College & High School
Solos, Duets, Trios
should you hire an outside choreographer?
No matter what your program offers, an outside choreographer in any discipline can be a wonderful experience for dancers. Seeing movement through the eyes of a different choreographer opens up doors for students they may never have known existed. Even the most seasoned dancers can benefit from outsider interpretations.
Now if you're looking for work that is authentic and honest about its roots, you've come to the right place! I enjoy choreographing on dancers in programs of all kinds. In general, I do most of my work where there is a need for new information on hip hop. My work fits a wide range of dancers and can exist anywhere between easy fun and seriously competitive. My choreography aims to teach approachable movement while maintaining the identity of the genre your dancers look to perform.
John Comix - Choreographer
20 years of choreography experience.
Has placed choreography on dancers all over the United States & Canada.
Dance studio choreography experience includes competition, recital, beginner through advanced, and all ages.
Additional stage choreography experience includes professional showcases( NY, Philly,etc.), Ted Talks, NBA Halftime shows at Madison Square Garden, productions, lecture demonstrations, and more.
Experience in film/music video choreography.
Beyond the studio- Lengthy experience working with Universities, high school arts programs, dance teams, and more.
Director/lead choreographer of professional dance company "The Redef Movement", & Satire productions "Stupid Humans".
What type of pieces do you choreograph?
Standard classes, pre-professional and professional choreography all aim to carry authenticity, a message, or a theme. My work regularly holds messages of empowerment, freedom, the importance of art and self-expression. Other work is a pure look at break-dancing, hip hop, locking, or popping. Finally, I also enjoy work that is structured more like a modern piece, comedy, miming and many other quirky or "out there" themes.
Dance teams get high energy work. Crowd pleasing choreography for competitions, sporting events, etc..
For younger dancers, I touch on a number of styles as well, with a big look at breakdancing , locking, and original party dances of the new jack swing era of music.
All of my work is an homage to hip hop and street styles, with themes or influence from anything important to this particular dance culture.
What dancers/groups will you consider working with?
Standard dance classes, Competition teams, performance teams, dance crews/companies, College or High School programs, solos, duets, trios, small groups, large groups, productions, all skill levels.
Who chooses the music when I hire you to choreograph on my group?
Frequently, we will have a sit-down to discuss the many music choices. We work together to find what you or your dancers will be most excited for within the style of the work i typically create
Do you only choreograph to older music?
No. I choreograph to a very wide range of music. However, I am particularly picky about proper representation of pure styles Just as there is a certain kind of music for ballet or modern, same goes for these styles. Locking has funk music. Popping has a specific sound. Etc..
Will you do street jazz or commercial choreography?
Im not opposed to creating anything outside the main styles I choreograph. My work outside of the labels of Hip Hop, Locking, Breaking, Popping get labelled as simply "dance" rather than street jazz,commercial, urban, etc... Much of my work is done with influence from certain styles and can be done to music from decades ago all the way up to now. I do not set pieces that emphasize sexuality. I do not set work to music that can be seen as ignorant or unhealthy. This does strictly narrow the amount of currently popular music that is labelled "Hip Hop".
What experience do I or my dancers need in order to pick up your choreography?
None.My work is taught with consideration of dance experience. I rely on a brief analysis of my dancers or conversation with a teacher or studio owner to understand the potential of my group.
his isn't to say my work will be easy. I always aim to make my work a challenge. In fact, my choreography rarely can be presented properly unless each dancer is willing to put in the extra time to rehearse movement and technique between rehearsals. Hard work is an essential ingredient for hip hop dancers, and one frequently overlooked when dancers expect the movement to be familiar. This goes especially for the styles we do. Many dancers are not familiar with street styles and for that reason, I ask my dancers to be fearless when entering a project with me.
How does payment work?
I sell my choreography as a product. Once you inquire about work, I can give you a price quote based on a number of factors. In terms of the actual piece(s) being set, I generally ask 50%to begin my work and the remaining amount upon completion. Local contracts may sometimes require a dance studio rental charge which would not go to me and is therefore due before the studio rental date. Out of state work usually requires a separate travel expense as well.
If I purchase choreography from you, does it then become my piece? Will you use the same choreography on other groups?
When I choreograph a number, I am releasing my rights to continue performing with or using that work directly. Though my name may or may not be attached to the choreography I set for you, It is without a doubt your piece once purchased.
Who is responsible for cleaning the dance once you have finished teaching it?
The final price for sale of choreography is based in part on the amount of time I will spend completing the dance. Some studios prefer I simply sell them my style of work , which they will then clean or position themselves. In other situations, we agree that I will spend additional time cleaning the dance once it is taught and set. However once the agreed upon terms of a contract are complete, I am still available for additional cleaning at normal workshop cost.
Who chooses the costume or the look for the performers?
I am willing to choose costumes or assist in the process, but do not require it to be my vision for costumes when I sell my work.
I am available for choreography in any area I am requested. Travel/overnight accommodations may need to be considered depending on location.
(New Jersey Based)
Contact JohnBarrella13@gmail.com to inquire, or fill out the form below.
A Cheaper alternative to consider
Same quality of choreography, a fraction of the price
Have you considered bringing in an outside choreographer? You might be in an area where you, your studio, & your dancers are just itching for a dance that goes in brand new directions. However, price is a major concern. Paying for the choreographer's time and travel might not be ideal for you. So why not purchase the choreography as a video breakdown? You can receive the same work, and fit it right into your established schedule with your dancers.
Combinations available for teachers who don't have easy,consistent ways to take class
You might be craving the chance to take a class for yourself for once! There's nothing like FINALLY getting to an open class, or popping in for a master class when one is local to you. Maybe you've always wanted to explore these various street styles and have no idea where to get it. What if you could request it? What if you could click a few buttons and suddenly class is right here, on this very device you're using? You'd finally have a new piece of choreography to learn. To use for inspiration. To even share with your dancers.
What's In The Video?
Every video breakdown covers the entire run of the choreography requested. You will receive a sample of the choreography being taught, followed by a breakdown of the phrase in its entirety, using multiple angles and multiple dancers if/when necessary. The video will also be full of tips and techniques to utilize to maximize the effectiveness of the movement. Lastly, you'll receive the music associated with the choreography.
What's Not In The Video?
Choreography requested is sold as a product and will focus solely on teaching you the steps and the technique behind the steps. If you plan on placing the purchased work on dancers, it will be up to you to decide formations and any potential changes you'd like to make to the work. It is yours to get creative with! If you are in need of formations, visual cues, tips on adjusting or teaching the steps, or anything not included in the video, you may request a separate consultation in order to aid in developing a full piece. Easy questions can be answered via email for free, however if you need video consult, there will be a fee for time!
Standard - $575
Exclusive - $700
An entire hip hop or street dance based performance. Designed for typical show or competitive routines not exceeding 3 minutes. This includes a breakdown of the full piece, minus details on spacing, transitions, etc..
Due to the extra time needed to apply layers of stage positions, transitions and more, pricing would be closer to my standard choreography cost. Inquire for price quote!
Standard - $150
Exclusive - $250
A 30 to 60 second piece of choreography created as an independent set. Ideal for training/inspiration for dance teachers or new pieces to sample on students.
Inquire for price
Large groups, complex concepts, & extended length (up to 8 minutes). May require additional information from customer and more time to produce. Only available as an "exclusive" work.