Steamboat Dance Theatre Choreographers Handbook Updated June 2009 Welcome to Steamboat Dance Theatre’s (SDT) annual show. We are delighted to have you choreograph for the show and look forward to working with you. This manual is designed to help choreographers with timelines, production expectations, costumes and overall guidelines. From now until the show you will be working closely with the Artistic Director(s) and the Producer(s) also know as the Production Team. The Production Team will be in charge of ensuring things are going smoothly, troubleshooting, and offering support or suggestions when necessary. Someone from the Production Team will be attending your rehearsals to help you stay on track and offer creative ideas. The following are the considerations of your role as a choreographer; Dance Pieces: 1. We encourage pieces of various levels and numbers of dancers since we are a large organization with varying degrees of dance ability. Typical pieces should range between 2-5 minutes. Any pieces longer than 5 minutes require review and approval from the production team. 2. When choosing music, costumes and choreography, keep in mind the SDT concert is a family show. Any questionable language, costumes and movements will be subject to approval by the production team. 3. At the choreographers meetings please have details about your piece and costumes ready for presentation. This will help the Artistic Director(s) get an idea of the ―flow of the show‖. If at anytime your piece changes after the choreographers meeting and/or auditions (i.e. music, style, dancers, etc.) you are asked to inform the Production Team. 4. In the event there are too many pieces submitted for consideration you may be asked to audition your piece for the Production Team. Auditions: 1. Each choreographer will present a brief description of their piece including; music, number of dancers, genre, costume description and projected rehearsal schedule. 2. Every choreographer will be assigned an audition time in the amount of 10-15 minutes. Come prepared to teach a section of your dance that will best represent what you are looking for, typically 4 – 6 counts of eight. After teaching your segment it’s recommended you break the dancers into groups and rotate lines while reviewing the talent. At the same time other choreographers will be watching to give you input on your decision. It’s customary that you do the same for other pieces. 3. When the auditions are over the choreographers will stay and go through the sheets to develop the cast list. Every dancer should be cast in at least one piece. NOTE: You must be flexible. Not everyone will get the dancers they want (ability-wise) and may have to accept more than they need in order to include all dancers. Be prepared to stay as long as it takes to place all dancers and be sure you leave with your assigned dancers contact list. 4. When choosing your dancers take into consideration that you will most likely lose at least 1 or more dancers in the course of rehearsals due to injuries or family issues. In particular, if you have piece that requires paired dancers it highly recommended you have several back up dancers. Rehearsals: 1. Each choreographer will receive one hour per week of rehearsal time following auditions. Any additional rehearsals before auditions and/or outside the normally scheduled time will be the financial responsibility of the choreographer, at the current studio rental rate. The only exception is if a regular rehearsal falls on a holiday and a make-up rehearsal is scheduled. 2. It’s important that you come prepared for your rehearsals so precious time is not wasted. Make sure you have your choreography, music and to be on time. Rehearsal times are tight, please stay within your scheduled time and respect the rehearsals right before and after yours. If you need to change or cancel a rehearsal contact your dancers and studio owner/manager with as much notice as possible. 3. Typically a dancer can miss only 2-3 unexcused rehearsals (i.e. forgot, didn’t call or no show). At this point, it’s the choreographer’s discretion to release or replace the dancer. Excessive absences make it difficult for dancers and you to make progress. 4. Please take care of the rehearsal space. It is your responsibility to clean up after your dancers and lock up if you are the last. Generally, there’s a closing list posted. Costumes: 1. Choreographers need to attend a mandatory review meeting mid-November set by the Production Team where costumes, sponsorships and progress of dance piece will be discussed. 2. Check the SDT costume inventory and other local dance schools inventory before making any purchases (current list is included in this manual). 3. If costumes are not order by 2nd showing the Production Team will intervene. Choreographers who do not have their costumes by the 2nd showing will not be given the opportunity to choreographer in the following year’s concert. 