Thursday, May 8, 2014

What is a Choreopoem?

According to Wikipedia (and all her librarian colleagues groaned collectively) a choreopoem is "a form of dramatic expression that combines poetry and dance."

Sort of like this, I guess.

This week's author, Ntozake Shange, created the term in 1975 to describe this week's review book, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf.

For Colored Girls... has been performed on Broadway and off Broadway, plus adapted for television and film. It was nominated for a Tony in 1977 for Best Play.

For Colored Girls... is performed by seven women,
each identified by the color they're wearing.

So the format of choreopoem seems to be the sort of thing you have to see to get. (Expect to hear more about that in my review tomorrow.) You can write all the stage directions and visual descriptions you want, but a choreopoem - like a play or a screenplay - is meant to be seen.

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