A Backstage View of Professional Dance Productions

by frank-stuart

Behind the razzle and dazzle of every on stage performance lies the creative concepts of talented choreographers, directors, dancers and technical crews. If you’re interested in an entertainment career, a dance course can open the door to learning the craft of professional show production through developing elite performance skills.

As well as enabling you to perform on stage, becoming a professional dancer can also be the first step towards learning how to choreograph and even direct productions.

Where the show begins

Production teams work together on concepts relating to the overall theme of a show, blending talents and skills for music arrangements, stage blocking, choreography, and set logistics. Generally, it all begins with auditions for talent within an extensive pre-production plan. Here is a look at each of the roles that contribute to a successful show.

The role of professional dancers

Show production teams scout for talent by holding dance auditions. A Bachelor of Dance can help you on your way to success by giving you the professional skills you need to stand out from the crowd.

Auditions are held individually or in large groups. Dancers are taught choreography to perform for a panel of judges. It’s also possible to design your own show reel to send to directors if you can’t attend auditions.

Once selected, under the direction of the choreographer, dancers commence rehearsals to learn choreography and stage blocking. As well as working as a team, dancers often help with creative concepts and the overall planning of the production, including costume needs and props management.

The role of the choreographer

A choreographer creates and teaches dance steps and stylised movement, either as the head of a production or with a director. Working alongside the dancers, choreographers run rehearsals and provide critiques on performance standards. Many choreographers also take lead roles or fill in for dancers when necessary.

As all movement on stage needs to blend with the overall vision, choreographers work closely with the lighting, costuming and technical crews to support the artistic goal of the show. It’s important for choreographers to maintain a holistic view of the production in order to bring the elements together on stage.

A dance course is a valuable tool if your goal is to become a choreographer. Nearly all choreographers start out as professional dancers, honing their skills for creating original movement and instructing others on the art of performing.

The role of the director

Having gained experience in performing, many dancers and choreographers branch out into the area of show direction. The director creates a vision, based on a script, a musical theme or an artistic goal, and leads the entire production team towards developing and performing a show.

Each member of the production team answers to the director with regard to all show elements, therefore directors must have keen organisational skills and the ability to view the show as a final production, in order to piece it all together.

On with the show

Even when a show is running, rehearsals continue to ensure performance quality and maintain synchronicity. Often, dancers have to rehearse immediately before a live show.

The perfect picture of glitz and glamour the audience sees is very different to the appearance of chaos backstage. With costume changes, different stage entrances and exits, props revolving and backdrops moving, being back-of-house as a performer means a lot of rushing around in order to look spectacularly graceful once on stage.

The excitement of being on stage, or seeing your creative visions come to life, is the reward for the hard work and creative challenges involved in show production. With a dance course, you can be on your way to joining the exhilarating world of entertainment.

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