The creative process is revealing. The act of creating can shine a bright light on core attributes of one’s personality. As I choreograph, I find that the challenges I encounter aren’t unique to this endeavor. For me, one of the greatest of those challenges has to do with where I direct my focus throughout the process.
When choreographing, one has to be concerned with both the big picture and the small details. I see details much more readily than big pictures. It’s just a fundamental part of who I am, and I’m reminded of that whenever I choreograph. It’s not hard for me to create movement phrases and combinations; it’s much harder to organize these into a cohesive piece. And it is really easy for me to devote way too much time to cleaning and clarifying the movement as I teach it to my dancers. I know from experience that this makes for very slow progress and a piece that isn’t finished until the last minute.
As a choreographer (and maybe as a person), I am learning to shift my focus back and forth between large and small. This time around, I made a conscious effort to overlook the finer details of the movement, for the most part, until the entire piece was constructed. Of course, it took me longer to construct the piece than I’d hoped, but I ended up with four rehearsal hours left to clean and refine the movement and infuse it with the quality I’m hoping to convey. Two of those took place yesterday and, happily, I could see the piece taking shape. I am now putting my detail-orientation to good use and developing an itemized agenda for my final rehearsal before Cultivate!