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Thread: Choreographers

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    Choreographers

    After watching about 1,000 Juvenile level programs this year, I'm beginning to wonder...at what level do skaters begin to use choreographers?

    At our rink, the coaches do all of the choreography - even at higher levels - and it seems to work well up to a point. And I'm guessing some coaches are definitely more talented in choreography than others.

    But, if a skater is serious (as serious as one can be at lower levels), when is it time to think about bringing someone in with special knowledge regarding choreographing programs?

    Or maybe I'm not even asking the right question...

    Maybe the question needs to start with "What exactly does the choreographer do?"

    I think I only *think* I know the answer to this question.

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozet View Post
    After watching about 1,000 Juvenile level programs this year, I'm beginning to wonder...at what level do skaters begin to use choreographers?

    At our rink, the coaches do all of the choreography - even at higher levels - and it seems to work well up to a point. And I'm guessing some coaches are definitely more talented in choreography than others.
    Depends on your definition of "choreographer". As you have noticed, most coaches also choreograph. And yes, some are better than others, but in my experience, most coaches are honest about their abilities and will refer a student to another coach who is better at choreo if they don't think they themselves are best for the job. My coach had me work with another coach who is a good friend of hers on my program choreo, b/c my coach feels choreo is not her strong suit.

    As kids get up to the higher (i.e. IJS) levels, sometimes the coach will continue to choreograph their programs and in some cases seek feedback from coaches who are more experienced with IJS. And sometimes, a coach will suggest getting a program from a well-known coach/choreographer in the area. Generally, all "choreographers" are also coaches, even at the elite level.

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    As least initially I agree that most skaters get help from a coach who may have better choreograph skills. It is important to get complete buy-in from the main coach. I have heard stories about main coaches shredding the new choreography because they wanted to go in a "different" direction.

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    Actually I think it's not necessarely a matter of level. It has more to do about the capacity of a coach to also choreograph. Some coaches also like to choreograph, some don't. Also some choreograph may also not be coach.
    Some coaches like the technical part only and some like in addition the artistic and creative side of skating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jozet View Post
    After watching about 1,000 Juvenile level programs this year, I'm beginning to wonder...at what level do skaters begin to use choreographers?

    ...

    Maybe the question needs to start with "What exactly does the choreographer do?"
    The short answer is to 'put together a program with all the required elements with the music".

    To expand it a little bit...

    If a section of the music tempo is increasing (faster), the choreographer can place a suitable element in that section to fit the music tempo/phasing. For example, if a skater can do an incredible spin with fast revolution, that may be a good place for the spin. On the other hand, if a skater cannot spin that well, the choreographer probably won't place a slow spin there while the music is going faster... A well place element can help with PCS marks: both choreography and interpretation mark.

    Similarly, a choreographer will pay attention to the music cut and match the elements to the music phasing. It bugs me to no end when a skater is doing footwook sequence, then all of a sudden, the music changes to a completely different tempo/mood! That makes no sense what so ever.

    Choreographer can also place the elements in different part of the ice and be aware of the 'ice coverage'. Even though a skater may be very comfortable at doing all the jumps in a particular spot (e.g, the lutz corner), it is not a wise decision to put all the jump in the same area. I saw a video of Oda when he was a novice skater skating to the Mario brother music (the video game). All his jumps and spins were on one side of the rink. It was just weird.

    These are just some examples. Choreographer really does a lot of work...

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    IMO, once you hit IJS levels, the choreographer has the success of the skater in their hands. A well-choreographed IJS program has given the skater all the pieces to achieve a good score. A badly-choreographed IJS program (doens't use every opportunity to gain every point possible), will let the skater down, no matter how well they skate it.

    Then you have to add it that it has to be pleasing to watch, artistic, etc. Really really good choreographers are worth a LOT, in my opinion (no I'm not a choreographer! lol)

    In fact, I wish they'd credit the choreographer for elite skaters on televised competitions like they do coaches, because that person is also very responsible for the success of the skater.

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    For me a good choreographer has the ability to understand the skater's music and bring the best out in it. However a choreographer can only work with what they have. If a skater just doesn't get music then the choreographer has got their work cut out.
    When you are up to your arse in alligators it is difficult to remember you were only meant to be draining the swamp.

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