Beyond Bikram: Stretching the Definition of Choreographic Works

30 Pages Posted: 26 Aug 2016 Last revised: 6 Oct 2020

See all articles by Jodi Collova

Jodi Collova

University of California, Berkeley

Date Written: 2016


The author analyzes the definition of choreographic works under copyright law. Pointing out the absence of a solid legislative or judicial definition for choreographic works, she analyzes the U.S. Copyright Office’s definition in its internal manual, suggesting that the manual’s definition is overly restrictive in its emphasis on “dance” movement because it excludes post-modern choreographic works that contain regular pedestrian movements. She posits that copyright law should look to choreographers to define choreographic works and discusses the nature of post-modern choreography with its emphasis on experimentation. She argues that the definition of choreographic works should be broadened to encompass post-modern works and to align the definition with the underlying purpose of copyright law, which is to promote the arts.

Keywords: Copyright, Choreography, Choreographic Work, Choreographer, Dance, Post-Modern

Suggested Citation

Collova, Jodi, Beyond Bikram: Stretching the Definition of Choreographic Works (2016). 1 Legal Info. Rev. 75 (2016), Univ. of San Francisco Law Research Paper No. 2016-19, Available at SSRN:

Jodi Collova (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley ( email )

United States

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