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, choregraphy
1. the composition of dance steps and sequences for ballet and stage dancing
2. the steps and sequences of a ballet or dance
3. the notation representing such steps
4. the art of dancing
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A term originally used for the art of notating dances. The first attempts to record dances were made in the late 15th and early 16th centuries, but it was not until the late 17th and early 18th centuries that French choreographers and dance teachers, such as P. Beauchamp, R.-A. Feuillet, and P. Rameau, devised a system of dance notation, which later became widespread. The term “choreography” was introduced by the choreographer Feuillet, author of Chorégraphie ou l’arte de décrire la danse (1700). In Russia, two systems of dance notation were devised in the late 18th century: the system of F. A. Zorn (in Russian, A. Ia. Tsorn; 1889), used mainly by teachers of ballroom dances, and the system of V. I. Stepanov (1891). Stepanov’s system was used to record 27 ballets from the repertoire of the Mariinskii Theater in St. Petersburg.

(2) The art of composing dances and ballets. In this sense, the term has been used since the mid-19th century. Authors of the steps and dances in a ballet are called choreographers.

(3) The art of the dance as a whole. It is one of the oldest forms of art, whose means of expression are movements of the human body to music (seeDANCE).


Lisitsian, S. Zapis’ dvizheniia (Kinetografiia). Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Billed as a 'sizzler', the show did reach high temperatures in parts, with slick choregraphy, some strong vocal performances and a booming orchestra.
Much more animated was "L'Espagne," the second entree from Andre Campra's L'Europe Galante, with choregraphy by Guillaume Louis Pecour as it was published in 1700 and 1704.
The formidable trio of Sarvar Sabri (composer and tablas), Gulfam Sabri (vocals and harmonium) and Alvin Davis (saxophones), who are given a number of their own at the start of the second half, are also integrated into the choregraphy, notably in a section based on complex handclaps and vocal percussion.
However, the National Theatre's touring production of The Birds brings them together to magnificent effect with aerial choregraphy, acrobatics, and dazzling feats of human agility.
"My sketch journals basically have become my choregraphy," he says.