How do movement components help to communicate choreographic intention?

Updated: Dec 21, 2018



How do movement components help to communicate choreographic intention?

To understand how movement components help to communicate choreographic intention we must first understand what choreographic intention is.


Whilst Choreography is the skill of creating and arranging movements for the dancers to demonstrate to the audience, intent is the aim or purpose of a certain action or thought process. Each dance work or composition therefore has a purpose, such as making the audience feel a certain emotion, feeling or thought or to convey a message which we call Choreographic Intent.


When a dance performance communicates choreographic intent it will convey mood, meaning, ideas, themes and style from the choreographer. We tend to look at movement components in 4 categories:


1) action content

2) dynamic content

3) spatial content

4) relationship content

which all help to communicate choreographic intention.


When incorporating action, we may include uses of different parts of the dancers’ bodies; how their bodies curl, extend, twist, ripple or kick, for example. We look to use elevation such as jumps or lifts or lower to floorwork. We think about gestures and facial expression, stillness and pauses, turning and travelling patterns.


Adding dynamic content means that we use ‘light and shade’ to cause drama and effect. We vary choreography from fast to slow, sudden to sustained, we ask dancers to accelerate and decelerate, we show strong heavy movements to light effortless movements, we make the piece flow, or we stop movement abruptly


We consider spatial context first in terms of the performance piece itself and then in re