Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Wordy Wednesday: CHOREOGRAPHY
As the choreographer, I don't cast parts, but I do have to provide the director with information on kids' dance abilities. I have a code: N-non-dance role; C-capable & coordinated; S-solo material. I don't like boiling down everything I see (joy, potential, eagerness, effort) into a single letter but it's got to be done, just like books, in the end, get positive or negative reviews. It's a tough part of the artistic life.
That said, I try to make the audition fun--to help kids forget their insecurities and show me what they can do if they let themselves go and focus on dancing. I want to share the joy of moving and help them realize how much they can express onstage without saying a word.
What does this have to do with writing? When I find myself in a "telling-not-showing" trap, I get up and dance the scene or play-act a dialogue. I bring my writing to a "stage" where I can reconnect physically with my characters.
I love working with young performers--watching their excitement heighten as opening night approaches and their mastery of the material strengthens. It's a microcosm of so many experiences they'll have in their lives, be they performers or engineers, lawyers or chefs. Their story is my story. Our story.