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Friday, November 11, 2011

Choreography & Dance Theory in SL

Just a few notes on choreography & dance theory in SL. I will add more to it as things pop into my head. If you have anything to add please do so in the comments below.

Lead – The lead manages the micro choreography of the dance. This person initiates step changes that the followers continue. Typically a signaled change is done with hand pressure, but other signals are common.  In SL the HUD host is the lead. Ultimately it is the host’s responsibility to make your dance crew look awesome.

Choreography – A sequence of movements. In SL we blend many different styles of animations to create a look that meshes with the environment and as well as music. To many it has become a mathematical formula using a stopwatch to manage these abilities. In doing so much of the emotional aspects were removed from the dance.
Typically all SL dance HUDs allow choreography in a linear fashion. When Poetry of Dance came along these preconceived method were broken by the ability to use 3 dimensional movements without the need of animations to place the avatars position. (Poetry of Dance currently is by invitation only) 

Imperfection is Perfection – Art is beautiful to the beholder.  Sometimes parallels are appealing. But we find ourselves looking at the unusual with awe. When you remove the parallels, the linear you step beyond the common and into the unusual.  Dare to be imperfect… Dare to be different!

Pre-Stance – These are used to pose the lead and follower before the dance starts. Any professional dancer knows this is a very important stage in the dance. These movements or poses set the emotional stage for the dance that will follow.  A respectful pause is used to help build the audiences anticipation.

Post-Stance – Immediately after the dance concludes the lead and followers will pose in a completion stance. This is the final signal to the crowd of the conclusion. This must be choreographed carefully since it can leave the audience feeling as if they have missed out on the end of the dance.  Generally a reach or fall is used at this point with pause.  It is important for the lead to judge the response of the audience to know when to enter a respect and bow sequence.

Sense of Reality – The human mind does not check out when you log in to SL. Although some would argue that it does. The same thoughts and desires still apply. We have only moved them to a different environment. In that we need to think of what is expected for the dance to be enjoyable or needed for it to be possible for the mind to interpret.  2 rocks dancing the samba in a bowl of chili is a bit of a stretch for anyone’s mind.  (Now watch that be the next greatest hit on SL Broadway. *Rolls Eyes)

Sequence - This is a series of event or list. When referring to sequences in the dance realm of SL it is a list of dances with timing that is played sequentially. So dance A is played for a time specified then dance B... and so on. This is the main standard of SL.

Sequence Sets - A group of sequences played in sequential order. This is typically macro sequences. When played, these sequences continue on by playing the next macro event line or jump to a pre-specified macro sequence. The reasons behind using marco sequence set are many but primarily it gives you extended abilities far beyond that of standard sequences.

Offset - This is a choreography effect to create a dimension in your dance set. Lining up dancers in a linear method is a burlesque style. In modern dance offsets or staggers are used for a dimensional effect. As simple as this concept is it is not used in many stage shows in SL. In clubs a 180 offset give some wonderful effects to partner dancing or even groups if done right. 180 also gives a friendly non imposing style. Nothing is worse then trying to walk around a line dance group that is taking up all the dance floor in a laggy club.

Here is a nice discussion on modern dance that you may find useful. It outlines some points I leaned as a child being force to attent dance class. *Rolls Eyes*
Simple Guide To Choreography

A great source of information on SL dances and choreography can be found by following the link...
Dance Queens Blog

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