Mark Diamond to Discuss Intricacies of Choreography

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Mark Diamond is passing down his choreographic knowledge to his students.

Now, he’ll be passing it down to those who attend Chautauqua Dance Circle’s Views On Pointe lecture at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ.

Diamond is the associate artistic director of Chautauqua Dance as well as program director of Charlotte Ballet  II. This summer, some of Diamond’s work has been performed in the Amphitheater, including “Ever After,” “Spartacus” and “Yamato.”

At Chautauqua, Diamond helps students create their own choreographic works each summer, and has been doing so for years.

The Choreographic Workshop will be at 4 p.m. Saturday at the Carnahan-Jackson Dance Studio.

Chautauqua Dance students are asked to create their own pieces and are encouraged to use groups, Diamond said. Other parameters include creating new movements, particularly contemporary, and having to pair up with the Music School Festival Orchestra students to use live music. Diamond said he wants students to find their aptitude for choreography.

But the biggest part of the equation is starting.

“It can be very hard and quite often, if you’re a dancer, you find yourself in a situation where you have to choreograph, even if it’s just now and then,” Diamond said. “It can be very daunting and difficult if you’ve never had any experience. So, this basically shows them how to get started and how to get some experience and how to build from year to year, if you continue to get opportunities to do choreography and to grow with it.”

Originally, 22 student pieces were created. Eleven will be performed in the workshop and three or four will be performed Sunday in the second Chautauqua Dance Company Student Gala of the summer.

“They have to actually have personal experience so [through the program,] they’ll have personal experience with working with other dancers who are going to be ordering them what to do and creating steps for them and they’re going to be in charge,” Diamond said. “If you’re not used to directing people it can be very daunting.”

The final Views on Pointe lecture will be at 3:30 p.m. Aug. 15 in the Hall of Christ. Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, president and artistic director of Chautauqua Dance and the Charlotte Ballet, will present “Charlotte Ballet Highlights” and provide a look into the company.

Rebekah Barnes

The author Rebekah Barnes