body, but it also offers something else.

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November 2011 | Shaping Creativity

Kids are nothing if not creative. They invent songs, create mini-worlds to play in, and use colors all over the page in what seems like an unstoppable flow of creative inspiration. They don’t block the flow by judging it as adults do, but rather let it come through with unbridled force.

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July 2011 | EditorSpeak

Years ago, I was chatting with a veteran teacher at a dance convention. We were newly acquainted, so we were trading info on what we did and people we knew. I happened to mention that I did a lot of work with community theater groups, and this woman rolled her eyes. “Oh, I know those kind of jobs,” she said. “You do all the work and get no pay at all.”

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November 2010 | Soul-Searching Dance

Engaging students is the best route to committed participation—dance teachers and choreographers know that. If you want students to make the most of your classes or bring more expressiveness to performing choreography, they’ve got to put their hearts into it.

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May-June 2010 | EditorSpeak

I’ve been listening to an intro to psychology course, taught by Yale University professor Paul Bloom and offered through iTunes U. It’s fun, and I’ve learned a lot. But I didn’t make any direct correlations between the course material and teaching dance until I got to Lecture 17: Self and Other, Part II. About nine minutes in, Bloom mentioned something called the “Pygmalion effect.” Bingo.

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Exploring Creativity

What is creativity? And how can dance teachers encourage it in their students? In most dance forms, traditional teaching methods do not include creative ways of learning or a focus on using the imagination. Instead, technique classes typically are taught through demonstration and repetition. That was my experience as a student, but when I began teaching, I wanted to do something different.

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November 2007 | Recital Theme Starter Kits

If you’re not already well on your way to planning next spring’s recital, these three recital theme starter kits may be just the thing to help you jumpstart your creativity. Along with ideas for the theme you’ll find creative production notes, suggestions for music selections, and ideas for choreography that will make your show special for your students as well as the audience.

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Taking the “Chore” Out of Choreography

Whenever I see professional dance performances, I wonder what it would be like to have the luxury of 10 or more hand-selected, well-trained dancers for 8 hours a day, 5 days each week, as well as a professional lighting designer and costumer.

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