Special effects to dance with

by B
(The Netherlands)


I'm choreographing a contemporary dance for a special event at school. The last years I've used some special attributes and effects to make the dance extra special. Some examples: Ropes, glitters, feathers, flour (looks like a cloud of dust :) and more...
This year I have no inspiration so I hope you have some original ideas for me. Or a link to good ideas... The crazier, the better!

Thank you!


Comments for Special effects to dance with

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Jan 20, 2014
Maria's reply
by: Maria

Dear B,

Personally, the effects that I prefer to dance with are those created by light or by videos (which can be used as light too).

You say that 'the craziest' of my recommendation, the merrier'. Well, things that can be done with videos and light are extreme, but you need technology.

You can watch two nice examples of this in our page about contemporary dance videos. Just scroll down the following page till you get to the piece 'GLOW' by Chunky Move and/or to the piece 'FRAGMENTOS DEL SILENCIO' by José Darío Flórez:

Examples of contemporary dance videos

Another option that has been used by famous choreographers, like Pina Bausch or Ushio Amagatsu, is to fill the floor of the stage with something: sand, soil, water, dried leaves or any natural stuff.

That option creates great visual effects but makes the dancers' work harder. I've named those possibilities, not for you to copy them, but for promoting that your imagination finds something relying on those ideas.

I believe that props or sets should emerge from your choreographic project (which I don't know). This means that, for me, choreography is more important than visual effects. If the choreography is interesting, the effects will glow. If the choreography is poor, the effects will look like an overused ornament. Unless you're a visual artist too, effects should be understood as a complementary element of dance or otherwise you may loose the choreographic perspective.

Still, there's always the possibility of creating great choreography inspired in objects or the dancers' relationship with them.

Are there Chinese shops in your city? You know they are full of little tiny cheap things that may serve as inspiration. That may give you ideas too...

I hope this helps.

Warm regards,


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