Last night I met with a fellow instructor/choreographer and we spent some time bouncing around ideas for a dance performance piece. In truth, I have about six pieces in the nascent stages of production, but the hardest part of the job for me is… finishing the job. It’s the filling in of the details, getting every step down. I’m probably not special in this regard. So, it’s with a little trepidation that I embark on a new project with a respected choreographer and instructor, because well… I want to impress – not just her, but my audience.
I have a love/hate relationship with choreography. I’m a spontaneous artist, because spontenaiety is easiest for me. Theatrical improv, games, social dance, quick writing jams… these are all things I thrive on.
Planned out, edited, polished perfect work – this is what I’m not good at. It’s because I get excited by the execution of an idea. I want to get it out quick before my internal editor takes over.
Once the editor takes over, I start thinking, “it’s not good enough, it’s too dorky, it’s not polished enough.” I’d rather publish the best snapshots of hours of spontaneous dance, than choreograph a 4 minute piece that I have to learn step by step. I appreciate the beauty of instinct – I like the surprise of synchronicity when two people are working together in an unplanned way to create something great. This is why my favorite sport is boxing. My favorite games are improv games. My favorite competitions are Jack & Jills.
Also, I’m a little bit lazy. Somehow it seems easier to build up my skills for years to respond in the moment, than to plan out every action. In the end, it’s probably the same amount of work – just with a different result.
But the thing is, I have an idea, and I’m excited about this idea and the only way I’m going to get closer to realizing the idea is to practice being a choreographer.