Monday, July 12, 2010

Kur Design : A Chicken and Egg Puzzle

Designing a kur reminds me of the chicken and egg puzzle I often tried to unravel as a kid.   In this case, it's a question of which comes first, the music or the choreography.

For Piper's debut First Level kur, I have had a floorplan in mind for quite some time.   It includes interesting center line sequences at the beginning and the end of the test, has counter canter movements that aren't used in any USDF 2007 tests, is symmetric and pleasing to watch / judge, includes all of the required movements for a USDF First Level Freestyle, and does not include any movements from higher levels.

However, as I get closer to making the final selections on Piper's music, I can see that the choreography will need modification.   This, by the way, is not a surprise.

While I could simply ride the trot movements to Piper's trot music, the canter movements to his canter music, and the walk movements to the walk music, designing choreography that works well with the musical phrasing has the potential to vastly improve the overall entertainment value of the freestyle, and hopefully the scores earned as well.

For example, when the trot music builds to its strongest point, so should the trot.   Doing a lengthening or medium trot during a quiet phrase in the music is something I want to avoid.   The same holds true for the walk and canter.   And I will be aiming to avoid what I call "chippy choppy" music; music that starts and ends abruptly and includes musical transitions that make the listeners say, "Ouch!".

The challenge of designing a good kur is just that, a challenge.   But then, so is solving the chicken and egg puzzle....

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