Was the term "choreopoem" invented for the play For Colored Girls Who..., or did it exist beforehand?

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belarafon | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

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The word "Choreopoem" was invented by Ntozake Shange for her 1975 experimental play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf. Because the play was not a typical form of musical or dramatic stage performance, nor did it take the form of abstract expressionism, Shange created the term choreopoem to refer to her unique blend of dance choreography and spoken poetry. This is called a neologism, or "new language/speech," and is more popularly called "coining a word."

For Colored Girls Who... was met with success and popularity, and created a new genre of stage performance. By focusing entirely on the poetry of spoken word combined with the physical motion of dance, Shange was able to strip away the typical dramatic facade and express pure emotion without music or special effects. Shange's work influenced many other artists and playwrights, and choreopoems are a popular genre in amateur dramatic productions.

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