French chorégraphie, from Greek choreia circular dance + French -graphie writing -graphy
- 1: the art of symbolically representing dancing
- 2a : the composition and arrangement of dances especially for ballet
- b : a composition created by this art
- 3: something resembling choreography <a snail-paced choreography of delicate high diplomacy — Wolfgang Saxon>
Choreography is the art of designing sequences of movements in which motion, form, or both are specified. Choreography may also refer to the design itself. The word choreography literally means "dance-writing" from the Greek words "χορεία" (circular dance, see choreia) and "γραφή" (writing). A choreographer is one who creates choreographies by practicing the art of choreography.
The word "choreography" first appeared in the American English dictionary in the 1950s and "choreographer" was first used as a credit for George Balanchine in the Broadway show On Your Toes in 1936. Prior to this, stage and movie credits used phrases such as "ensembles staged by" "dances staged by" or simply "dances by" to denote the choreographer.
Dance choreography is also known as dance composition. Choreography is used in a variety of fields other than dance, including cheerleading, cinematography, gymnastics, fashion shows, ice skating, marching band, show choir, theatre, and synchronized swimming.