How to choreograph a musical: Splish splash I was having a bath

In Dance, Features, London theatre, Musicals, Opinion, Regional theatre, Touring by Andrew WrightLeave a Comment

Thanks to a recent Twitter poll, I found out what you most want to know is how you go about choreographing a musical……An excellent question – go straight to the top of the class!

Without wanting to put you off your dinner, I get most of my ideas in the bath – alarming and rather unconventional, I know! There is something about the meditative state I get in whilst wallowing in Radox bliss that allows my mind to play and germinate ideas. It does make for writing the ideas down a rather soggy affair – in fact, if you look closely at most of my notebooks, you will see water-stained edges and wrinkled paper that sometimes emulate my furrowed skin after a long soak!

I also listen to the music non stop – on a loop. Everywhere I go: tube, train, car, plane, it goes with me. I have to know the music inside out before I can create. It needs to be like a well-fitted accessory, a tailor-made appendage, if you will!

Then I try to think of quirky, unorthodox ways of putting the numbers across. I love humour, in life as well as in my work,  so at all times, I look for the jocular option! Then, of course there is the text, understanding how the choreography can move the story forward and not just be there for the sake of it.

Dance without a purpose is tedious and almost impossible to choreograph I find.

Then the fun really begins, getting into a studio with bunch of dancers. Creating (playing like an overgrown child) the routines on the dancers is my favourite part, seeing a number come to life you have only previously imagined whilst in the tub! Working with a great director, collaborating on the piece and hopefully coming up with something that will bring elation to audience members. For isn’t that really why we do it? To spread joy. We have the gift of giving people two and a half hours of escapism from whatever they maybe going through in their lives. I think that is pretty brilliant and something I never take lightly…. and on that heartfelt note it is now time for me to go and draw my bath! Today’s choreographic brain storm is Hold It Flash Bang from Half A Sixpence.

Let’s hope I don’t get too carried away and cause a tidal wave!!!!!

 

14/3/16

Andrew Wright on RssAndrew Wright on Twitter
Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright is an award-winning choreographer, whose myriad credits from the West End, Chichester, Bath, Leicester and elsewhere, include: Mrs Henderson Presents, Guys and Dolls, Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum, 42nd Street, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, High Society, Wonderful Town, Betty Blue Eyes, Saturday Night Fever, A Little Night Music, Follies, Oliver!, The Showgirl Within, Almost Like Being In Love, Stepping Out, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, By Jeeves, I Sing and Soul Traders. He directed and choreographed Happy Days (National Tour), for which he was nominated for Best Director/Choreographer in the Broadway World Awards 2014. Andrew was educated at Millfield School (Old Millfieldian of the year 2015, Distinguished Old Millfieldian 2012) and trained with the NYMT and Arts Ed. He blogs at a-wright.com and tweets at @AndrewWright5.
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Andrew Wright on RssAndrew Wright on Twitter
Andrew Wright
Andrew Wright is an award-winning choreographer, whose myriad credits from the West End, Chichester, Bath, Leicester and elsewhere, include: Mrs Henderson Presents, Guys and Dolls, Singin’ In The Rain, Barnum, 42nd Street, The Critic/The Real Inspector Hound, High Society, Wonderful Town, Betty Blue Eyes, Saturday Night Fever, A Little Night Music, Follies, Oliver!, The Showgirl Within, Almost Like Being In Love, Stepping Out, Once Upon A Time At The Adelphi, By Jeeves, I Sing and Soul Traders. He directed and choreographed Happy Days (National Tour), for which he was nominated for Best Director/Choreographer in the Broadway World Awards 2014. Andrew was educated at Millfield School (Old Millfieldian of the year 2015, Distinguished Old Millfieldian 2012) and trained with the NYMT and Arts Ed. He blogs at a-wright.com and tweets at @AndrewWright5.

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