Ding Dong

Last night we choreographed “About a Century Since” and “Strange the Views Some People Hold” — two very different musical numbers.

The first includes mock swordplay, some calliope inspired movement, and a little dash of “We are the boys of the Chorus” from Bugs Bunny.

The second is more serious and stately.  We wove together a variety of simple formations to create subtly shifting stage pictures.  Geometry was involved.  The end result is something like a lovely human kaleidoscope in slow-motion.

Those are some hints about the product, here are some insights into the process:

As a choreographer, I often use the lyrics rather than the music to communicate.  So, instead of saying “move on the first note of the second measure,” I’ll say  things like “step forward on the word ‘so’,” or “begin the grapevine on the ‘neat’ in ‘neatly’.”  That often works, but can get tricky when you have a piece of music with lots of repetition of the same words….

While staging the “bell” section of “Strange the Views,” I caused much confusion and some amusement by frequently saying things like “move on the ‘ding,'” or “step on the ‘dong’.” (Which ‘dong’?)  “Step on the second ‘dong’.”

Rehearsals are fun.

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