The Act of Creation – Blind & Frozen, #7
Background: a look into my creative process as I build a dance start to finish. See previous posts to follow along if you’ve just jumped in. Welcome to my madness!
Things are moving again! I’m a bit behind…choosing animations now. I do admit I did take the time to switch to another animation manager that really sounded promising – and so far I’ve been thrilled with it. It did take about a day to load as I dug through my inventory and found a relatively small number of dances that weren’t in the right folders, plus I wanted only a few organizers but still be able to find animations by store too. I’m finding with this set-up I’m more likely to use different animations because they’re in 3 pads – Abranimations, “main stores”, and SineWave/Ministry of Motion/Misc. I’m really hoping this gets me unstuck from going to the same animations every time – plus I’m consciously ignoring ones I always use, forcing myself to do something a bit more fresh for me. I also found that for me, it reduces the time it takes to choose animations and load them in a choreo hud.
My new animations area. An inspiration picture, calming pictures, and candles. I like the feeling of it. Those are my new animation managers. I do the actual choreography in a different area with a grid so I can see where I am. The HUD is part of the animation manager – so I can just use the HUD instead of moving my mouse down to click.
It was an amazing feeling as I played the music in Troff. Ohh…I haven’t mentioned how I choose animations, have I? Everyone has their own way, this is mine:
I play my music in Troff on repeat, but any player you can put on repeat will do. I then go through my dance animations – now my animation manager pads. If an animation feels like it might be right, I “tag it”. For my new organizer, I can click the memory button and it will remember, giving me a list and folder of the animations at the end. For the Boom Station organizer I would click on it to give me a copy of the animation so that I could put them all from inventory into a choreo HUD at one time when I was done. Before these organizers I used to write the names down, find them in inventory, and copy it to the HUD.
Selecting the animations is kind of like brain storming in a way – if I get a feeling that the animation will work well in the dance, I tag it. I don’t over think it – I just toss it out there. This is a 2 second decision usually, not a lot of thinking. Occasionally I’ll spend a few seconds thinking about it, but not often. I narrow down the animations I use later as I begin working on the actual choreography. I don’t limit my animations to just hip hop – I go through all the main store and abranimation ones, sometimes the misc ones, sometimes not.
Stage 1: quick selection from dance animation inventory.
Similar to: picking possible paint color cards at the store.
Stage 2: begin choreography and narrow down the animations that will be used.
Similar to: picking the best paint colors to paint your walls.
By doing a quick pick first, I go based on feeling and gut instinct. If I thought about it too hard, I might decide “naaah” that won’t work. Because it’s gut instinct, I tend to have some very interesting choices in there, some of which make it into the final dance. Because I go through my animations frequently and freestyle, I’ve gotten to know a lot of them which helps too.
I also find this helps me work faster as I’ve narrowed down the animations I’m going to actually work with to choreograph. How many? Usually around 100-160, but my final dance usually has 30-40.
Does everyone do it this way? Definitely not. Does this mean they’re doing it wrong? Definitely not. Does everyone use the same amount of animations? Most definitely not. Will I change the way I do it? Possibly – I’m always open to more efficient and fun ways to do things that help me create what is in my head. Everything evolves.
Before I start the choreography, I’ll switch into my costume. I may switch into my costume tonight to see how the costume is flowing with the animations. It wouldn’t be the first time I changed costumes as I was choreographing, hence why I don’t purchase dancer costumes until later. Honestly, this morning I really didn’t want to change and instead drank my coffee with one hand and chose animations with the other…
I’m glad to be back on the horse again, I know why I fell behind and I’ll be writing that in another post – Too Many Peas.
Blind & Frozen Timeline
Start date – 6/2
Performance date – 7/13
|1||6/2||Choose the music||6/2|
|1||6/2||Buy or download the music||6/2|
|2||6/3||Write up an outline for the dance, background, the story, ideas, feelings, how many dancers, etc.||6/3|
|4||6/5||Edit the music (if needed)||HOLD|
|4||6/5||Pick a costume, or something similar to what will be my costume||6/5|
|5||6/6||Listen to music for dance and change ideas||6/8|
|8||6/9||Choose animations||IN PROGRESS|
|14||6/15||Work on choreography and record|
|22||6/23||Create style cards for dancers|
|25||6/26||Plan out movers and create routes|
|27||6/28||Test and adjust movers and choreography|
|30||7/1||Test and adjust|
|31||7/2||Pack up set|
|33||7/4||Make any final adjustments|
|33||7/4||Take a copy of set and movers into inventory|