In the language of dance, choreography is the art of designing dance moves. Sometimes the word choreography is used in reference to the particular dance arrangement. To come up with a dance or dance moves combination that has never been seen before, the services of a choreographer are required. The main role of a choreographer when creating a dance arrangement is to ensure coordination, timeliness, and expression. Choreography dance is often referred to as dance composition because of the aspect of arrangement used to set body rhythm.
Other aspects of choreography that are used in designing dance choreography are non-rhythmic or rhythmic articulation, compositional use of organic unity, repetition and variation. A choreographed dance will in most cases make use of improvisation so as to come up with innovative ideas concerning movement. It is important for a choreographed piece to have a specific flow of movement that utilizes shape, space, energy and time. The movements must convey emotion and purpose without having to elaborate on words. There is nothing new about the movements that are used in designing choreographed dance because all manipulations of the body involved have been adopted from existing dance techniques. Contemporary jazz, hip-hop, jazz dance, folk dance, ballet, techno, religious dance, pedestrian movements are some of the basics used to compose choreographed dance. The most innovative performances, however, include moves taken and combined from all these fronts.
A choreography dance is designed through the application of either one or both of the methods discussed. The first one is improvisation and the choreographer uses this technique to score the dancer or group. The purpose of this is to create movement and form. As an example, a choreographer may direct one dancer to move away from another member of the group and at the same time, direct the second dance to resist the withdrawal. The second techniques used in the design of choreography dance is planned choreography and here the choreographer dictates form and motion in the details. In this approach, the dancer is not given an opportunity to apply a personal interpretation.
There is no strict rule as to how choreography dance should be designed but following a simple set of tips will make the process more elaborate and detailed. In the case where two or more people are performing a choreography dance, mirroring where performers face each while doing the same thing, retrograding where performers execute a series of moves but in the reverse, cannoning where dancers are doing the same move but one, in turn, leveling where people have levels of dancing within a group, shadowing where dancers stand in single file doing the same move, and unison, where more than one person is performing a number of moves in unison, are some tips to help in arranging a performance.