4. Each choreographer is allowed $15 per dancer if needed. 5. Choreographers are responsible for finding a sponsor to ―fund‖ costumes/props for their piece. (See sponsor sheet and sample solicitation letter included in this manual.) a. Turn sponsor form into Program/Ad Director. b. Turn sponsor money into Treasurer. c. Purchase costumes by end of November. Hand in receipts to Treasurer for reimbursement. d. At conclusion of show all costumes paid for by SDT must be given to the Costume Coordinator with an inventory sheet that lists sizes, colors and quantities. Also make a note of any costumes paid and retained by dancers. e. If dancers wish to purchase their costumes the money needs to be paid to choreographer. Any money collected from dancers that purchased costumes should be subtracted from any reimbursement receipts submitted to SDT. f. If ordering costumes from a dance catalogue allow 6-8 weeks minimum. Choreographers Jobs: Below is a list of jobs necessary to produce the show. Each choreographer is asked to sign up for at least one. 1. Newspaper article and advertising – needs to be coordinated with the Steamboat Pilot/Today and The Local in January (6-8 weeks prior to the concert date). a. Secure 4 Points article with pictures to run the week prior to the show. b. Send PSA to be included in Happenings/News in Brief sections. c. Paid advertising needs approval from the Production Team. d. Coordinate with Program Coordinator. 2. Radio/TV – contact KFMU, KBCR, KRAI and TV18. Write and provide a PSA (see sample PSA) for on air mentions and live interviews. a. Schedule live appearance on TV18, 7:30am Wednesday prior to concert. b. Schedule live interview on KBCR, 8:00am Thursday prior to concert 3. Poster Distribution – Coordinates with Poster Designer to distribute/hang posters in community two weeks prior to concert. i. All That Jazz ii. The Depot iii. Celebrations iv. Colorado Mtn. College v. Bud Werner Library vi. All grocery stores vii. Sundance Plaza retailers viii. Central Park retailers ix. Base of the ski mountain x. Downtown retailers & restaurants xi. West - Curve Plaza and Riverside Center retailers xii. Pine Grove Plaza retailers xiii. All dance studios and exercise facilities xiv. Craig/Hayden/Oak Creek 4. Tickets – The Treasurer is responsible for ALL aspects of collected money. a. Design tickets and coordinate ticket printing (in the past Postnet has printed tickets). b. Approach a retailer to sell concert tickets and provide ticket instructions. (See attachment.) If using All That Jazz, contact their designated ticket/event sales coordinator. c. Set up volunteers to assist selling tickets at retailer location the week of the concert. d. Pick up money and unsold tickets from retailer each night of concert and bring to high school ticket window. e. Arrange for ticket seller each night of concert at the high school. f. Track types of tickets sold, general verses reserved and especially the kids’ tickets for free night. All tickets for kids’ free performance are usually general admission – no reserved. 1 free kid’s ticket is provided with every purchased adult ticket. g. Unpaid tickets cannot be held at will call. h. Coordinate sponsor tickets with choreographers. i. Ensure ticket money is delivered to Treasurer each night of concert. j. Nancy Kramer receives two lifetime comp tickets. 5. Lobby Display – This job requires a creative eye to produce a photo montage of the entire cast and crew consisting of candid shots of rehearsals and behind the scenes. You will be given an expense budget. a. Take photos and/or arrange to collect photos from choreographers of their dancers. b. If necessary, secure easels for displays in the lobby starting with dress rehearsal. c. Coordinate displays with local dance instructors. 6. Costume Coordinator a. Collects all costumes from choreographers the last night of concert. b. Clean and inventory costumes by type, color and size. c. Add to master inventory list and store in costume closet. 7. Video a. Secure the videographer in late December or early January. b. If not a volunteer, request a bid and discuss budget with Producer(s) according to what has been budgeted. c. Choreographers typically receive one complimentary DVD. Additional copies may be purchased at the set rate. d. Post sign up sheet in dressing rooms during week of performance e. Payments procedure may vary. You can collect fees and pass along to the treasurer, give directly to the videographer or the videographer may bill the dancers directly. 8. Door/House Manager – This job should be filled by someone who is not performing in the concert. You will need to recruit someone who will lead the volunteer ushers (6-8) for each night to take tickets, man the doors and generally ensure the viewing pleasure of the patrons. a. b. c. d. You’ll need to help recruit ushers Ushers may watch the show after paying customers have been seated. Provide flashlights to ushers to assist patrons when lights are low. Theater access is only allowed between pieces so as not to allow ambient light to compromise performance. 