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drill vs. choreography in drum corps shows, 2 questions

2 questions  

70 members have voted

  1. 1. Which is harder to teach?

    • choreography
      37
    • drill
      12
    • they are equally hard to teach
      21
  2. 2. Which is harder to perform?

    • choreography
      27
    • drill
      24
    • they are equally hard to perform
      19


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24 minutes ago, karuna said:

lol you're going to go there.  nothing -- i repeat -- nothing a drum corps does is remotely similar to a broadway show or modern ballet.  sounds like you've been sold the same bill of goods.  even the lowliest chorus member or junior ballet dancer makes anything anyone does in a drum corps look like kindergarteners romping around their classroom.

but for arguments sake let's go to the broadway musical.  during a broadway production the performers are playing their instrument  (their voice) while traveling from point A to point B.    i'm not seeing that in fluttering travels.  why?  because you can't flutter and keep the mouthpiece still.  BUT if you choose a form of motion more appropriate to the venue (ie MARCHING) you actually CAN play and move.  Not only that,  the movement (instead of being functional and moving from A to B) takes on an entirely new dimension:  it manipulates space and shape.  Furthermore the movement keeps the instrument pointed to the audience (whereas fluttering is always traveling with the body oriented in the direction of travel).  Finally the simultaneous demands of movement and playing place very high burdens on the performers (again unlike the functional flutter).

So drill is actually MORE like a broadway show than fluttering around

dude you do NOT want to keep going.  this was (and is ) all about reducing exposure to error.   it's why it was introduced.  and it's why it's spreading.  and it's a sin against god, country, the pope and zingali.   

(functional -- one the most frightening words you could ever hear from a judge in critique.  now every single flutter is functional;  it's sole purpose is move performers from A to B.  is anyone hearing that F word in critique?  somehow i doubt it.  they are all buck naked sitting there admiring their new clothes)

Going to go where?

Bill of goods?

What on earth are you going on about?

When a person is directed to go from here to there... and they repeat the direction, they have been choreographed.

Look up the word for goodness sake.  You are adding definitions to get the goal post where you want it.

These silly discussions remind me of the old movie "White Christmas" where Danny Kaye laments "they're doing choreography".

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1 minute ago, cfirwin3 said:

Going to go where?

Bill of goods?

What on earth are you going on about?

When a person is directed to go from here to there... and they repeat the direction, they have been choreographed.

Look up the word for goodness sake.  You are adding definitions to get the goal post where you want it.

These silly discussions remind me of the old movie "White Christmas" where Danny Kaye laments "they're doing choreography".

<carefully avoids responding to most of the post by making a joke about the first sentence>

FTFY.  

Did you READ the rest of the post?

BTW I'm all for choreography.  I'm just comparing good choreography (moving and playing to get from A to B AKA drill) to bad choreography (running to get from point A to point B).  Oh it's all choreography no doubt about it.

 

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Most of these posts in this thread are making me do this 🤤 like sitting through philosophy class debating rather we are really here and whether the desks in the classroom really exist.

Here's my take- it's like comparing music in a show that has complicated technical rips and a more countable classical time feel to a show that has a complicated jazz feel. Two completely different things.

I feel some of the best classical musicians just don't have the "feel" for jazz music. But I personally was decent at jazz but struggled with technical pieces in college. 

With choreography it is somewhat dependent on member experience but I would think that some people catch on like 2nd nature and some people could practice 12 hours a day for months and still not get it.

Marching is much easier to measure and something that skill is easier to develop with blood, sweat, logic, and tears. 

In the end I feel it's comparing apples to oranges...but intentionally recruit a group that's natural with choreography than it's easier to teach, but if you don't aim for that than marching is likely easier to teach.

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12 hours ago, trumpetcam said:

You might be right. But when I look at the staff of the groups, there are several  well known dancers and choreographers on them. Like Broadway and Grammy/Tony award-winning well known. SCV is one of them. I’d gather those groups probably do it about as well as any non-lifelong trained dancer can do it. These kids now seem to have that training when they show up, it’s crazy. I know BD has separate movement/dance auditions before kids are even given a spot. I never would have made it if I had to dance/choreo like that.

A time-traveling you from back then would not have made it.

A reincarnated you of today would take it in stride.

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I love good traditional drill writing. I have also grown to love choreography if it's done well. 

