A choreographer’s Life
Often I feel, we are at home, late at night, supposed to be doing some kind of writing about theory, grants, jobs, new project proposals, letters to our doctors and families and friends, but we sit there, thinking and-or looking at videos of our past rehearsals, trying to see what cannot be seen at first so that we can ever improve our work, ourselves.
Often, we sit in a room covered in piles of papers. Each pile a different subject of capsule of time and information. Each pile a different aspect of our lives. Some piles are notes from past works or performances, some are maps of our current choreographic work, some are notes for a document of theory and philosophy, which we are studying, and then there are the books. The books are everywhere! Floor, desk, bookshelf, counter, bed—the books go wherever the soul deeps perfect in chaos. Some of these books are on pedagogy, and some are about dancing, some are critical art studies, and then there is a gay community newspaper to be read at a later date. Our rooms are a mess, but with purpose and function.
Here, at this hour, we find tights on the floor, along with pants, ballet slippers, and the ever-present tiger balm. Ibuprofen is often in reach of our chair and desk. And, a stuffed animal is placed ever so neatly as to provide companionship in an often very solo existence. The choreographer ponders, thinks, contemplates about what is next, planning, choreographing his or her life, and the lives of his or her dancers and peoples. It is a trust, honor, respect, and endeavor they hold deeply to their hearts, for the act of making dances is not to organize a play, conduct a symphony, or create a painting…the dance is from the bodies, from the soul, from the self of the people who dance—and then it is gone. So much all at once, and then gone….
What will be the next piece? What must I create next? What must I do next? What must be done now? So many questions, lost again in books and articles and a stretch or sit-up…so much to be done…lost and found.
Again the choreographer pulls up the video of past work, and sees what is there…so much movement, so much information…what can be improved, what does this art do, what does it say, what could it mean, how is it speaking, how is it dancing, what to develop or create more, why do I not have more energy and rehearsal time and space?! Anxiety! The choreographer longs for more rehearsal, there is never enough time to get it all done, there is always more to develop and create, always more, always more…
The choreographer does not often go out, and chill with others. He or she lives in the studios, and with his or her art process. The planning for the next rehearsal is infamous, and strange—it takes too much time, and stress, yet we go on and create what others often care not to see—aye that TV!!
Words can only say so much. True, I agree, they invoke feeling, ideas, images—but that is all. Is that all you want? Invocation? What of physicalization? Made present and real? What of dance, as that next step...the choreographer ponders and creates more…..
The choreographer’s life is a messy one. He or She is skilled in observation and innovation. Their world is one of continuous work, continuous dance, and continuous choreography…