4 Steps to Interpret and Deliver the Character/Concept/Message

by | Jun 1, 2016

You have been selected to learn a new choreography and now you are faced with the challenge of interpreting a concept for the choreographer. Follow these steps to bring that character, message, or concept to life through thoughtful facial expressions and movement.

  1. Understand what the Choreographer Wants

Most likely before you start the creative movement process, the choreographer will discuss what they want to achieve and what their inspiration is for the choreography. This is your chance to clarify any uncertainty you may have about what exactly the choreographer wants.

Sometimes the choreographer may start to create movement by using the strengths of the dancers and develop a concept as the rehearsals progress. If this is the case, don’t fret; still follow the steps below to see how you can improve as a dancer.

  1. Explore what the Concept Means to YOU

After your first rehearsal, think about the initial movement and concept and explore what it means to you. If there is a message to be delivered, do you identify with it? How does the movement make you feel? What about the music, does it help you understand what the choreographer wishes to convey? Use everything that is at your disposal to help you study for your part in the dance. You may even call inspiration from the costume you will be wearing. Basically, continue exploring every creative outlet.

  1. Discuss your Findings with the Choreographer

Exploring the concept may bring up questions you might not have asked during the first rehearsal. During an opportune moment where you will not be disrupting the rehearsal time, approach the choreographer to clarify any new questions. Also, use this opportunity to discuss what they would want you to do with your face. Do they want you to look pleasant, stoic, sad, happy…whatever it is, make sure you are clear.

  1. Practice in Front of the Mirror

Now that you know what the concept means to you and what the choreographer will want your facial expressions to be, practice in front of the mirror. Try playing the music in the background as you mark the steps in your head and do facials that match the movement and concept. If the choreographer wants you to look happy; for example, make sure you have a range of smiles, closed lips, full smile with teeth, etc. You want to make sure you look natural. Think about a time you were experiencing the emotion you need to portray and see how you feel. Most likely, natural expressions will happen when you transport yourself to a time where you were experiencing that particular emotion.


All in all, the most important factor is to feel 100% confident about the dance so that it translates to your movement and expressions.



  1. Getting Recital Ready - Carla Otero Dance - […] pensive or sad; for example. It all depends on what the choreographer/teacher wants. Check out this article for more help…

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