Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Performers... more than meets the eye...

Is anyone else picturing Optimus Prime in a hip scarf? Anyone?

I digress...

After last week's dance class, I felt extremely discouraged. I was having a hard time with the improvisation portion of the class... again. I was beating myself up about it that night, when I came to a few realizations...

The first realization is that I never practice improvisation. Yes, I know "improvisation practice" seems like an oxymoron, and that might be why I have not been doing it. When I make time to practice, I tend to stare scrutinizingly into the mirror and drill on very specific movements. Did I forget how much fun it is to play music and dance around my apartment without obsessing over technique?

The second is that I do not improvise ANYTHING in life. I am a planner. That is not to say that everything goes according to my plans... in fact, quite the contrary. Nonetheless, I do a lot of planning... I make lists before packing for a single overnight... I plan the order in which to eat M&Ms to ensure an even color distribution throughout the entire experience... heck, I write rough drafts before touching a pen to a $3.00 greeting card.

The third realization is that sometimes I need a serious challenge to force me to the next level. Jamileh announced that she was looking for dancers to perform with her at the Downeast Country Dance Festival at the end of the month. She explained that since that is now only three weeks away, we really only have time to put together one choreographed piece, and the other piece will be a form of "organized" improvisation. It is the perfect challenge! I answered the call for volunteers, and so, my first public performance (outside of our studio show last spring) will include improvisation. Yes, just the thought of it starts excessive adrenaline production... but not to worry, I have plan...
  1. Practice, practice, practice dance improvisation.
  2. Perform BEAUTIFULLY at the festival.
  3. Ponder whether practicing dance improvisation could lead to more flexibility in other areas of my life...

Wish me luck!

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