What happens when you put together talented, generous artists and let ’em rip?

You get some gorgeous,  engaging art.  And pretty seamlessly, too.  That was our experience last night.

We had our first rehearsal for this new, collaborative dance project I’ve been thinking about.  It started with that “Dancing Your Life” concept I wrote about of facilitating or collaborating to create solos that reflect who people are and, especially, what brings them alive.

I hope ultimately to work with both dancers and non dancers.  But right now I’m focusing on working with these dancers as I develop a malleable model.

My Flashmob of 1 “2012 Midwest Tour” (haha) in the rest areas and streets and hotel lobbies across America convinced me of the value of having a meaningful solo in my pocket to riff on whenever I want to step out of the crowd and dance.  It provides an anchor if you’re shaky.

I soon realized that by arming more dancers  with juicy solos, we could “deploy” more artistic “armies” to make public art–either en masse or individually.  Of course, dancers could perform these resonant works in traditional venues, too.

Plus, I’ve become increasingly aware of how many talented people there are who yearn to be making art more, including performing.  Shouldn’t I be doing everything I can to smooth the way for more beautiful art to be made and launched into the universe?  Heck, yeah.

So, yes! More dance and dancers dancing!  In the streets and elsewhere! Do it!

Last night, we didn’t work for more than an hour and a half.  But let me tell you, by the time we were done, the air was drenched with depth, generosity, beauty, meaning, emotion, truth.  What I experienced was a crystal clear illustration of creativity inspiring more creativity and of beauty begetting beauty. Love it.

Just for fun, I asked the dancers if I could lay music over their phrases for our “show and tell” at the end of rehearsal.  Everyone wanted music.  I got to play DJ with musical selections, which added another element of complexity to the already rich movement.  Tres cool.

It reminded me of interviews I’ve heard of film and stage directors who bring together powerful casts and then get out of the way.  Letting the artists do what they do–create art.  Inspiring each other to go further, dig deeper.

Special thanks to Doug Varone and Kellie Lynch for some of the inspiration for my model, which I want to breathe.  One that is easily adapted, adjusted, capable of inclusion and expansion.  Essentially asking the dancers to respond to questions based on their experiences, their lives, their selves.

The dancers then generate movement based on their verbal responses.   We work quickly, aiming to capitalize on visceral reactions.  They’re true and they “read” strongly.  Since the dancers themselves are generating the movement, it already has an organic quality that could take hours and hours of rehearsal to achieve through movement that’s set on dancers by a choreographer.

The dancers will have more assignments and we’ll be working collaboratively to give each  other feedback.  I may shape solos a bit for the purposes of my project of focusing on enchantment in every day life.  We may tweak the solos for group performances.

Next up: I’m sending the dancers an email with homework and one of the dancers will kindly be emailing dancers video from last night of what they’ve come up with so far.  We’ll let it all marinate over the holidays and then get back together for the next round.  ‘Can’t wait!

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