So what happens when you have a flash of inspiration? Do you do anything with it? Do you hope that you won’t forget what it was? Do you jump on the opportunity to go deeper with that inspiration until you have wrung all meaning out of it? Feel lucky that you had one. Some people never have one. Some people have a handful and do nothing with it. Some have few and run with them. Those who put their vision out there are the ones who mark our industry.
So how do you get from an inspiration to a piece that you will let someone see? The ability to do so is a talent for sure. It is also an act of courage. You know that when you do so, you are leaving your soul on the floor for everyone to see. Maybe those who see it will love it. Maybe those who see it will hate it. Maybe those who see it will just think it is okay. Any option is an emotional risk for anyone who lays their work out there. The fact is though, if you do anything less than authentic, people will know. Whether they can verbalize that identification, something will feel off about it and will hit them the wrong way. Thus, authenticity is the way to go.
There are many choreographers out there creating beautiful pieces, visually. When you walk away, you may be in awe of what you saw, but you may not be changed forever by what you saw. When I see a piece that everyone raves about, I want to come away from it haunted by what I witnessed. I want to be daydreaming and have the vision of what I saw flash before me again throughout my life. I want to know that I witnessed something that changed me and that I want to see again. That I want to try to understand mentally even though I may have emotionally been moved. That cognition may never happen, but I crave to get it. I think my lack of truly understanding the story, but being deeply moved by something is what I like best. That is what creates the haunt. What makes me want more.
Many have tried to choreograph their inspiration and it ends up going nowhere. Maybe it is a lack of understanding how to create a piece that wrecked the process for you. Maybe you were unable to dig deep into it in order to develop it. Maybe the inspiration just fizzled. It happens to everyone at some point. If you are lacking experience in the creative process though, find someone who can mentor you. Up and coming choreographers are often happy to run with someone’s inspiration and share their process. Those coming up on retirement, may also be looking for someone to mentor. If you are stuck and truly believe that your inspiration is worth putting out there, find a way to see it through. You don’t want to end up retiring from dance thinking I should have. Fight to make it real.