choreographic humps

As I may have mentioned before, I USED to be a choreographic Dyva. I would set a dance in three hours, love it, and patiently wait for the next opportunity. Here’s a little gem I choreographed at age 19, We Insist.

Nowadays, the ‘ol system isn’t working so swiftly. I still have the ability to generate complex structures on stage, but it’s the movement (the meat, the sprinkles, the…dance) that I really struggle to produce. My CD (Choreography Dysfunction) became an issue simultaneously when I started grad school…they haven’t yet made a pill for me to take every time I need to get it up for choreography, so I’ve been at a loss ever since, and nobody’s really all that satisfied.

I think it’s a combination of knowing that everyone else around me is talented and making great work, that I’m one of the youngest in my class and felt like the underdog at one point, and that I knew my platinum winning dances back home weren’t necessarily what the stages here were interested in seeing.

It’s that last point where things really get hazy and confusing for me. I grew up loving commercial dance and so that’s what I made, and now I see, appreciate and long to make concert dance…except that I don’t ALWAYS long to make concert dance! I’ve been playing this flip flop game in my head ever since I got here a little under two years ago, and in the midst of this identity crisis, I’ve lost my sense of self in all choreography.

Dumbledore approached me the other day and asked me to stop making work that I wasn’t satisfied with; the question was posed as if duh was the answer, and as I thought there thinking of a different answer, I just couldn’t…the pressure of what I thought was a burden to make concert dance was relieved, but I still couldn’t get it up.

Now don’t get me wrong, the work that I’ve been creating here at Brockport hasn’t necessarily been bad; it’s been selected to perform in our shows each semester and has gotten great feedback. It’s not that I’ve been creating uninspired work because I like the feeling of not being satisfied on a personal level, what it boils down to is a lack of confidence…? I pose that as a kind-of question because I more than love my time here, and have been thriving and exponentially growing as a person since I unpacked my bags, I just don’t feel like my confidence deserves to hold me back at this point in my life.

So now what??? I’ve got a thesis staring me in the face in just a few short months; I suppose it’s time to get over this CD.

It’s time to put my big girl pants on and make some dance! I’ve set a personal goal for the rest of this semester; I must take any and all opportunities (create them if they don’t already exist) to make as much dance as I possibly can. The only way to get over this issue is to face it head on, and get over it. If I need to throw myself into a wall for five minutes and call it dance, then at least I can hope that some confidence gets knocked into me…

I BEG you to share some ideas for getting over this CD? What do you do when you’re feeling uninspired?

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2 thoughts on “choreographic humps

  1. bryan o'shea says:

    wow wow WOW. stumbled across your blog from doing a choreography topic search and probably read about half of your posts so far! i love it all!

    first things first, “we insist” – awesome. i’m new to the studio game, but it’s leaps & bounds above what i mainly see. the dancers are so committed and aware, it felt like it was a concert dance piece, not a competition. super great job.

    i’ve been battling CD for a while now also because i come from a dance team background, had my world flipped with concert dance in college, and now find myself trying to foray into commercial dance; all the while with an equal love of choreographing all 3! they each satisfy a different part of my soul, so i can’t pull away to focus strictly on one. unfortunately, all 3 suffer a bit because of that.

    when i find it difficult to put the meat in the sandwich, i literally return to what first inspired me in the particular genre – for concert, it’s the teachers and styles that gave me that first taste of REAL modern and composition. in the commercial scene, it’s rediscovering that style and what’s new and exciting in it right now. with dance team, it’s getting my butt in a class that makes me pull out the power and syncronicity of many people dancing as one unit.

    i also stay unafraid of merging elements from one genre or style with another. i’ve had some great successes and interesting learning moments from giving this a try. i feel that lack of confidence only goes away with doing work you’re *confident* in. LOL i can always go back and change a phrase i’m questioning, but i’d definitely find it difficult to stay in the movement mindset of a concept where there wasn’t some part of it i knew could read as i wanted it to and stay within my theme or impetus..

    so sorry for my manifesto, but your post going got my mind going, so my fingers started running…may your CD go into remission and never return!

  2. nichekaplan4 says:

    You just touched my soul!

    It’s so important to stay true to your roots, and to never forget where you came from–In those moments of weakness, it’s the ability to reflect and recognize any and all inspiration that surrounds you.

    Wonderful words of encouragement, thank you!

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