Choreographers rarely have access to interactive tools that are designed specifically to support their creative process. In order to design for such a technology, we interviewed six contemporary choreographers about their creative practice. We found that even though each process is unique, choreographers represent their ideas by applying a set of operations onto choreographic objects. Throughout different creative phases, choreographers compose by shifting among various degrees of specificity and vary their focal points from dancers to stage, to interaction, to the whole piece. Based on our findings, we present a framework for articulating the higher-level patterns that emerge from these complex and idiosyncratic processes. We then articulate the resulting implications for the design of interactive tools to support the choreographic practice.