9. Bake Sale – This is a big job, so start early and solicit helpers! There are several separate attachments to aid in this job—make sure you get them from producer. a. SDT may choose to either ―keep‖ the bake sale or to solicit local nonprofit groups for every night to handle the intermission bake sale and keep all profits. Past organizations have been: High School Dance Showcase, Girl Scouts Troops, etc. b. Arrange with building janitors to have tables set up and arranged in the commons. c. If SDT is covering a night, solicit dancers for baked items through sign up sheet and find volunteers to work the table during intermission. d. Possible vendors who have donated food and supplies in the past include: Steve Green Company Winona’s City Market Safeway Steamboat Coffee Rosters Freshie’s Chocolate Soup High Country Coca Cola Bottling Company Mt. Werner Water e. Consult existing Inventory (see separate list) for supplies left over from previous year. After the concert update the inventory so next year’s choreographer will have a current list. f. Consult separate ―Helpful Hints for Bake Sale‖ for details related to set up, needed supplies, money collection, etc. 10. Dance Directory – Gather list and descriptions of all local dance schools and provide to Program Director. 11. Flower Sales a. Secure your florist 2 months prior. We have succeeded in getting all flowers donated in the past. b. Start with bulk order of 40 flowers and add more for Saturday if necessary. (Past florists have been Safeway) c. Find volunteers to sell flowers prior to show and during intermission. d. Collect and deliver all monies to treasurer each night. 12. Cast Party – This is a big job and is suggested to involve at least 2-3 choreographers. ALL CHOREOGRAPHERS TAKING THIS JOB MUST STAY AFTER THE PARTY AND CLEAN UP, OR MAKE ARRANGEMENTS AHEAD OF TIME TO RETURN THE NEXT MORNING FOR CLEAN UP. a. Find out budget from Producer(s). b. Establish your number of attendees based on dancers and possible guests. c. Book venue in November allow for hours to decorate. d. Book caterer in November and fill in with any local donations from restaurants. e. Book DJ in November. f. Arrange for volunteers to help decorate the day of the event and clean up after the party g. Collect money for guests-- typically it’s been $10/guest depending on costs. h. Pay for decoration, sodas, bottled water, paper products, cups and ice. i. Coordinate food delivery and DJ equipment set up. j. Obtain limited liability insurance certificate from Producer(s). k. Ensure all food and beverage donators are listed and thanked in the program. 14. Sponsorship Coordinator—This person coordinates with choreographers and cast members to track all sponsoring businesses or individuals. a. Submit Sponsorship PSA (see sample) to the Happenings/News Briefs at the Pilot starting in January. You may have to send your request a couple times before they include it. Have it run until the program deadline for ads. b. Create a tracking list that indicates sponsor business, sponsor contact name and phone number, level of sponsorship, amount paid for sponsorship, the dance they’re sponsoring (if appropriate), the choreographer who solicited the sponsorship, and the night they would like their complimentary tickets. c. Supply completed list to Producer(s), Ticket Coordinator(s), and Program Coordinator(s). d. Ensure all monies have been delivered to treasurer by choreographers. e. Ensure all sponsors are listed correctly in program and/or on the back of the tickets. f. Send sponsors thank-you notes/letters signed by board immediately following the concert. 15. SDT Committees—Steamboat Dance Theatre has a number of ongoing Committees on which all SDT members are welcome and encouraged to serve. In the event that there are more choreographers than the amount needed to fill all of the above jobs, a choreographer may choose to actively participate on a committee as fulfillment of the job requirement. All of the above jobs are necessary and must be filled before a choreographer may choose this option. ** Choreographers are welcome to recruit cast members to participate on these committees and/or help with any choreographer job. Showings: 1. First showings take place around December or early January. They will be scheduled by the Artistic Director(s) and/or Producer(s) during your regularly scheduled rehearsal. This will be a time for the Artistic Director(s) to offer guidance, discuss costumes and answer your questions. A follow up showing may be scheduled at the Artistic Director(s) discretion. Choreographers should ensure all dancers are present at this showing. 