Thursday, December 23, 2010

On making...

I've been thinking about starting another blog, generally about making things, but I do not need another blog to try and keep up with. Instead, I'll share some thoughts about MAKING  that I find relevant to dance, but even more so, relevant to life.

I like the word make better than create. To make something is to dig in, get yourself dirty,  and figure it out. It could be a pot of soup, the lyric to a song, the bow on a present....really, anything!

I love making something from nothing and I tend to do this in two ways: dancing and baking.

When choreographing, directing a project, or just improvising, this is exactly what I do. I make movement from nothing. There is no pattern, no stencils, no how-to book. It is just me. Of course I get ideas from lots of outside sources: media, music, nature, people, dogs, etc. But in the end it's just me, my body, and my brain. I have to dig in, get sweaty, and figure it out. How awesome.

If I wasn't a dancer, I would totally be a baker. But even more than a recipe connoisseur, I would be a baking inventor. I LOVE to put a bunch of ingredients in a bowl -- some powdered, some liquid, some fizzy, some slimy -- and somehow end up with something warm, golden, and smelling delicious. It's magic.

What do you make from nothing?

Do you open your refrigerator and somehow manage to come up with a great meal from that wilted lettuce, mayonnaise, and can of beets? I love that!

For some people, this process of making something from nothing can seem effortless. (Admit it, they kind of piss you off, don't they?) But, I truly believe everyone has the power to make. So, go try it. Get a little messy, have some fun, and figure it out.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Bring on the plaid.

Photo by Jesse Scroggins
The winds have changed...I'm working on a new idea. (Don't worry, my solo is not dead...just being re purposed) I want to start making a dance exploring the bucolic imagery that fills American media during the holiday season. The final product will be presented in the late Fall, 2011.

So, why am I doing this?

Well, the truth is, I am a little obsessed with holiday imagery. Advertisements taunt me with their perfectly wrapped gifts and table settings right out of Martha Stewart's home. What's odd is,  they don't even match my sense of design; I like mismatching prints, burnt wood, and kitsch. Perhaps it's not the design that entices me, but the sense of wonder it brings out in me. What would it be like to live in that image? What would it feel like?

As I look at holiday catalogs, l am fully aware that all of these photo shoots have been systematically  arranged to entice the ideal consumer, namely me. The delicate dinner arrangements have been sprayed with hairspray, dusted with glitter, and photoshopped to look better than food for the Gods. How could this facade translate to a dance? For starters, I think it would be interesting to expose all the things that make these images look so good: the lighting, the coiffing, the glitter, etc. It would be like seeing the "behind the scenes" footage as the actual performance.

So, here we go.  If you've ever wondered how your life would change if it were cloaked in flannel, this is the time. Bring on the plaid.