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Most choreographers have a "movement signature" that develops from their own physicality and artistic vision. Christopher House, for instance, creates movement that is highly physical, swift, sleek and detailed, while Margie Gillis' dancing is expansive and gestural, with emotion at the source.
Breath, the most basic movement, has often been a starting point for developing a movement vocabulary. Modern dance pioneers Martha Graham and Doris Humphrey used breath as the basis of the new techniques they developed. Graham stylized breath as contraction and release. Humphrey incorporated the use of breath into the arc of suspension and fall of the body's weight.
Movement itself, explored purely for innovation, may be the subject of a choreographer's work. He or she might be fascinated with exploring the elements of shape, space, timing and dynamics. A choreographer might be interested in delving deeply into movement exploration within a certain technique, or interested in the movements of people who are not trained as dancers. Sometimes a particular dancer with unique physical and technical qualities becomes a choreographer's muse.
Music may also play a central role in creation. Very often, sound, such as a particular piece of music or other accompaniment, will act as a stimulus for movement invention. Some choreographers work closely with musical scores, and may have movement planned for certain phrases, events or instrumentation in the music.
Costumes, lighting, props and sets may also contribute to the development of a movement vocabulary. Sometimes a choreographer will introduce elements into the process, such as specific footwear, objects or lighting effects, to explore the ways in which they change or alter the movement material.
Improvisation may serve as a method for background research in developing a movement language for a new choreography. Dancers may generate movement material through improvisations directed by the choreographer. Sometimes choreographers include improvisation within the structure of a choreographic idea or framework.