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Choreographing my first musical

My latest choreographic project is a new and interesting challenge! It's been an absolute pleasure to work with such a large cast of talented folks. Here are my Thoughts on choreographing a cast of 13 in the musical Godspell, produced by 9th Hour Theatre...

Choreographing a musical was a first for me, and my method was new to many in the cast. As a contemporary choreographer with my own practice, I approached this project in an atypical way. I had a wonderful time guiding the cast through a contemporary dance creative process to develop movements for Godspell, and using my choreographic eye to organize the results into dances throughout the show. I invited the cast to develop their own movements, based on their characters in the show, and ensured dynamics by asking for their character’s method of jumping, turning, and falling. We also developed gestures inspired by words to represent the themes of the show, like worship, love, follow, see. Inspired by the theme of hands on a newspaper/arms outstretched towards good news, I researched and incorporated some basic Waacking dance style into the choreography. Once we had complied a vocabulary, I played with the placement of different movements and gestures and created sequences by stringing together the actors own movements. We did plenty of ensemble work in creation and in the choreography, a treat with a delightfully large cast. This was a highly collaborative process, where the cast was vital in not just the execution, but the creation of the choreography. Working closely with the Director, Jonathan, and other members of the creative team ensured that the dance sections suited the overall aesthetic of the production. It has been an absolute pleasure to work on this show!

 

allisoneb@gmail.com

Ottawa | Ontario | Canada

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©2020 BY ALLISON ELIZABETH BURNS