Category Archives: Choreography

30 Days of Creativity: Journal Ideas for Artists

In January I set myself a challenge: to spend just five minutes each day doing something creative. I let the terms be both loose and attainable so that I would be more apt to complete my own challenge.

I bought myself an art journal and prompted myself to be creative for 30 days. Not all of my creativity fell into the realm of journalling, but I did use it on more occasions than not.

The idea was to get creative rather than worry too much about what I was doing.

But here it is, my 30 days of creativity. I hope my ideas inspire you to start a creative journal or challenge of your own!

Day 1 – Goal Setting

While this may not seem the most interesting or creative of prospects, it seemed the right place to start. Goal setting puts my head on straight. It helps me zero in on what I am hoping to accomplish. Continue reading

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The Post Show Blues

Even with a successful season, you can’t make everyone happy. And, what even defines it as a success?

I am filled with a mix of emotions as I look back at the past season with Sasso & Company.  There have been a lot of hurdles along the way, but overall I would say we had a successful season.

Dance shows always leave me with this mix of euphoria and sadness; something that I call “the post show blues.”

There is a sense of wow we pulled this off.  We made dance and people paid to come out and see it.  Then you remember all of the little mistakes: a turn that didn’t go perfectly, a strap that fell off, hair that stuck in your lipstick, a lift that you thought was going to fall, and you start to wonder how the audience felt about the show.

If you have read some of my other posts, you’ll realize that the list of worries in the world of dance and live performance is seemingly longer than the list of positives.

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How to Really Run a Dance Show (and Sell Out)

What goes through your head when you are setting up a run of performances?  For me, I run the gamut of emotions. High on the list are excitement and fear – I get so excited to have the opportunity to share work with the world and get on stage and perform.

I also fear that no one will turn up to the performances and that I’ll put a ton of cash down and end up in the red.  While there is no guarantee that your show will be successful, I found a few things this season that helped make my shows a success and I would like to share them with you.

At the end of the day, running the show shouldn’t be terrifying. People will turn up if you prepare properly.

how to run a dance show

Everybody’s fear is not getting butts in seats

So, what’s the difference between a normal show and a Sasso & Company performance?

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Dancing the Distance: Near. Far. Together

I love chance technique.  I remember learning about Merce Cunningham for the first time when I was about eighteen and thinking how tough and ballsy his method sounded.  I was also terrified by the idea of not knowing the future (i.e. the next step or phrase).

As I have gotten older, I have really begun to fall in love with chance.  I find the entire experience exhilarating and thrilling.  You walk into the studio with an idea and then guide it slightly, or perhaps you  let it completely run wild.

Taking a chance in my work

My first experience using chance in my own choreography was in 2014 when I started creating a piece now called ‘Automatic Unconsciousness’.

To be really honest, I was struggling to come up with a storyline I wanted to tell, and was feeling a bit burnt out as a choreographer. But I went back to my roots and education, and I brought some tools to the studio.

For this piece, I used colored index cards labeled with a variety of things such as: Phrase A/Phrase B, invert, repeat, slow, fast, and more. First, I taught the phrases, then I had the dancers choose cards from each pile of: phrases, how to manipulate them, and speed suggestions.

We got to work and rather than ending up with too little material, we had far too many versions of all the phrases!  I was so intrigued and excited by how these simple manipulations created enough meat for an entire piece.

I believe that chance allows the dancers to have a deeper involvement in the creative process.  I also love knowing that we (as I believe chance often is a group process) can keep, discard, and further manipulate any material created.

Fast forward a couple of years and I have begun to challenge myself more and more to allow chance to be a part of my choreographic process.

Near Far Together Continue reading


Protecting Choreography from Being Copied

On how to protect your choreography from being copied, an issue I have, unfortunately worried about as an artist:

““The technical moves themselves are like words for an author,” she says, and therefore are available for anyone to use… But, says Haye, “when you put a series of words together, they become paragraphs and therefore copyrightable.”

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How to Leap 3,000 miles: Dancing the Distance

I naively thought that once I started my company and had a season, that things would sort of roll forward from there.

I would have an audition, gain some new dancers, create more work, and have more performances. I knew that it would always be hard work., even the big, established companies such as Paul Taylor Dance Company, continually seek to grow and engage audiences in new and innovative ways (hence the change to Paul Taylor’s American Modern Dance).

I am excited to pour myself into Sasso & Company, but I did not anticipate I would be directing my second season from across the Atlantic Ocean.

14758703045_bf1f554dd0_z Continue reading


Why You Can’t Stop Worrying When Creating a Self Funded Dance Show

I am all at once nervous and proud. In just a few short weeks, this dance show has come together. In September, when most companies are getting into their regular rehearsal schedule, I was contemplating if I would create anything at all. By December I was in the studio with two of my dancers creating a duet and experimenting with ideas surrounding love styles and Sternberg’s triangular love theory. As the work started coming together, I realized that I really wanted to produce a season and introduce my work as an independent choreographer and artistic director of LaceySassoDance/Sasso & Company.

Love in motion Dance show Continue reading


How to Easily Avoid Overcrowding Dances

I, like everyone else, have my preferred genre(s) of dance to perform, create, and view. I say this to recognize the fact that there were works in this show that I simply did not like, although this is valid, I also found myself walking away frustrated that choreographers seem to be missing the point of KEEPING IT SIMPLE.

Complexity Continue reading


Creating Dance and Working in the Face of Burnout

Let me tell you a bit about my recent experience with burnout. I will be bluntly honest and say that I am currently struggling with finding the creative energy to burst into the studio beaming about my newest ideas, amazing musical choices, and challenging steps, since all of these things seem to be evading me at the moment.

Creative Burnout Continue reading