by John Nevin
Choosing music for choreography is one of those things that seems so simple, but always ends up being complicated. That’s not because people underestimate the process, it’s because the process is at the same time very simple and very complicated — and that’s only the first of several contradictions that a choreographer faces when trying to choose music for a new work. To do so successfully, you have to ignore your audience, and you have to think only of your audience. You have to have to forget the whole work and think only of the parts, and then you have to do exactly the opposite. You have to trust yourself completely, and not trust yourself at all.
Fortunately, there’s a sequence to all of this, and not a very complicated one at that. There are two parts to the process of choosing music for choreography — finding the music, and then arranging it. In many ways, the way to succeed in one part is to do the opposite of what succeeds in the other.
Finding the Music
What are you looking for when you’re searching for music for a choreographic work? You’re looking for inspiration. You’re either looking for music that will inspire movement and design, or you’re looking for music whose inspiration complements the movement and design that you already imagine. In either case, this is the time to forget your audience, your sponsors, and especially your peers, and trust yourself. [Read more…]