When choregraphing a dance, getting started is often the hardest part. Getting the initial idea for a project can be a beast in itself, and then you have to determine if that idea is worthy of acting on. Choreography ideas can be tough to evaluate, but it’s incredibly important to determine how well the idea can potentially connect with and communicate with your audience. These ideas will always be somewhat subjective, but I’ve boiled this evaluation process down into the two most important questions you NEED to answer before diving into your next project:
1. Do you have a personal connection to your idea?
Basically, if you want your audience to care about the subject of your piece, YOU have to care about the subject of your piece. Focusing on an idea that you are interested in and passionate about will show through in the final product, and it will make your process a TON easier. There’s nothing worse than trying to come up with creative ideas for something you don’t care about!
That said, this doesn’t mean that your idea has to be a personal experience or something from your own life. I’ve found that the better choice is to find something you’re really interested in and passionate about, whether it’s related to your own personal life or not. That way, you won’t get emotionally burned out in the creative process, but there is still plenty of opportunity for exploration and personal investment in what you create.
2. Can you connect your idea to a universal experience?
The personal connection is incredibly important for finding passion and investment in what you create, but perhaps even more important is finding the universal connection. Not everyone in your audience will have the same passions, interests, and experiences as you do, so they might not find your specific idea to be moving. To connect with the majority of your audience, find the connection of your own personal idea to a universal idea, story, or experience. For example, if you are interested in creating a piece about the end of a relationship, you might connect that to universal experiences of love, loss, betrayal, etc.
Ultimately, it’s more important to start creating than to try to find the perfect thing to create about. So while it’s important to think through your choreography ideas before you dive into creating, don’t let yourself get stuck on this step. Just get out and start creating!
If you’re having trouble finding that initial idea, check out this blog post on planning your inspiration.