Curious about what's involved in choreographing for a production? Well, you’re in luck! We chatted to Crissie Field, the choreographer for our upcoming panto Treasure Island to find out all about the role…
So Crissie, what does the choreographer role involve?
Putting together pieces for each of the musical numbers in the show. This can range from a solo dance to a dance involving the whole cast.
And at what stage do you usually get involved in a pantomime?
My job is one of the easiest to start, and this can be six months before rehearsals start.
First, I meet with the director/s to go through each musical number (and choose music if needed. Once the piece of music is chosen, we discuss if they have a style or mood in mind and the possible number of cast required, whether they start on stage etc. Between the two of us and the sound engineer we then come up with a suitable length and cut of the music.
Then the fun starts. I don’t often know where the music will take me. I listen to each track over and over (and sometimes over!) to get a feel for what moves will work and then build a routine around it. I need to have everything ready before rehearsals start.
I then have to teach all the routines during rehearsals.
What do you enjoy most about the role?
Definitely creating something that starts as an idea in my head and seeing it come to life on stage.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging about the role?
Quite often a piece of music will get me stumped, but after hundreds of listens, I always manage to put something together. That and the urge to get up and perform!
How did you get involved in amateur dramatics?
I spent my childhood in am dram productions and my love of performing keeps me doing it. Although now I get to enjoy seeing my creations come to life.
Do you have a background in dance, and do you think this is important for choreographing?
I have danced on and off for many years and have been choreographing for Twyford for over ten years. I guess a dance background isn’t essential, but it does help when breaking down everything to teach it.
And finally, what can audience members expect from the dances in the panto?
Cheerful upbeat numbers to dark and stormy moody ones and everything in between!
If you'd like to find out more about choreographing for a Twyford Drama production, visit our Get Involved page and get in touch.