Created By: ryanasaurus0077 on September 10, 2015 Last Edited By: Arivne on August 13, 2017

Choreography Porn

Your dance is ready for its closeup.

Name Space:
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Page Type:
Trope
Needs a Better Description, Needs More Examples.

So you've got a choreographed dance. You want to describe it as best as you can, but you need to list every last step, every last turn, every last jump, in order to do so. So what do you do? You do just that. And it is absolutely a balletomane's dream come true.

In visual works, expect a lot of closeups, particularly of the arms and feet, and perhaps even some slow-mo. Written works will most often be very descriptive about the dance being performed, perhaps even down to the last detail.

Can apply to any athletic event that involves a lot of kinesis on the performer's part.

Sub-Trope of Shoot the Money. May involve Body Doubles, which often incurs Fan Letdown or Critical Backlash. For similar treatment of other inanimate objects, compare Gun Porn, Food Porn, Costume Porn, Scenery Porn, Car Porn, etc.

Not to be confused with a well-choreographed porn movie.


Examples:

Anime And Manga
  • Princess Tutu shows its work with such bravado, its attention to detail has been used to teach dance appreciation classes.

Film
  • Black Swan is an example which notoriously makes at least some use of body doubles.
  • Bring It On shows a lot of cheerleading, to the point where it more or less averts the Hollywood stereotype.
  • The Cutting Edge does this to figure skating.
  • The Karate Kid puts on a heavy display of... you know.
  • In Staying Alive a large percentage of the screen time was of montages of dance rehearsals, as well as the finale Broadway show. All involved heavily choreographed dancing.
  • The Step Up franchise would probably be less than half the length if you took out the dancing scenes. This trope is pretty much the entire reason it exists.
  • Fred Astaire loved this trope, to the point where he took it Up to Eleven by famously dancing from floor to wall to ceiling in a single take in Royal Wedding.

Western Animation
  • Many Jem "music videos" are heavy on the choreography.
Community Feedback Replies: 37
  • September 10, 2015
    Alucard
    • The Step Up franchise would probably be less than half the length if you took out the dancing scenes. This trope is pretty much the entire reason it exists.

    May also want to mine this list for examples.
  • September 10, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    • In Staying Alive a large percentage of the screen time was of montages of dance rehearsals, as well as the finale Broadway show. All involved heavily choreographed dancing.
  • September 10, 2015
    Boston
    Bring It On falls into this category, even if it's cheerleading as opposed to dance. So too The Cutting Edge (substituting figure skating/ice dance for dance), The Karate Kid for martial arts, and plenty others. Tropes Are Flexible, after all.

    Subtrope of Shoot The Money. May involve Body Doubles, which oftem incurs Fan Letdown or Critical Backlash.
  • September 11, 2015
    ryanasaurus0077
    Any help with the description? Any more examples? Any hats?
  • September 12, 2015
    Boston
    I'm trying to think of specific scenes from Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and Flashdance.

    What separates this from Skill Building Montage? Or just Establishing Character Shot?
  • September 12, 2015
    ryanasaurus0077
    The Establishing Character Moment is just that: the establishment of a single character. And Skill Building Montage (is it even called that?) involves training sequences, as opposed to actual performances.
  • September 13, 2015
    Boston
    But in a movie where the principal character is a dancer, their Establishing Character Moment is, by nature, going to be of them dancing.

    Most of the movies I listed have a Skill Building Montage (obviously not!), which leads to a lot of Choreography Porn. Does it really have to be a finished, polished routine?

    I'd add, out of obviousness, the television series Dancing With The Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, as well as Americas Got Talent and (to a lesser degree) American Idol.

    Would the "steerage" scene from Titanic count? Or any number of "now where entering a fancy nightclub" scenes from James Bond / Bourne / Austin Powers count? What about the "Zion is an EDM rave party" scene from the third Matrix film?
  • September 13, 2015
    jayoungr
    For the "visual works" section, I'm confused as to how this is different from just a filmed dance number. Is this intended for works that are not musicals? But even some non-musicals contain dance sequences. Or does it have to do with the way the dance is presented?
  • September 13, 2015
    ryanasaurus0077
    I think it has something to do with how the dance is presented, yeah.
  • September 14, 2015
    jayoungr
    ^ Okay...but what, exactly? I mean, if you want to present "every last step, every last turn, every last jump" in a filmed dance number, you do minimal camera tricks and just show the dance. (That's why Fred Astaire insisted on having his dances filmed in such a way that his whole body could be seen at all times.) If you're doing slow-motion time distortion and zooming in for closeups of hands and feet, the effect is more an impressionistic idea of what the dance is like than a detailed presentation of the dance itself.

    Also, it seems like in the trope as described, the visual and written components are opposites. The visual version actually makes it harder for the audience to see every detail of the dance (by focusing on specific parts), while the written version meticulously describes every detail of the dance so that the readers can picture it.
  • September 14, 2015
    ryanasaurus0077
    How would you suggest I rewrite the description?
  • September 14, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    ^^ Some films do close and medium shots so that you can see the move in full as well as specifics of those moves. Say a dancer is spinning around, we see her spinning, and there is a close up of her feet so we can see just how she's pulling off the footwork for that move.
  • September 15, 2015
    jayoungr
    ^^ That depends on what the heart of the trope is—something I'm still confused about. From the title, I'd guess it's something about drawing attention to the choreography, making sure the audience/readers think about or focus on it. Does that sound right?

