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Choreography As Communication

Jun 2 2015

I still remember a time when I steered clear of choreographing as I had decided that I would never be gifted to be a choreographer. This all changed when I grasped the revelation that choreography is in fact communication. That strategically linking movement together to form a sequence is much like fitting words together to construct a sentence. I realize that as long as I have words to speak- I have movements and choreography to form.

Choreographing is just that; “sequencing steps and movements together”, but even still there is far more to it than just that. Just as a sentence links words together to fit what could be called a ‘perfectly constructed sentence’, the focus is then shifted to the meaning of the words and the message that is being communicated through the particular choice of wording.

Choreography is similar; we can watch a dance and see an array of beautifully presented movements or we can look deeper and understand that there is a particular message and meaning to the movements that are being expressed.

I am always challenging myself and our dancers to extend their “vocabulary” when it comes to dancing and choreographing. Just as one may learn a new language in order to have the ability for a deeper understanding and added expression, dancers can have this ability when it comes to what movements we string together when choreographing a piece.


I have been known to be quite picky when it comes to the movements that I use to choreograph. I understand that I want the message to be communicated as clearly as possible and if one of the “words” (movements) doesn’t quite fit, well then there is the chance that what I would like to communicate may not be expressed clearly.  When I start choreographing I always start with a message or purpose in mind. Nobody wants to hear someone throwing words out randomly from a dictionary but we listen to the carefully selected words to understand what is being said.

Choreography takes practice. The more you do it, the easier and more natural it becomes.  The time I had decided that I would never be a choreographer was in fact years ago just after I had been asked to choreograph for the very first time. I now take it as an honour to choreograph. Each time that I choreograph is a special moment to form a message and find the right “words” to communicate what needs to be said.

Naomi Norris
Hillsong Dance