Choreography is the art of planning and/or arranging dance routines within a performance. The scope of choreography is largely undefined, so in some cases the 'choreography' of the performance may span to cover not only the precise movement of dancers but also costumes, lighting, audio, setting, and even the choice of dancers themselves.
The techniques used by choriographers in the 'creation' process vary widely. Some devise the plan completely before transferring it to dancers, others form a rough outline and decide on the details by guiding dancers' bodies and observing their improvisations. Some have a mental plan whilst others work on instinct and improvisation alone. After the composition has been formulated the choreographer must transfer it to the dancers' by demonstrating it and watching as they imitate.
"Historically, choreographers learned their art through long apprenticeship. In the 20th century such apprenticeship is sometimes supplemented by the formal study of dance composition."
Believe it or not there is actually a system for the notation of choreographic sequences! In fact I know of two:
- Labanotation, the more famous, was invented in 1928 by Rudolph Von Laban and uses abstract symbols based on the rectangle, inscribed on a three-lined vertical staff read from bottom to top. The symbols represent how and where the body moves and how long it should take to get where it's going.
- Choreology, devised in 1956 by Rudolf and Joan Benesh, is just slightly more representational. The lines on its five-line staff read from left to right and correspond to the height of the human body, head to toe. Lines and dots are placed on the staff to show which part is to be moved, when, and in what way.
I believe choreography is a part of The Performing Arts.