Ballroom Dance > Cabaret/Theatre Arts Music

Discussion in 'Ballroom Dance' started by kwa445, Apr 18, 2008.

  1. kwa445

    kwa445 New Member

    My partner and I have decided to compete cabaret (/theatre arts. what is the difference between the two anyway?) and I'm way excited. The only problem is, I'm not quite sure what song to pick...I want something really pretty and lyrical, but I'm just not sure what exactly makes a good song for this type of thing. Any ideas?
  2. Dave

    Dave New Member

    Re: the difference between Cabaret and Theatre Arts:

    Have a look at this discussion from

    The above was posted in 1999; my impression is there aren't many "true" theatre arts competitions (where the music is chosen for you) these days.

    Of course, from the description, it's implicit that you would know if you were doing a theater arts routine (as opposed to Cabaret), and you wouldn't be worrying about choosing the music!

    As for choice of music, I'm currently struggling with this as well. I think it depends a bit on what style you're going to be dancing, if you're going to be doing lifts, and if so, how much of your performance will be "in the air". It's quite different choreographing a 3 minute routine where you spend 15 seconds in the air as opposed to one where you have two minutes of lifts.
  3. kwa445

    kwa445 New Member

    Aha, that makes a lot more sense. Thanks for posting that! Well, I'm definitely not competing theatre arts then...I think that our routine will have a lot of lifts. In fact, it will probably be mostly lifts with some dancing thrown in in still looking for songs. :)
  4. Dave

    Dave New Member

    If it helps, here are some tracks I've seen used (often more than once, by different couples):

    Diamonds are Forever (Shirley Bassey)
    Bring Me to Life (Evanescence)
    Uninvited (Alanis Morissette)
    My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion)
    Heaven (DJ Sammy)
    It's Raining Men (Weather Girls / Geri Halliwell)
    I Just Wanna Make Love To You (Etta James)

    The last routine I did was to 'From This Moment' (Shania Twain).

    Whatever track you use, don't be scared to edit it. Shorter is usually better...
  5. DavidB

    DavidB Member

    It is strange to read something you wrote 9 years ago...

    Music for a cabaret is a very personal choice. These are the thing I look at. However you could find plenty of examples of dancers way better than me who would think differently.

    There is often a story running through a cabaret. It can be simply a couple in love, or something more involved. The music should reflect this.

    Is there going to be a theme? This can simplify things a lot. It can be the music of one singer, or from a film or musical, or a country.

    1 track or several? Themed routines often work better with a mix of several tracks, whereas unthemed routines generally use a single track. Also consider 2 versions of the same track.

    An unknown track or a popular one? What you ultimately want is to be the reason why DJs play a particular track. Very few people will be able to do that. A more popular track can get the audience on your side.

    Has someone used the music before? You don't want to use the same music as anyone you are competing against, or has used in the past few years. You don't want to pick the same music as one of the pros currnetly uses, or a 'famous' routine in the recent past. (Famous now means anything on YouTube, especially from Strictly Come Dancing or Dance With The Stars)

    Don't make the music too long. If the rules say 3 to 5 minutes, then aim for 3. Leave the audience and judges wanting more, not bored. You have to be very good to entertain people for longer than 3 minutes, especially with a single track. Cut the music - I typically get rid of any instrumental solos, and keep the intro, first verse & chorus, the highlights and the end. Also adjust the levels so that the quiet bits are louder, and highlights you are using in your routine are emphasized.

    Pick music that fits your style of dancing, and not what you like listening to.

    Don't pick your all-time favourite song. You might grow to hate it after a year.

    If you are doing a routine with lifts, then it depends on what sort of lifts you do. If your lifts are short, then you can use the breaks in the music as highlights (similar to WCS). However if you can do long lifts with several transitions, then you can use music where the highlights take longer to develop, or last for a whole chorus.

    Good places to look:
    • recent compilations of ballads, especially 'rock' ballads
    • soundtracks to films & musicals
    • compilations of famous operatic arias
    • the gala of ice skating competitions
    Music I've used:
    • Taboo (rumba track - unknown version)
    • Total eclipse of the heart - Bonnie Tyler
    • I just want to make love to you - Etta James
    • James Bond Medley (Nobody does it better, James Bond Theme, Diamonds are forever)
    • Lady marmalade
    • It's raining men
    • Angels - Robbie Williams
    • Heaven - DJ Sammy
    • Nessun dorma - Pavarotti
    (I've seen Dave's list. It is strange that I've used 4 of the tracks he lists.)
  6. Dave

    Dave New Member

    Not that strange... ;)
  7. Laura

    Laura New Member

    The only Amateur Theater Arts competition I've ever seen is at Nationals. It was a little scary to me that multiple couples could be on the floor at once with lifts going on!
  8. guille_bdancer

    guille_bdancer New Member

    Talking about Theatre Arts Music... does anyone have the track for the upcoming Nationals? I already looked on the websites recommended and wasn't able to purchase the cd. The song is 'With one look' from Sarah Brightman the 2:25 version from Bassano Open vol. 3


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