Tips on creating belly dance choreography
Most belly dancers, after having danced for a while, feel the need to develop their own choreographies. This may seem like a daunting task the first time; below I list some tips that will hopefully help you create your choreography. As there are quite a few tips to consider, I have spread them in three pages.
Choose music you really like – this may seem obvious, but the more you like the music you choose, the easier it will be to create a piece of choreography to it.
Improvise to it a few times, just to get a feel for the music. – If you follow the music, quite often it will inspire you and make you ‘feel’ like you want to perform certain moves to certain notes. You can then start creating your choreography around these first ideas.
Build your choreography around the repetitions – every song repeats some phrases more than once (usually in groups of 4, 8 or 16 counts). If you start choreographing from these refrains, this will help. You can repeat the same sequence during each one of these phrases or vary the sequence a little bit at some point, just to create an element of surprise. Some repetition in dance choreography helps the audience follow the performance.
Listen to the instruments – choose percussive movements to go with drum sounds, flowing movements with wind or string instruments like the oud and do shimmies to tremolando sounds.
Use stage directions – use and vary them, if the music allows it. You can move sideways, forward, backward, diagonally and in zigzag, circles, ellipses or eights around the stage.
Make use of transitions, turns and layers where possible but without overdoing.
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