The Creativity of Choreography: A Conversation with Lauri Kraft

By Jocelyn Horazdovsky

When you think of choreography, what do you think of? While many people think of dance, "Anything Goes" choreographer Lauri Kraft thinks of many more things.

Great choreography is essential to a great musical. We sat down with Lauri Kraft, the choreographer of "Anything Goes" at Lyric Arts to learn more about her role in creating a show.

"I think my primary job is storytelling, so I am doing my job if I am making sure that the story is continued through the dance numbers" Kraft said. "In this show, some of the dance numbers even help tell the story as far as the relationship between the characters."

"Anything Goes" is a musical that features several dazzling dance numbers with many styles, including tap.

"The tap itself is  interesting because it can't just be about making sounds. It's got to have movement as well. So, you're thinking about the movement for each individual person as well, and then how all those people fit together and make a pattern on the stage," Kraft said. 

Sometimes, the role of choreography in a show isn't all visual. Sometimes, it's emotional as well.

"The third thing is using dance to set mood, to set tone, and then help create character," Kraft said. "Each character is moving in a different way, and body language does so much to convey things, sometimes before you can even say anything."

But does it take a great dancer to make the dance numbers what they are?

"My job is to make people look good, no matter what their abililty. If I'm not doing that, I'm not doing my job," Kraft said. "It's not really about superimposing my steps or vision of dance on them, but it's about taking everything they have and making it shine."

Be sure to catch "Anything Goes" at Lyric Arts running now until August 6!