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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Scoring in the sense of a musical score, that is, not assigning points.I've got a gig coming up in which I have responsibility to develop a syncro routine that I'll perform with one other person. I need to write down the routine--score it. I've got a general idea of how to do this, but would like tips from anyone else who has done this.Where I am so far: I have selected a suitable piece of music, and listened to it over and over. Also goofed around with my poi while listening to it a lot, so I have an idea of what moves will fit where. I have created the skeleton of a time-chart, with the times of major transitions in the music running down (fwiw, in a 3'25" piece, I noted 24 transitions), and the following columns running across:time, cue, move, facing, positionTime is obvious, cue is my name for the transition in the music (like "tom-toms cut in"). Move should be obvious, facing would be N, S, E, W, along with any turns, and position is the position on the stage and moves across it.I'm pretty happy with that so far, and have filled in a few moves. Any tips? One real problem I've had already is the problem of vocabulary--my performance partner and I don't have quite the same vocabulary for moves, and at any rate, there is no clear vocabulary for every minor variation and flourish I want to throw in. I've seen wonderfully elaborate syncro routines before, so I know it's possible to put them together. Just never been part of one myself.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:The thing with syncronous performances is that they rarely are, since each person has a different style, the best you can really hope for is good timing on all parts and nice staging.As a choreographer your job is now to pull this together in the easiest possible way for all who are involved. While your chart is amazing, it also sounds extremely complicated. If I am listening to music to figure out when the tom-toms come in, then that is where my focus is and not on what I need to be doing and where I should be doing it. It is also easy to focus on what I am doing and miss a mark altogether that way. While these transitional times are important to a choreographer, you also need to remember to keep it simple and to not split focus more than you have to.First of all, language. I have no idea how to get through the nuance barrier in names other than to say how well do you know her lingo, and can you put it in her words? Since you are the one mapping it out, it might make it easier on her to learn what is in your head if you use her words. Much like it is a teachers task to relay information to students in a way they understand, this is now the position you have assumed.Next, and what I have learned through *years* of dance, is the easiest thing is to break the music down not by instrumental breaks and additions but by rhythmic bars.For example, a rhythmic count to the music you chose, can you clap 1..2..3..4 to it or is it a bit speedier making it a syncopated 1and 2and 3and 4and? This is what most dances are mapped to originally.In this respect you count out the music and then choreograph accordingly. Then it is not for the performers to break performance concentration to figure out when the tuba blares to change step but to know to be on mark on beat 3 in bar 2. You do this, and the transitions and such come along much easier because the focus is on the movement and rhythm not on what instrument is playing.Remember that even small things like turns can take from two steps up to 16 to get all the way around, and each step counts when plotting out a syncronous show.Honestly, Right- Left- Front and Back are always easier to follow than North, South, East and West...which will shift depending where you are. Personal directions are always the same and so make it easier to be consitent with. Front is facing audience, back you aren't whereas going by directions in one venue North could be facing audience and in another could always be having your back to them. Left and right are from your perspective.In the end what is the easiest for you and your parnter should be what you use, but I am hoping this might help to make the work of choreographing less difficult for you.Let us know how it goes! If you need more help or if I am not so clear here, email me and I'll do what I can.
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------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...http://www.pyromorph.com


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Thanks for the tips, Pele (especially considering how crazy life must be for you right now).Breaking down the routine by musical transitions was the intuitive thing to do for me--when I'm spinning freestyle, I try to match my transitions to the musical transitions. But I can see how it would be limiting for a formalized score. I'll probably keep my cue list as a mnemonic, but work out measures as well.Yes, my chart is complicated, but I was trying to brainstorm all the variables in advance--if some of them turn out to be redundant or too much trouble, I can omit them later. I've still only got a skeleton of a chart at this point. And if you think my chart is complex, do a google search on "labanotation"!As to whether syncro routines really are in sync or not--well, I agree that two people doing the same move in the same time can still look quite different...but nevertheless the local troupe Tantien has had some pretty mind-boggling syncro sets (including an amazing partner move where two stood back-to-back doing the alternating butterfly combo, each reaching past the other's shoulder). My performing partner (a "him" in this case, not a "her") and I aren't bothering with fancy partner moves, but I think we can manage to do the same moves on the same beats, which is pretty much what I had in mind.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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glowshow