I think it's more difficult to design choreography because it involves a number of things:

  • it may involve some traditional marching
  • jazz running for setup
  • body movement, dance, or some sort of acting and integration with other sections or the guard
  • it requires well-planned staging and a total connection with all designers, and not just the drill writer
  • it may require props and for the props to be used a certain way, perhaps with them needing to be moved at a specific time.
  • lots of timing issues
  • It requires the performers to use a higher degree of athleticism, which the teachers must plan for in the design process

None of this is to say traditional drill is easy or easy to design. What Crown is doing this year is extremely demanding, and they have a nice mix of drill and staging/choreography.

When it comes to teaching traditional drill or choreography/staging, I think both are probably equal. I might give a slight edge to choreography, again because of the coordination of so many elements. But breakneck drill design, in particular, with excellent guard inclusion and props can be maddening to say the least. 

Love both, love the variety of styles.

Edited by jwillis35

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4 hours ago, bluesman said:

In 2013 I almost gave up drum corps over the over use of electronics and amplification, but when I saw Troopers spectacular show I decided not to walk away. 

I thought 2013 was much better than 2010-2012 because corps finally started to dial down the thunderous goo.

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4 hours ago, MikeRapp said:

Requiring people to dance who can’t dance is painful to watch. 

It is regularly said here that back in the day, lots of drum corps members had never even played an instrument before joining corps.

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4 hours ago, cfirwin3 said:

When you come to the realization that drill IS choreography... and it is taught, performed and adjudicated AS choreography...

Life gets much more pleasant and freeing.

I'm glad someone already said this.

My two cents: regardless of whether drill choreography or non-drill choreography is more difficult to teach or perform (and obviously that depends on the drill and the choreography, but I'll concede that having to be clean with your whole body moving is harder than having to be clean with just the lower half of your body moving usually in the same regular way -- although as others have said, there's a case to be made that choreography in drum corps gets nowhere near as clean even by its own standards as drill needs to be), I find drill to be more visually satisfying on the large scale at which corps/bands visuals are presented.

Again, it reminds me a bit of figures in figure skating, except chronologically in reverse. The judges would be down on their knees to check the fine details of which competitor skated the cleanest figures. The audience in the stands couldn't tell and didn't care. Television wouldn't show it. And eventually figure skating stopped doing figures.

Whereas the audience in drum corps can generally tell which forms are cleaner, but they can't discern between the various individual body responsibilities the judges are sampling. And yet drill has become much less used in the past three or four years. I'm not sure why. Sometimes it seems as if designers are planning visuals more for close-ups than for the big picture. See also the repeated use of tarps that wash out in glare for many people in the stands.

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4 hours ago, karuna said:

Ridiculous.  Even the best colorguards in DCI are not really very good dancers (although there are a handful of real dancers in each guard).  Actual skill in dance takes many, many years of intensive training -- something most of them have never put in.   There's an entirely different standard for "color guard dance" and "dance" and those judging the activity understand this.   OTOH those guard members are amazing at spinning their equipment while doing "colorguard dance" underneath.  

The same goes for having corps members dance only 1000 times that.  Don't delude yourself into thinking anyone's hornline is actually doing dance.  The only dance I've ever seen drum corps do well is marching.  They're pretty darn good at that.  Amazingly enough that form of dance allows the musicians to  -- wait for it  -- PLAY THEIR INSTRUMENT while moving.  It's pretty astounding.

Even if some guard members don't dance as well as professional dancers, this does not take away the demand and skill needed, nor is it a reason to not include such skills in a program. Some kids can't play their instruments. There were plenty of those back in the day. Some were flat out bad. That didn't stop them from trying, and in fact teachers still want those kids to take part. If they don't make the cut with one corps, perhaps they can make another. 

Marching traditional drill and playing is not the only thing that a corps or band can do. I hope you're finding something to enjoy these days...because the drum corps world is not moving backwards, although I do think some things may come back from time to time.

Edited by jwillis35

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3 hours ago, karuna said:

But for argument's sake let's go to the Broadway musical: during a Broadway production, the performers are playing their instrument  (their voice) while traveling from point A to point B. I'm not seeing that in fluttering travels. Why?  Because you can't flutter and keep the mouthpiece still.

Even in Broadway musicals the featured dancers are often not the featured singers, even if everybody does some of both, and the hard dancing parts are usually not sung.

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