by Sallamah Chimera – I have been recreating other people’s choreography this year and that has been a new experience. The developmental process was already done. But I would say the development of the movement, line of direction, dynamics, staging and emotional or intellectual impact is significant in my choreographic process. However, two choreographies gave me latitude to do what I wanted. They had new material that I wanted to explore and develop and opened the chance to research other styles of dance movement.
by Sallamah Chimera – We know what our audience or client wants so we create a show around that as well as the space we will be using. The dances we select must also appeal to the age group. If we are teaching, the material must be something the participants can manage.
by Sallamah Chimera – If the dance is for a soloist, I let her select music and movements. Then we work to make the dance come together so it reflects the personality of the dancer. If the dance is for a group, I usually come up with movement themes and ideas but the dancers contribute new ideas and help debug the technique and timing.
by Sallamah Chimera – Historical descriptions of dances in the Middle East as well as the works of Orientalist painters and sculptures. Research into the subject and taking classes to learn more about the culture and the people’s use of movement and their concepts about life in general.
by Sallamah Chimera – The middle contains the heart and soul of the dance. This is where the essential dance movement occurs and the serious messages are conveyed. It is also the most difficult part of the dance to create because it is easy to get thrown off course and lose track of your purpose.
by Sallamah Chimera – Mostly from the culture and history as well as from seeing movement, prop work, or a style I like and want to create a dance around. Sometimes paintings or photos will inspire me. Of course, the music and the rhythm have a major impact on my ideas.
by Sallamah Chimera – For the soloist, I try to give the dancer as much exposure to the audience as possible, even some interaction and plenty of variety. A soloist needs to work the stage and not be glued to one spot. For duets and trios I try interesting floor and air patterns or sculpting, and even interaction between the dancers like a weaving pattern. For a larger group, I like having a back and front row that can change places, and even have different variations of a movement to perform or vary the direction they travel or face. Our stage areas are usually small, we are dealing with wind, sun, and poor surfaces so I am often limited in being able to do anything elaborate.
by Sallamah Chimera – For a solo, the beginning is used to make the performer the focal point. A soloist can add more emotional quality to the piece and project their personality to the audience. It can also position the dancer on stage for the next part of the dance. The beginning can set the tone for the piece. I like something simple but eye catching. For certain types of performances, the audience has to become acquainted with the dancer and see her costume, personality, and physical features.
by Sallamah Chimera 1. How would you define development, in terms of its role and application in your process? I have been recreating the dances…