“Choreography” is the art of composing dances to express a theme, story, or emotion. Choreographers must begin with the most basic movements and build on them to create a complex performance. This process involves a series of steps. First, dancers begin with simple movements, then combine them into phrases. Various phrases are then united until they culminate into a dance. If a choreographer is talented and the dancers are skilled, the audience is unaware of the many compositional elements that made up the finished performance.
The word “choreographer” comes from Greek words for “dance writer.” Although notation to write down the basic elements of dance compositions remains imperfect and is not standardized — there are currently many competing systems of dance notation — “dance writers” still have to teach in person.
Click the buttons on the left to view each compositional element.