2. The second showing is held at the high school (or performance venue) about one month prior to concert. All dancers are required to be there, the dance should be finished and complete costumes should be worn. (Reminder: If costumes are not order by 2nd showing the Production Team will intervene. Choreographers who do not have their costumes by the 2nd showing will not be given the opportunity to choreographer in the following year’s concert.) It’s your responsible to ensure this happens. a. A schedule will be posted in advance of each piece’s showing time. Your dancers are asked to arrive 15 minutes prior to their scheduled time. b. The 2nd showing is a chance to run your dance 1-2 times and video tape it for the choreographers meeting following the showing. It isn’t a time to stage or rehearse your dance. c. Bring a final edited version of your music for Sound Tech d. Bring your Choreographers Sheet filled out with props and lighting design information for the Lighting Designer. (Included in this manual.) e. Attend the potluck Choreographers’ meeting immediately following the showing. Location to be announced. The purpose of this meeting is to provide artistic feedback to the choreographers and review the video. f. At this meeting the Producer(s) gives the choreographers the option of either a private showing with comments from the Artistic Director(s), Producer(s) and one other choreographer or a public showing with other choreographers present. Other SDT business should not be discussed at this meeting. Even though changes have been made as a result of the 1st showing, the 2nd showing has the final word on ALL production concerns, including deletion or restating of a piece.) g. With the approval of the Production team, the choreographers may elect to hire (or contract on a volunteer basis) an outside professional for this critique session, where each piece is appraised privately. The interest of the concert as a whole remains the priority; however this allows for indepth personal growth and may be of interest to the artists involved. The Artistic Director(s) then oversees all changes and follows up with each choreographer, as discussed in their private critique. PRODUCTION/TECH/HELL WEEK: (The following is a schedule of Hell Week activities. Although it’s inevitable that it will change every year, this can be used as a basic starting template…) 1. Choreographers are responsible for helping to lay the Marley Floor. A schedule for the entire week will be posted in advance of Tech week. There will be limited 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. slots for stage time and are offered on a first come basis. Watch for the notice from the Producer(s). The Technical Director and Production Team will be in charge of the concert for the remainder of this production. They will set the rehearsal schedule and direct/instruct all performers and crew. There can be no additions to any dance numbers from this time on. This is very important to the predictability of the show. Finally, all choreographers and dancers should follow the directions of the Tech Director and Producer(s). This is a time in the production when EVERYONE is required to be present and ready to go (even if it means ―Hurry up and wait!‖) so be prepared. On the first two days of ―Tech‖ all musicians should arrive with the dancers to allow time for sound checks and set-up. They are required to hold to the same tech schedule as the dancers. Prior to load in and at the production, the Technical Director needs to conduct a walk through of the auditorium and stage with the High School representative to evaluate and note condition of the facility. Prior to the first scheduled tech time, the stage should be cleaned and prepared for the Marley floor to be laid and taped. Choreographers should be scheduled for this job. Although there will be a lot of critiquing, staging, and cleaning of each individual piece during this tech time, it is designated mainly for lighting design and that will have priority over ―rehearsing.‖ If rehearsal/stage time is needed, then the choreographer may schedule a designated time slot with the Producer for that purpose. The Tech Director will be directing an estimated 100 people, so choreographers should be respectful and empathetic of the time restraints on the crew. Be prepared to stay for notes from Artistic Director(s) at the end of each tech rehearsal. As the week progresses, keep in mind that DANCE is our principal goal. Laughter/FUN is welcome just be sure to respect the Tech Director’s requests and instructions. It is critical for our success! Clean up & Breakdown: Each night specific dances will be in charge of certain clean up duties, please do your part. On the last night of the show the stage needs to be ―broken down‖ before anyone goes to the cast party. A list of specific duties will be provided. Good luck and have a great show! Merde! I have read and understand the parameters of my involvement as a choreographer for the annual Steamboat Dance Theatre concert. Signature Print Name _______________ Date Please hand in your signed sheet to Producer at the 2nd Choreographers meeting or Auditions.