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The Five principles of choreography

All choreography (regardless of genre) is based on the following five principles.
• Dynamics
• Space
• Relationships
• Actions
• Body Parts

Each part is like a jigsaw piece and which join to create an effective dance.
It may help to think if them like a five pointed star as shown below.
Use this star to help you to analyse professional choreography and to create
choreography of your own.

Which actions are used?
Jump Fall Balance
Travel Turn Gesture
Stillness Contact Dynamics
Arabesque Attitude How it moves?
Plié Pirouette Time - Fast/Slow
Where in space?
Port de bras Lift Weight - Strong/Gentle
3 levels Pathways
Promenade Catch Space - Direct/Indirect
Personal General
Counterbalance Adage Flow - Bound/free
Upstage Downstage
Counter tension Jeté Tempo – rhythm
Stage right Stage left
Centre stager
Words which describe
the qualities of the

What are the relationships? Body Part/Body Shape
Near or far from other dancers Which body part is used?
Near of far from audience Head Neck Face
Solo Duet Trio Group Eyes Back Chest
Narrative Thematic Abstract Stomach Arms
Canon/Unison Hands Feet Legs
With/without/on/in beside a set Fingers Toes Hips
With/without music Curved Free Straight
Type of music
In time or dancing through the Angled Wide Tall
music Twisted
Costume, lighting, props
Reversed Repeated Reduced
Binary Ternary Rondo