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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
On certain tracks, the choreography successfully reflects expressive qualities within the music.
Nonetheless, Weber advocates the use of video and DVDs, and the DNB is developing a technology whereby a video screen simultaneously shows the videotaped choreography with the Labanotation scrolling alongside.
But otherwise I kept much of the choreography intact." She also decided to teach the solo as a group piece for five juniors and seniors.
The category's blend of modern technique with free form movement reflects another trend: crossover choreography. A routine may shift between genres.
"The judges at Showstopper appreciate what we do with our choreography," says Cain.
Their 1963 musical version of The Rainmaker is pretty much forgotten, along with the choreography provided by Agnes de Mille.
Roxey Ballet Apprentice Fund Mark Roxey; Lambertville, NJ 609.397.7616; Deadline: 06/01/2006; Number awarded: 4 Requirements: Pre-professional and 17 years or older Scholarship money pays for: Choreography, special workshops, travel expenses, tuition for classes, apprentice training
These devices, however, do not become a substitute for meaty choreography. Kage's work is demanding, and Ballet West has become a precision company that meets the challenge.
Martha Curtis, who serves as Houlihan's advisor and instructor for video choreography this semester, says her "enthusiasm and ability to use this opportunity to learn rather than just receive a credential has been remarkable." Houlihan herself says that, while someone in her situation could easily think, "I've been working professionally in this field for 40 years, and why should I have to do this?" Flipping the coin and seeing all the areas of learning that have opened up to her has been truly exciting.
"It's not like he thinks of choreography as something related only to steps."
From the floor, modern dance teacher/choreographer Phyllis Lamhut disputed the apparent assumption of the Institute that, following a precept of Balanchine, choreography was something that could not be taught.