Day 305: Eleven.Six.13

My teaching stint is coming to an end.

Today was tech for the Stevie Wonder tribute show the students will be performing in this weekend. I have been working on this show, with these students, for the past nine weeks, thanks to my awesome friend who runs the dance program and brought me in as a guest teacher/choreographer.

I didn’t realize how awesome the show is going to be until I was sitting in the audience watching it all come together. Don’t get me wrong, it’s high school-quality performing. But the overall production is so well done. Not that I’m surprised that she would pull this off. It’s just, I had been in the middle of it so long I didn’t realize it was all happening around me. From the blending of the jazz band and the dance company in shared pieces, to the costumes and video… it’s going to be one hellofa night.

I’m also realizing how much I am actually going to miss this teaching thing.

In any event, this has been exactly what I have needed and I’m so glad my friend realized it – way before I did.

Stevie Wonder Tribute Show Tech

Stevie Wonder Tribute Show Tech

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 242: Nine.Four.13

Got to dance in this lovely space today.

Dance Studio

Get to perform the piece (which we started today) as part of Contradiction Dance’s work this Saturday.

My mind remembers what I’m supposed to do.

My body has a little catching up to do.

I’m hoping my mind wins out…

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 237: Eight.Thirty.13

Another random skill to add to my resume?

Choreographing marriage proposal flashmobs.

The fully developed plan by a friend of a friend went something like this:

  1. Organize birthday trip for girlfriend to the outdoor screening of Grease in Rosslyn’s Gateway Park.
  2. Dress up, pack picnic, get front row seats
  3. In the final scene, jump up with 30+ others and dance in an organized flashmob, ending down on one knee with ring in hand

Grease Lightning

From an aww standpoint; it went swimmingly. She was surprised, overwhelmed, ecstatic. The whole thing was so cute and sweet and I was thrilled to be a part of it.

From a choreographer’s standpoint; it was a disaster. The nightmare kind you dream about before a big show in which you are afraid none of the dancers will remember or execute your movement correctly.

Except, this was no dream. And these were no dancers. (Save for my two friends who invited me to do this and actually did my choreo.)

I love that I had the opportunity to be a part of this magical night. It really truly was so well planned and wonderful. I had never met the couple before but I was tearing up for sure. You couldn’t help it. The entire crowd (and there were a lot of people) totally loved it.

I just, am pretty sure, if I was ever to do this again (and I would be happy to!), the control freak in me would need to reign in the participants and make sure they practice, practice, practice with me before the big night.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 124: Five.Nine.13

I asked two friends to offer feedback on my work recently. Friends, but more importantly, artists I admire and respect.

It is such an uncomfortable experience. I become this other person when speaking about, or sharing my work in this reflection stage. I can get up in front of a crowd and perform no problem, but ask me to be vulnerable and share my work with one other person? I want to crawl into a hole and forever give up my creative pursuits.

Their feedback was EXACTLY what I needed. For my piece, but more importantly, for myself.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 116: Five.One.13

I’m a quitter.

That’s not to say I always quit – in fact, I’m pretty good at sticking with things, even to my detriment sometimes, to try and make them work. Jobs, relationships, friendships…

But when it comes to my attention that I am not going to be ‘perfect’ at something immediately, in the creative realm at least, I stop while I’m ahead. Easier that way. To not feel vulnerable, exposed, less than my best self.

I so badly wanted to quit tonight. A piece I’m working on. I don’t think I have ever felt this raw, this exposed, this uncomfortable, doubted myself this much.

Thank goodness for a friend’s much needed wisdom in that moment.

I know that exactly because this is the most uncomfortable place I have ever been with ‘my art,’ that this is exactly, exactly where I need to be.

Even still. This much-needed growth sucks, in the moment.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 109: Four.TwentyFour.13

I have wanted to choreograph to this song for a long time.

Now, the time feels really right.

Video from the studio. Nothing concrete, just some playing. Adapting previous choreography to the song.

Trying to internalize what moving closer to my dreams looks like in movement form.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 95: Four.Ten.13

Disclaimer: I wasn’t feeling so well. I went to the studio anyway.

Since I couldn’t bring my body to do much actual moving, today was instead just about getting comfortable dancing with a chair. Here is the video.

Ultimately, though, this will become a piece performed to the live version of this song. (Third track – The Golden Cage.)

So sorry for the terrible sound quality. Yikes.

In an effort to remember not to take anything – most of all myself – too seriously, I kept a bit of humor in at the end for ya. You’re welcome.

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 88: Four.Three.13

The perfectionist in me doesn’t want to share this video. The newly bold/brave/courageous/uninhibited me who started this blog in the first place is posting it anyway.

I got unnecessarily shy and nervous filming even just these mere 40 seconds. I’m like, tripping/falling all over myself. Eww.

I am having such a hard time stepping out of my ‘dancer’s block’ and embracing that I just am. being. No matter what comes out. The song is so hauntingly beautiful, in my opinion, and deserves movement that complements it. I don’t want to let anyone down – not myself, not my colleagues, not those who asked me to be part of this show. I have rushed ahead and told myself I won’t measure up, even before I have given myself a chance to explore the possibilities. A reminder that I need to slow. down. As usual.

This is day two of playing in the studio. I still have very little direction, but am going to trust that these small pieces, as disparate as they may seem, will come together into something ‘bigger than me’ (as the song in today’s video says.)

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 81: Three.TwentySeven.13

I got into the studio today. Finally.

Here is the video as proof.

I had no direction, no intention. Only fear. Of not being good enough.

There is the mantra about practice – that as an artist our first many rounds of practice will not produce good art. It is only through repeated practice, and willingness to fail, that we will get any better at our craft. I know this. I believe in it. Except.

The thing is, I have never been good at letting myself fail. (Which keeps me from doing many, many things because I give up even before I give it, or myself a chance.)

I have also been at this dancing thing a long time. But hardly ever as the one pushing the creative vision. That’s what scares me. So the idea that I would now need to practice, and possibly produce not-so-good work along the way, is a difficult reality to swallow.

I’ve gotten much more comfortable SPEAKing here, on this blog, over the past 80 days, but that has yet to translate to my dancing. I’m working on it. This time, I’m not in the mood to give up.

Working Title: Uncover Us

Here’s to another day of creativity…

Day 68: Three.Fourteen.13

I put the ART in procrastination.

Specifically when the stakes are high, I’m intensely stressed/nervous/insecure about said project, am down to the wire, or better yet, am all of the above. Just ask my beloved advisor from Goddard, who suffered through my lengthy thesis journey with me.

In this particular case, I’m trying to tackle my first choreographic project in several years, for a show this June. I posted my first visions of that piece two days ago. I’m not particularly happy with it. Last night, instead of continuing to work on that piece, with a specific deadline and specific pressure, I began envisioning a concept for another piece – one I set in motion many months ago.

I was inspired by a musician-friend’s song. Listening to him perform it, it just called out for choreography. I want to create a piece and perform it with him singing live. I told him so, which means I can’t back out of it now. He recently reminded me that uh, I haven’t made it happen. Yet.

I’m thinking it will be a solo, at least for now. And it involves a chair. Specifically, I saw a backwards flip/roll/thingy off of the chair, to the ground. In my mind, it looks waaaaay awesomer than this video may lead you to believe. But I promise O, I’ll keep working on it. And some actual choreography, too. Ha.

The song, Golden Cage, is number three on The Divine Game EP. You can listen (and then purchase!) HERE. (Just scroll down the page a bit.)

Here’s to another day of creativity…