General English

  • noun the art of arranging the steps for a dance


  • The art of devising and directing dances for the ballet ormusical theater. Choreography developed alongside the art of ballet,one of the best known early exponents being Charles Louis Beauchampat the court of Louis XIV. One of the most original and controversialchoreographers of modern dance was the American Martha Graham, whosework greatly affected the dancing seen in plays and films. The modernenergetic style of stage dancing was introduced to the US theaterwith Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!. In 1957 JeromeRobbins combined classical ballet with jazz rhythms in his choreographyfor West Side Story.

Origin & History of “choreography”

Choreography ‘arrangement of dances’ comes from French choréographie, which was based on Greek khoreíā ‘dance’, a derivative of khorós. (source of English chorus, choir, and possibly also carol, this originally encompassed dancing as well as singing.) Khoreíā passed into Latin as chorea, applied in English to various muscular disorders (such as Huntington’s chorea); the usage probably originated in the Latin phrase chorea sancti Viti ‘St Vitus’s dance’.