Careers in choreography

Last Updated : 15 September 2010, 09:58 IST
Last Updated : 15 September 2010, 09:58 IST

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The ideas, movements and music create synergy.

The different types of dance choreography are:

* Stage choreography: This typically involves large-scale set ups with extravagant props and large groups of dancers. It is usually a part of fashion shows and competitions.

* Camera choreography: This  form of choreography is employed in TV  serials and reality shows.

In India, there are several popular forms of dance. Dance schools also use a lot of western styles for choreography. But the four predominant forms are Indian classical, Indian folk dance, western classical, jazz and hip hop.

Individuals need to possess innate talent which can be honed by training. It is best if one is trained in a classical dance form as it gives a strong foundation. Some of the top colleges that offer a degree/ diploma in dance are:

* Shiamak Davar Institute for Performing Arts, Mumbai
* Danceworx Performing Arts Academy
* Ashley Lobo, East of Kailash, New Delhi
* The Natya Institute of Kathak & Choreography, Bangalore
* Sangeet Natak Akademi, New Delhi
* Sandip Soparkar’s Ballroom Studio, Mumbai
* Terence Lewis Dance Academy, Mumbai

There are dozens of schools and institutes in countries like France, the US and the UK (Laban School, Alvin Ailey School, Graham School, Broadway Dance Centre in New York) which offer a wide variety of courses in contemporary, modern dance forms and ballet.

Career prospects

Those with a degree in dance  may begin by working as a dancer (either freelance or by joining a company) or assist an established choreographer if they wish to work for movies and other big productions.

Starting one’s own dance class is another option. Beginners or trainees are paid  anywhere between Rs 3,000 and Rs 15,000 for each show depending on experience, skill and budget.  It takes a while to get noticed in the industry as it is still not considered to be a mainstream profession. So keep dancing, practising, and coming up with suggestions on how to improvise, experts say.

“You have to be creative. You must constantly look at ways to improve your talent. You also need to be sure of your dance capabilities as there is no room in this industry for those who are insecure or doubt their talent,” says Terence Lewis, a Mumbai-based choreographer. 

Health is equivalent to wealth in this field. Sandip Soparrkar, a celebrity dance choreographer, says: “Young dancers may begin by getting a feel of all dance forms and then work on one particular form to develop their uniqueness.”

Putting together a show can be physically exhausting, especially if you are not used to the speed at which dance shows are choreographed and practised. It  involves long hours of warm-ups, practise and synchronisation. The job could also involve a lot of travelling.

The main challenge for a choreographer is in tapping the right talent — dancers who are well-trained, talented and committed. Getting sponsors for home productions is  another hurdle.

The only way to overcome these hurdles is to spread the word on dance education so that people are more appreciative of dance as a serious art form and a career.
Choreography also teaches people skills.

Published 15 September 2010, 09:58 IST

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