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What does a Choreographer do?

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Talent.com talent.com
Answered October 19 2021
Career Expert at Talent.com
Simply put, a Choreographer creates original dance routines for performances and productions. They can work as solo directors of dance shows or as a part of a larger show, such as in musical theatre. They can work in different dance genres such as hip hop, jazz, or ballet. 

Choreographers usually start their process with a piece of music. They must understand its rhythms, pauses, and lyrics if applicable. A background in music theory or playing an instrument is helpful here, as it allows Choreographers to get into the layers of the music. 

Suppose the choreography is a part of a more significant production, such as a musical. In that case, the Choreographer will work with the Director, Costume Designer, and Set Designer to gain insight into the overall vision for the show and consider any limitations such as constrictive costumes or the dimensions of the stage.

Depending on the production, Choreographers may also be involved in the audition process for Dancers, and they may also need to work with non-dancing performers such as Actors or Singers to create coordinated movements that make sense for the show.

Roles & responsibilities of a Choreographer
  • Instruct Dancers on how to perform movements and help them perfect their timing and dancing techniques.
  • Provide the Dancers with some contextual information about the dance they're performing for them to better embody the cultural or historical aspects of a particular choreography.
  • List or draw movements for Dancers to learn and to help them memorize the routine more quickly.
  • Help their students secure an audition and lead them throughout the auditioning process.
  • Audition and cast Dancers or Actors for musicals, performances, ballets, or any musical spectacle.
  • Choreograph and stage musicals, working under the director's supervision and supporting their vision.
  • Participate in all pre-show production meetings held by the Director and Producer, including brainstorming sessions, to better grasp their artistic vision and share their opinion on soundtracks and costumes.
  • Create dance routines, adapting moves where necessary.
  • Consider the scenic elements that may impact the choreography, such as set design and lighting, and liaise with the corresponding professionals to ensure everything runs smoothly.
  • Schedule and supervise rehearsals.