Here’s a fun fact: I would never use the word “creative” to describe myself. I spend a lot of time reading, thinking and talking about history and policy. I am analytical and detail-oriented. I’m the person you’d want to edit an important paper.
So I’m not in the habit of creating things, though I do have creative impulses. There are always movement phrases bouncing around my brain space. I involuntarily visualize movement whenever I listen to music. But the creative process through which impulses are captured and fleshed out, expanded on and tied together — this is a thing at which I am neither gifted nor skilled.
It’s a mysterious and daunting thing. I never really studied choreography, so I’m sort of flying blind when I try to choreograph. I’m flying blind and super cognizant of that fact, which isn’t a relaxing state of affairs. I keep asking myself: what are you doing?!
For me, much of the difficulty lies in the imperative to constantly make choices. What’s this piece about? What material do I include and what doesn’t belong? How do I want this phrase to relate to the music? How will the dancers relate to the space and to each other? I can spend twenty
minutes choosing apples from the bin at the grocery store, so you can imagine how I might become overwhelmed by all of this.
Nevertheless, I want to be doing it. It’s unusual to be presented with the opportunity, as an adult, to go back and explore the road not taken. I want to take advantage of that opportunity. Awkward and stressful though it may be, I want to cultivate, if you will, my creative self.