I'm making a dance to be wrecked for a performance in April. I'm choreographing a 10 to 15 minute dance with music, costume and all, to then have it be re-choreographed, so to speak, by someone else.
So imagine making something you knew was going to be "destroyed" and turned into something else. Imagine that something - a book, painting, musical composition, blog post - having all of you in it and then imagine having all of you, all of the all that you spent time crafting, placing, thinking about, get blown to bits and turned into something else. Imagine. And then imagine that what you reveal to the audience is not just your original work but also the wrecked thing. So you present both pieces side-by-side in a show.
This is the creative process in which I'm currently engaged. Am I crazy? Why am I doing this?
Susan Rethorst came up with wrecking as a choreographic device. The curators of "The Wrecking Project," Julie Mayo and Kate Corby, have decided to use Rethorst's device as inspiration for a weekend of performance. Several choreographers are participating, all making and wrecking, making and wrecking one dance at a time.
When I first heard Susan talk about wrecking it seemed so brilliant. Of course. You're making something, in the middle of the process, and you have another artist you trust come in and wreck your work so you can see it more clearly, see yourself more clearly. You have questions about the work like: What is it doing? Where do I want to go next? What should I edit out? And in the wrecking you maybe have those questions answered, or at least probed a little bit so more information can emerge.
That's what has happened to me when I've had my work wrecked in 2009. I asked Susan to wreck Just Before as a culmination of my DTW Residency. Over the course of a weekend, Susan came in and re-choreographed our 30-minutes of a dance.
It was eye-opening. I realized you are not going anywhere in your work. You work is of you. So you can trust that when it's wrecked it's just another version of you. Even in a breakdown we're still us... until we breakthrough. No?
So don't fret, if you're entertaining ideas about having someone wreck your work. It will be eye-opening and reveal yourself to yourself. Trust me.
My current problem isn't with having the dance wrecked. It's with choreographing the thing. I have bits of a dance, detailed in my dance diary. I have music and a score in mind. I have a costume. But it's already wrecked, in a way, in reality because it doesn't yet have a form. And even though I'm not nervous about the present state of the formless dance - its un-dancedness - I am nervous about something else. I just can't put my finger on it.
I think that what I'm running up against is fear. A singular fear based on a past experience of choreographing. A fear having to do with a creative process that left me ill. A fear that forced me to reconcile things, needs, wants, desires. A fear that put me here, writing to you today. Writing to let you know that artists have fear. People have fear in them. (I suspect you know this already. Perhaps I'm writing it just to remind myself of my fear and unpack it a bit.)
"We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world."
So I'll continue to draw my drawings and create my movement and shape a form from the fear in me. I'll continue. And then I'll perform.
| Do you have an unidentified fear about creating and making floating around? And does it keep you from making the thing you want to make?