Dance, theatre, art, music, design, film—all of these wonderful forms [and more] are produced by some of the most talented people on Earth. Some might say, they are the most gifted people…and some might say they are the strangest people. Commonly described as unorganized or flaky, artists can sometimes be held to their negative stereotype. Everyone has a different thought process, and we all can get a bit particular when it comes to an important school project, or a huge deadline at work. Artists take this idea to the extreme. I cannot speak for all the artists in the world, so I am going to speak from personal experience.
When I work on a piece of choreography, as the dancer or as the choreographer, I put a piece of myself into the work. Every piece of choreography I have put onto stage has had a personal experience, my own or a loved one’s, tied to it. I enjoy working with themes, so it is easy to relate to as an audience member. Even glitzy, jazzy musical theatre number choreographed for a community theater; the songs were picked apart, analyzed by context, and tied to a personal experience. In a way, I am passing myself to all my dancers, and to my audience. They get to experience my highs and my lows, my pride and my vulnerability. That is why I hold such a high caliber to my dances. No one is putting a high expectation on the dance as high as I do.
On a more selfish note, I am putting my name out into the community as a dancer and choreographer. With my artistry comes a bit of OCD, wanting every detail to be as perfect as can be (while keeping in mind that everyone makes a mistake when it comes time to perform). Selflessly, I do not want my dancers to be seen doing a bad work, as I do not want it to reflect poorly onto them. I want my dancers to be proud of what they have accomplished, not warn their friends and family not to attend the performances.
I will put social plans and family engagements on hold to work on choreography, hold a rehearsal, or work on academic work. I promise I will get to it all once the work is complete. However, when a work is in progress, the dance deserves my full attention. If I do not give my full attention to the dance, I am at risk of some aspect not fulfilling my expectations set for the work.
At the same time, I have to find a time and place to end my dance. As a dancer, that is usually given to me by the choreographer. However, as a choreographer, I have to find an end to the idea; a resolution to the aspect of which I decided to tackle. For example, on my piece “Reflections Face Reality,” about self-love, looking into a mirror and liking what you see, and identity; where was I supposed to stop? No one can tell me, except for me. And, I have to find the place to stop through working it out on my own.
Sometimes, I just need to put on some music and dance. Sometimes, I hate what I have just created, and a scrap it. Sometimes, I just make little changes. Sometimes, I work is complete after I have filled every measure of a song [or two] with movement. Sometimes, I only need three or four counts of eight.
No matter what…. simply stand by me as an artist. I just need your support.