member
Location: Charlotte, NC, USA

Total posts: 406
Posted:I was going to say something very similar to what Pele said. The best way to build a routine is to map it out in beats. You can have so many beats where you are doing one particular move. Say you count out 8 beats where you are both doing the forward weave. For example, let's say the tempo is slow enough that you make one complete circle on each side of your body per beat. From that you could break out into a fountain (seeing as how its so popular
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) combo for another 16 beats. Assuming the same holds true as above, where one complete rotation (or side) of a move happens on every downbeat of the song. I'll give you an example. Start with your feet positioned like you were facing the audience, but with your body rotated 90 degrees to the left, so you are doing a weave to the left side. From your 8-count before, you could have the: (These are beats)1) poi come across the front of your body from the right half of a forward weave into the first beat of a reverse weave on your right side behind you2) front half of windmill in front of your body3) next beat of windmill behind your head4) first beat of forward weave on the right5) weave goes to the left side, and right poi wraps under left arm or wrist on the beat. continue to rotate your body another 90 degrees to the left so your back is to the audience 6) the recoil will send you into a butterfly, the beat is counted when the poi meet at the bottom 7) throw the b-fly behind the head for this beat8) back in front9) turn 180 degrees to the right into a reverse (or underhand) b-fly. You will be facing the audience again10) one more beat of the underhand b-fly11) right hand starting into the reverse low wave (right poi behind you for the beat, left still in front)12) alternate13) alternate again14) this time, instead of alternating, the left hand will stay in front, and when the right poi comes to the front, wrap it on the underside of your left wrist. 15) the recoil will send you straight into a windmill starting in front of your body16) next beat of windmill behind your body.And so on and so forth. Add in whatever you like. I could go on for days putting stuff together. The important part is for you to be able to map it out in your head. You get a few things together, and assign beats. Get it worked out to where you count out your combo or routine. The way you teach your partner is to stand beside them and go through the motions as slowly as possible, and over-exaggerate the beats while you say the numbers to count it out. Maybe nod your head when you count as well, so he can pick up exactly where the beat lands. Get him to try it a couple of times while you count out the beats and clap your hands or something similar. Once again, go slow. Once he is comfortable enough with the series of motions, then add your self in. Work on getting it in enough syncronicity that you look like you are doing the same thing. It isn't all that hard really. Just break it down into smaller segments. If you get a couple of sets of 16 or 20 counts or whatever you feel comfortable with, you can start piecing them together, or add fill material (like the first 8-count of just weave) to complete the set.Another suggestion is to work out 2 different sets so during your performance you have a point where you are doing different and unrelated movements. Have it build up in randomness (of course, you both wil be keeping count the whole time to different sets) until it can culminate on one hard downbeat at a transition. At that point both of you should have gotten to the point where you can both come down hard on a wrap or something to where the audience can tell you just popped out of randomness into complete sync. Like both of you getting to the point where you are facing the same way, and have your poi come on the downswing into a simple double right leg wrap or something, then both of you come out of it into a reverse weave.I know this has got to be extremely long by now, so I'll quit. Hope it gave you a better idea. Let me know if you have any questions.------------------I feel more like I do now than I did when I got here.~~~Dance as if noone is watching!~~~PLUR(RE) ---J---


FREE TIBET!!! (with the purchase of a 44 oz. drink)What do you want to be when you grow up?I want to be a kid again!I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.~~~J~~~

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Well, I bought a boombox today, and got to work in my backyard choreographic a routine.It will come as no surprise to anyone that Pele is right--I quickly abandoned my musical-break notation and started logging everything in terms of musical measures.This is hard work, in case anyone's curious. I'd estimate it took me an hour to get one minute's worth of choreography worked out with 16 transitions. And I've got 3 minutes to go, though I think the rest will go a little faster because I've got some move-blocks I can plug in at certain points.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Charles
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

Charles

Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
Location: Auckland

Total posts: 3989
Posted:I try out all of my routines on the unsuspecting public as I tend to busk when I'm practicing. That way I keep learning crowd skills as well as technical.So I score my routines 80/20 on how loud I can get the crowd to clap and cheer and how much money they throw...Simple equation usually.And you sure learn when something doesn't work, they tell you straight away...------------------Charles (AKA INFERNO)newdolbel@hotmail.comhttp://juggle.co.nz/fire/fire.html

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BEZERKER


BEZERKER

enthusiast


Total posts: 237
Posted:Bit of topic here but I have these funny images of Adam standing in front of 8 poiers calling out in an aerobics instructor voice........"Aaaaaand weave...........and weave and weave and WINDMILL!.........windmill, windmill, windmill!"Maybe you could come up with poi versions of such wonderful dance choreographer lines like "kick, ball chain" or "step pizazz step pizazz"Sorry, I'll go back to lurking now...........

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:You jest, Berzerker, but it'll be kind of like that. I'm having my first practice specifically for the gig tonight, and I'll be trying to teach my performing partner the routine. We'll see how it goes.I probably won't do it in such an annoyingly perky voice though.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Make sure that you're all "counting the beats" on the same portion of your swing. I tend to hit the bottom of my swing on the beat but it's just as easy to hit the front of the swing or top of the swing on the beat. (Talking about hitting 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, or 9:00 on the beat...)Just a thought...

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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