Role Reversal - Dance
I've always held the dancers at our school in the highest regard. Their work ethic, stamina, and artistry inspires me tremendously. I see them as "gods" and "goddesses", gracing us mortals with their presence. For the record, they're beautiful, generous human beings.
A not-so-secret dream of mine is to spend a day as a Juilliard dancer. So for this week's blog, I ventured down the hallway into the Dance Division. Although I wish I could report that I participated in a ballet class and choreography rehearsal, I got to observe some classmates at work for a couple of hours.
The creative process is something mysterious; elusive, but deeply rooted in technique and tangible material. Across all disciplines, one thing is true: nothing is perfect the first time around. It's actually never perfect, that's why it's beautiful. I observed a rehearsal of a newly choreographed piece by Blake, a fourth year. He taught his team a phrase to begin, then they improvised collectively as the piece developed. It's invigorating to see such gifted artists off the stage, extremely focused while at work.
Some observations I made:
- Everyone shares a deep responsibility for each other's safety, ideas, and process
- There's constant awareness of all the bodies in space and time
- Knowing others' choreography as well as your own
- "Moving away from the ball" (to borrow a basketball phrase) = high attention to detail when you're not the main point of focus
- Flexibility: willingness to change your ideas for the benefit of the entire group
- Committal: even if you're unsure of an idea or movement, a willingness to jump in and try it fully
Needless to say, I learned a ton from just a couple hours of sitting in. It was fun to cross the hallway and humbling to join the dance world for a bit.
In the spirit of dance dreaming, here's a throwback to me on the NOLA ArtReach trip in 2012 working on my turnout....