This always seems to happen to me: I start a project with overflowing enthusiasm and excitement. Then, when it’s time to show my efforts to others and put movement on bodies, inspiration turns to self- doubt. The amount of anxiety I had leading up to my first Cultivate rehearsal was overwhelming, and I was tempted to turn my car around and head back home. My fears melted away about twenty minutes into rehearsal when my dancers moved together for the first time. It was as if three bodies were one, and the choreography flowed so naturally and lovely that I was smiling from ear to ear. The ladies I have chosen for my piece have truly validated my choices in movement, and I am grateful to have them be a part of this incredible journey with me. Starting a piece is always the hardest. Trusting your abilities and passions, and presenting them in an environment where you have no choice but to be open and vulnerable is absolutely terrifying. I thank a very good friend of mine for pushing me to apply and be a part of the Cultivate experience. It’s the motivation I needed to get my thoughts out of my head and onto beautiful dancers.
Another nerve wracking aspect of this process is not having everything mapped out step by step. I am challenging myself by allowing some wiggle room, as I feel most confident when I have a notebook filled with counts and formations. While I did prepare several phrases (with some very specific counts) I am going to experiment with in the rehearsal process on how to move from one phrase to the other with aspects of partnering and cannon, as well as the relationships between my dancers and how their story will unfold.
I recently told a friend over a cup of coffee about my Cultivate experiences so far, and described the process as being good for me both “dance- wise and crazy- wise” I know that I have so much to learn as an artist and choreographer and that Cultivate will allow me to grow in both regards. But most importantly I think (and hope!) that this process will teach me to be kinder to myself, trust my instincts more, fear judgment less, and learn that it isn’t necessary to control everything all the time.
I took the first step, and have officially plunged in head first. I cannot wait to see what unfolds…