Jury criterium: composition

​Composition is the way your choreography is structured in time and space. Composing the spatial elements of a dance is like drawing a plan for a building. What does the facade look like, and the sides and the back of your house? Does your building consist of horizontal and vertical lines or are there also diagonals or even curved lines. Be precise in your undulations and accents and remember to present different sides of your beautiful self to the public: frontally, in profile or with your back. Body-alignment makes all the difference between sloppiness and elegance: your head and arms should make well defined and visually appealing angles with your torso.

And what about the space you’re using. Even small buildings can be quite impressive and so should be the personal space you are occupying. Are you making yourself small like a shy little bird or are you soaring like an eagle with attitude? It pays off to give the floor-plan of your house the same attention as the facade. Can you draw interesting lines and curves on the floor and translate them into patterns of movement that add interest and intrigue to your performance. Which brings us to our next aspect: the structuring of your dance through time.

Like the piece of music that you are dancing to, your performance should have structure and internal logic. Chaos in your dance is confusing and exhausting to look at. Repetition can be used to add structure to your dance and variation to add interest. Variations in speed, levels, orientation and direction can be employed to spice up your performance and give it that certain je ne sais quoi, Most dances start relatively calm and build up momentum toward the grand finale which gives you ample opportunity to get to know your public and to save the most juicy, the most attractive, the most spectacular moves until just the right time, when public and judges are most likely to fall for your grace and charm.

If you are dancing a duet or in a group the possibilities are sheer endless. Please don’t fall into the trap of trying to synchronize each and every move, which may be attractive in a chorus line or river dance but quickly becomes dull, obvious and uninspiring in a belly dance duet. Don’t make it look like two persons are accidentally dancing the same solo, but really try to complement each other, interact with your partner and your public and let your unique personalities shine through. This is even more true for group performances. Groups offer excellent opportunities to play with formations, floor patterns and all sorts of repetitions and variations. You are not only building houses on stage, you are building a whole bustling city.

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