What does the word "choreopoem" mean? What is the significance of Shange's newly coined genre?
First briefly discuss the practicalities of this term. Make sure the students understand that Shange is using this word to indicate a combination of different artforms, including songs, poetry, and theater. Then, discuss the formal implications of this choice. Much of for colored girls is concerned with telling a story that has not yet been told. Shange's decision to invent a new genre is part and parcel with this desire. In order to "sing a black girl's song" for the first time, Shange does not just need a new piece, but an entirely new medium as well. Moreover, she needs a...
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