Top 8 Quotes & Sayings by Cholly Atkins

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Cholly Atkins

Charles "Cholly" Atkins was an American dancer and vaudeville performer, who later became noted as the house choreographer for the various artists on the Motown label.

September 30, 1913 - April 19, 2003

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Actual Approach Area Artist Association Back Background Bars Basically Beat Hide All Breath Cadillacs Cases Catch Choreographers Choreography Concerned Consideration Couple Dancers Dictate Difference Drama Established Eventually Fact Girl Girl Groups Give Group Groups Happy Happy Marriage Honor Identity Important Important Thing In Other Words Instrumental Line Lyric Make Make Your Move Marriage Material Mike Most Important Thing Moved Movement Movements Music Musical Natural Order Other Girl Pattern Performers Personalities Physical Projection Proper Retain Rhythmic Singers Singing Sort Speaking Specific Start Story Style Talent Talented The Most Important Thing Things Thought Track Training Tune Vocal Wanted Words Worked Working Less More Hide All See All
You had to give, uh, a lot of consideration to the fact that, uh, the artist had to come back into the mike area and start singing, especially the background singers, you know. And you had to make sure they had a couple of bars of music in order to catch their breath. And uh, in many cases a lot of choreographers didn't give that, uh, the proper thought.
In vocal choreography you had to give a lot of consideration to the fact that you were working with singers and not dancers. But you had to make singers look like they were dancers, and to make the movements as natural as possible, and there to be an association with the movement, uh, somewhat to what the lyric was saying.
speaking with, uh, about the vocal choreography, one of the first groups that I worked with was a group called the Cadillacs, which was uh, an exceptionally talented group. They all moved well and they sort of established Cholly Atkins's style. In other words they basically put me on the map, and everybody would look at them and see their choreography and they wanted to know who did it, so they would tell them.
Your background has a lot to do with your approach to movement. — © Cholly Atkins
Your background has a lot to do with your approach to movement.
Well, the difference in working with the Supremes and the other girl groups like Martha and the Vandellas, and the Marvelettes, you let the material dictate to you, uh, really, how you worked with the group, and with the talent, and the personalities. All of these things was instrumental in having all of the groups, uh, retain their own identity. Uh, and, and the material had a lot to do with it, you know.
So it would be a happy marriage between the movement and the vocal and uh, this is the thing that you give a lot of consideration to.
There's a lot that goes into training, singers to eventually become performers. There's, projection, uh, which in many cases the artist was never concerned about.
Well, the most important thing in choreographing for a specific tune is to get the story line and try to make your movements, rather than just actual movements, let them become more or less a physical drama to, to what they were singing about. And uh, also, uh, honor the beat and the rhythmic pattern of the musical track.
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