Choreograph your own career as a dance expert
With Sheela and Munni becoming the buzz of the town, a career in choreography is an enviable option that produces moolah. The fame and popularity associated are not bad either!
Behind every successful person there is someone who has helped them become a success; a mentor, teacher or guide. For every dancer, it's their choreographer. A passion driven field, choreography offers a platform for expression through dance. A synergy between ideas, fluidity and music to create an original dance sequence best describes this profession. The word choreography literally means dance writing and a choreographer is the mastermind behind the performance.
A choreographer's journey begins with being a dancer. Doing what they love and learning different dance forms such as classical, modern, jazz, folk and ethnic, is part of the process. Knowledge in diverse dance techniques is immensely important for a choreographer as their work requires new interpretations of different dances. Though it starts as a hobby but breaking the barriers of traditional career options, young minds are following their passion and making dancing a popular profession.
"Choreography is something I would recommend to anyone interested in this field. If dance is how you express yourself imagine doing nothing but dancing. Most youngsters are passionate about taking up dance professionally, unfortunately few have parental support and even fewer have the right mentors to guide them. As a result, the supply today of real trained dance professionals stays a handful while demand grows constantly. Today is the best time to be in dance in India, especially international dance. The demand is huge and supply of professionally trained dancers, teachers and choreographers is nearly nonexistent" says Ashley Lobo, artistic director, the Danceworx.
Who can become a choreographer?
Along with the zeal, this career requires a lot of focus, dedication and discipline. One has to be creative and constantly work on their talent. Dancers have to be good problem solvers and work well with others. They must have good stamina and health, flexibility, swiftness, coordination, grace, a sense of rhythm and an artistic ability to convey through this art. Long hours of practice, which come with this profession, can be exhausting but on the bright side this field offers a lot of travel opportunities.
"Talent and passion are musts but that is only the beginning and not where it ends. For one to carve a professional future in dance, the attitude and approach of the individual must be professional as well. You cannot have a hobby approach and get professional result. You must study professionally," adds Lobo.
Is education essential for a choreographer?
Though an educational degree is not essential to become professional choreographers but it is strongly recommended. "Before getting into this field I advocate training in dance and research. This really helped me experiment and think out of the box," explains Dhiraj Bakshi, founder director, Split Sole Dance Academy. Choreography has many specialisation, such as, choreography for the disabled, Broadway and theatre choreography, choreography for television and music videos and choreography for stage performances, and finding your niche in this field is the key.
The starting salary can range from Rs 5,000 to Rs 15,000 but once your work is recognised, the sky is the limit. As Bakshi says, "If you are starting in this field don't think of the money, rather take it as an education. Invest time and you will gain enough to be satisfied with your work".
Experience and creativity are two significant parameters in this profession. Choreographers gain a reputation with experience and this helps open up numerous opportunities. A career in dancing might have a short life but a choreographer never retires. If you feel developing new interpretations of traditional dance forms and blending them with original moves is your form of expression, put on your dancing shoes and boogie your way into a career in choreography.
Reproduced From India Today. © 2011. LMIL. All rights reserved.