Middles- A Time for Development

by Madeleine Butcher

1. Writers say that the middle section is where the plot thickens (with new characters, sub-storylines, conflicts, villains, etc.) How would you describe the function/s of the middle in choreography?

To develop and vary the statement in the beginning.

2. What have you found challenging about constructing the middle section of a work?

Being able to access the passion of the beginning in order to give the middle urgency and meaning.

3. What strategies have you used to prevent the middle from meandering and/or going off on tangents? If you have experienced tangential and meandering middles, what was your process for getting the work back on track?

Go back to the very first statement/phrase and let it repeat itself to you.

4. As choreographers, much of our middle content is about variation and development. In this process, new directional possibilities arise for the work. When faced with these new possibilities, what considerations have helped you decide whether to continue the dance on its original path, or venture down a newly presented path?

The music, and the time I have to work.

6. What words of wisdom and warning would you give for creating a strong middle section?

Does it have urgency, a sense of inevitablity, does it move inexorably towards the conclusion?