    ^ You mean like showing the same move from different angles/perspectives, either in sequence or with multiple images at the same time?
  • September 15, 2015
    ryanasaurus0077
    Perhaps. And I was thinking the exact same thing about Dragon Quest Z's theory.
  • September 15, 2015
    Boston
    I think the trope description risks falling into "media with dance in it." The 'porn' part of the name suggests that, much like Scenery Porn isn't fundamental to a narrative, Choreography Porn goes beyond establishing that a character can dance. (I suspect, like porn, it does provide equal amounts of Filler and Fan Service.)

    By means of example, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines have a duet in White Nights, but it serves as both a great depiction of dance, but also a growing rapport between the two men, as well as building a bridge across cultural and racial borders.
  • September 15, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    "^ You mean like showing the same move from different angles/perspectives, either in sequence or with multiple images at the same time? "

    Yes. That way the dancing can be shown in greater detail.

    ^ Well if the scenes also focus on the dancing visually (haven't seen the movie, so this is just an if), then it uses this trope for that purpose.

    And yeah, the description needs work.
  • October 1, 2015
    ryanasaurus0077
    OK, how do you suggest I go about it?
  • October 10, 2015
    jayoungr
    My recommendation for making the description clearer is to figure out exactly what is the trope and what isn't. Is the flashy camera work (multiple angles, slow motion, etc.) mandatory? If not, what else can cause this trope to happen? Can you think of any dance scenes that are not this trope, and if so, what is missing from them?
  • October 10, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Western Animation
    • The pampered show poodle Georgette from Disney's Oliver And Company awakens to a song-and-dance sequence as an Establishing Character Moment that depicts her as a self-centered diva. Her song "Perfect Isn't Easy" culminates in a Busby Berkeley step down a large spiral staircase, notable in that the staircase itself was a pioneering use of computer graphics. Georgette's animators matched her footfalls to the steps.
  • October 11, 2015
    AgProv
    Western Animation
    • Family Guy - it is a rare show without a prolonged piece of choreography porn. Peter's goal celebration on the American Football field, set to an obscure musical number, draws in everybody and a cast of hundreds are faithfully represented on screen. There are Stewie and Brian's frequent dance numbers; and then there is the sequence where animated Stewie is spliced into a live-action dance taken from an old Hollywood movie. Not to mention the opening credit sequence of the show...
  • October 11, 2015
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ Those just state the musical numbers, not how they fit this trope.
  • October 21, 2015
    ryanasaurus0077
    Typically in visual media there will be flashy camera stuff. That, while not in and of itself specifically required, is just one sign of this being in play.
  • October 22, 2015
    jayoungr
    Maybe some concrete examples will help. Would you say this qualifies for the trope? (Fred Astaire, from The Gay Divorcee).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3v5nqFAlIyg

    It's amazing dancing, but is it choreography porn?

    How about this one? (Fred again, from Easter Parade).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDgH_Z8438w

    This one uses some camera tricks.

    I'm picking on Fred Astaire because I just recently re-watched a bunch of his movies, so they're fresh in my mind, and also because he's currently listed as a prime example of the trope.
  • October 22, 2015
    DAN004
    Pretty sure we should count fight scene choreography too here. And breakdancing, and musicals'dancing sections, and...
  • March 31, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    • Many Jem "music videos" are heavy on the choreography.
  • April 1, 2016
    DAN004
    Well, what do you think about ^^ ?
  • April 1, 2016
    DAN004
    Well, what do you think about ^ ?
  • April 1, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    Accidental triple post.
  • April 1, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    Double post.
  • April 1, 2016
    Pichu-kun
    • Tribe Cool Crew uses this frequently as it's an anime about street dancing. There are frequent Art Shifts to rotoscoped CGI featuring characters dancing.

    • Many Music Videos feature heavy choreography.
  • April 1, 2016
    Snicka
    I guess the following could be added to the end of the description: Not to be confused with a well-choreographed porn movie.
  • April 2, 2016
    DAN004
    ^ indeed.
  • June 30, 2016
    ryanasaurus0077
    And here I thought all my open YKTTW's had failed... must be my broken morale regarding Fame Through Infamy and other YKTTW failures of mine.
  • August 12, 2017
    MABfan11
    would awesome fight choreography (Monty Oum) count as Choreography Porn?
  • August 13, 2017
    Arivne
    ^ I have watched Monty Oum's work (e.g. Haloid and Dead Fantasy) and I'd say it counts.

    You should add something about martial arts or combat maneuvers to the Description in order to make it clear that it fits.
  • August 13, 2017
    Antigone3
    If Busby Berkeley directed it, it contains dance examples of this trope.
  • August 13, 2017
    alnair20aug93
    Suggestion for alt title: Awesome Dancing
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=b7uni6exr8azlphyt0kv3pc1