first and foremost i am a dance artist.
living in community, one that is not geared towards dance, it is difficult for me to (at all times) stay on track with creating dance. as i blend more and more asana in to my daily practice, while giving nearly 50 hours a week service to the Omega Institute, teaching, holding support groups and *sometimes* sleeping, recently i have felt to be in a creative, choreographic slump.
when in the studio alone (as i have been so much this past year), i find myself struggling to focus on choreography. but, ever the optimist, as with all else, when faced with a challenge rather than slumping in to it, i search for a solution. or as master Patanjali says in chapter 2 (verse 33) of the Yoga Sutras;
vitarka-badhane prati-paksha bhavanam
when disturbed by disturbing thoughts, think of the opposite.
so i have been developing more and more tools to lead towards success and satisfaction. i find, when collaborating, sharing ideas and inspiration with others, having some external reliability, suddenly i am inspired. being able to discuss ideas brings a further richness to them. suddenly there is a fire under my feet and a push to create. despite me feeling as though i am in a slump, when i look back over the past seven months of the Omega season, i realize i have created two new works. both have been collaborations, (my undergraduate degree was Interdisciplinary Dance Studies after all)
the first piece i created this season was
Ascendance: an exploration of the ups and downs of life and aging
this was a site specific work choreographed and performed with Julia Suave. we worked in collaboration with the terrain, a forrested hill with the theme of fighting and giving in to gravity as a metaphor for the struggles of aging and the beauty of passing on our dance lineage. finding the time to meet and work was the only challenge with this piece, once we set our rehearsal times, the inspiration was flowing and the collaboration was delightful.
the second work of the season, which will be filmed in the coming week is;
this piece lives in the surreal world of Ben’s haunting hopeful and expansive sound-score and Giaco’s beautiful world of imagery. shedding light on metamorphosis, the constant change of our lives and reality and a sense of being, held, contained.
i have had many role models, mentors and teachers in the world of interdisciplinary dance arts. some of the artists who have had the greatest impact on my creative process include;
ever imaginative and reality shifting Mary Armentrout, precise, direct, clear and beautiful Molissa Fenley, gravity defying and out of the box thinking Joanna Haigood, eclectic, elegant, deep and at times goofy Claudine Naganuma and the technologically ground breaking Sheldon Smith.
recently, i have had the pleasure of working on a project with a visionary artist outside the world of dance (well, i was dancing, but working with artists from other mediums). Sarah Fimm, an endless recourse of imagination, creativity and beauty along all realms of the arts created a beautiful music video with filmmaker Heyrick Chassé. the entire experience was inspiring.
Sarah lives in an island of her own creativity. we spent a full day working on the project, long in to the night, but rarely did it feel like work. laughing, doing makeup, eating grapes. as a choreographer often rigid with rehearsal times, i learned such valuable lessons from the laid back, while organized, schedule and style Sarah & Heyrick have developed. the fruits of our work have just been released, the beautiful music video for her newest single, I AM. here is the link to the video please take a look and let us know what you think!
so now, as the Omega season ends, i realize, i am not in an artistic slump. things just do not look the same as they used to. my work continues to grow and develop, and as nutrition, holistic lifestyle and yogic philosophy seep deeper and deeper in to my consciousness. the opportunity to grow and expand in my own art making expands as well.