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Obvious Steps (or not) to the Music?

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sometimes you hear a phrase of music to which it seems the choreographer of a ballet has listened intently and decided to do just what the music says ("ah, an arabesque here", or "that's batterie if i ever heard it"). is there a logic behind why someone would use a step that doesn't seem obvious? does this question make sense?

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The question makes excellent sense, I think. I don't make ballets myself, so this is no expert's opinion, but often it seems to me that a choreographer will choose steps in counterpoint to the music, or to create a syncopated effect. The steps can be on the melody but not the beat, or vice versa, for example.

And sometimes I suspect they do set out to surprise us. "Expecting a big jump with that crescendo, eh? Well, you're NOT getting one!"

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I can only answer with what I know myself, which is not the only way to skin a cat.

I think the logic behind when you are choreographing right on the music and when you are running parallel to it is the same as a chef's. You know how to season a dish from having cooked similar dishes, developing your palate by eating, and observation - and then there's creativity and inspiration on top of it.

I often choreograph right on the music when there's a tune I especially like. It's a way of letting the music talk first. Massive effects in the music (Crescendos, sudden silences) demand that you take them into account as well. To avoid Mickey Mouse effects, I sometimes make a change in choreography near a big effect in the music, rather than on it. In one ballet of mine, the dancers begin running not on a huge crash in the music, but two counts after.

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