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Dance with me

education Updated: Feb 22, 2012 09:35 IST

The lowdown
Choreographers design sequences of dance movements keeping both form and motion in mind. An understanding of the symbiotic relationship between dance and music is essential for becoming a choreographer. So is at least a decade of training in dance. Choreographers are in demand for musicals, movies, TV advertisements, theatre performances, reality shows, fashion shows, and cultural programmes. Marriage and fashion choreography are also good avenues for choreographers. Thanks to so many forums for showcasing one’s talent, choreography has become a very competitive field and making your mark has become that much more difficult. The essence of choreography is to reach out to your audience expressing the idea or the concept through body language and innovative moves aesthetically presented

7.30am: Set out for studio
8am: Listen to musical score for new production, suggest improvements
9am: Do a rough notation of dance moves along with assistant choreographer
10am: Start dance workshop with troupe
1pm: Lunch
2pm: Continue workshop
5pm: Meet corporate sponsors of production
6pm: Meet costume designer and set designer
8pm: Dinner
9pm: Study journals and online dance resources

The payoff
Remuneration is definitely lucrative and that is one reason why today there are many who want to take up choreography as a full-time job. A fresher can earn anywhere between Rs 25,000 and Rs 50,000 a month whereas an experienced dancer (who is assisting seasoned choreographers) can take home a sum ranging from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 12 lakh a month

* Ability to perform flawlessly
* Amazing communication skills
* Should be able to inspire and motivate one’s dancers
* Ability to realise creative vision
* Managing logistics
* Great people skills
* Visualisation skills
* Curious about new developments in dance

Getting there
Choreographers need to display excellent dance skills to gain credibility. So, intensive training from a credible choreographer or with a well-known dance troupe with several productions under its belt is necessary. After a decade of perfecting one’s dancing skills (preferably across genres i.e. Indian classical dance forms, jazz, salsa, waltz etc), one can go in for choreological studies, which allows one to document dance sequences. One should assist an established choreographer for five years to learn the wide variety of skills required to create a production, such as conceptualisation, visualisation, setting sequences to music, training dancers, instructing them, directing a production, among others

Institutes and URLs
* Bachelor’s programme in choreography - Natya Institute of Kathak and Choregraphy, Bangalore
* Ananda Shankar Centre of Performing Arts -
* Shiamak Davar’s Institute for the Performing Arts
* New York Choreographic Institute

Pros and cons
* Need to maintain high levels of fitness
* Dance helps you exercise
* An excellent form of expression
* Dealing with creative people
* Extensive travel with various productions
* Funding may not come easy for independent productions

Choreography is a great option as you can work with various media such as TV, films, theatre, live shows and fashion events Remo D’Souza, Mumbai-based Bollywood choreographer and judge of Dance India Dance on Zee TV