Narrative story for a 3 minute contemporary solo

by Gaby


For my Honours Degree course I have to create a 3 minute contemporary solo based on a story, thus it has to be a narrative solo performed to classical music.

Could you probably give me some ideas on an interesting narrative story that I could use? Music? Costumes? etc. please?

If it may help my tutor gave us an example of when Juliette kills herself as a narrative story.

Many thanks,


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Jan 05, 2013
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear Gaby,

Your teacher's example is a guideline that we can use to search for stories in classical literature. Just considering William Shakespeare, you have a lot to choose from. Here are three examples of his most renowned tales, other than Romeo and Juliette:

- Hamlet

- Othello

- Macbeth

Each one of those texts is full of characters and anecdotes, from which you can choose something to create your own danced version.

But Shakespeare is only one playwright of hundreds of writers, not only of theater but of all kinds of narrative literature. The 'classics' (most popular and universal) are a good option if you identify yourself with one of their stories or if you like them. Shakespeare is an important example of English literature, but there are other universal classics, like the ancient Greek tragedies or comedies. The most famous playwrights of this type are Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides (for the tragedy) and Aristophanes (for the comedy).

The bad side of those examples is that each story is usually very long and it may take you a long while to read them completely. But if you decide yourself for one, you'll see that only one is more than enough in amount of stories.

If you don't like these options, you can also type 'classical literature' or 'classical playwrights' in any internet search box and you will get hundreds of options.

Another possibility is to search for traditional or folk characters from your region. You can ask your parents or grandparents for stories or legends that concern your ancestors or town. There are also characters and stories in comics, TV series or even real people from the news.

The options are infinite, so whatever you choose, depends really on your personal inclinations. See if some of those ideas above lead you somewhere.

Concerning the music, the situation is quite the same. Classical music is infinite. However, as you need a short piece of three minutes, you better look for the renaissance little pieces that were used to dance in the courts (for the pre-classical dances): minuet, pavan, galliard, saraband, allemand, rigodon, gavotte, etc.

Those little renaissance and baroque musical pieces have different atmospheres and are usually short, so you may find something that fits your needs among those.

I gave a tip about a website where you can search for free royalty music in another related thread of our forum. Read my answer there to find it:

Song for a solo dance

And the costumes... well that depends on your whole choreographic project, from which I don't know anything yet. I'd say you first pick up your story and music and then reply in this same thread (I will know if you do). Then, I may be able to give you some advice on costumes if you tell me what the other elements that make up your solo are.

I hope this helps for a start.

Warm regards,


Feb 01, 2015
by: Anonymous

You could use either of the following:

- guilt
- actions affect others
- the past
- cruelty
- sacrifice
- words as weapons

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