Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Creating A New Vocabulary

What does it take to create a new dance? 

Can we add new movements to a current style? 

We're at the end of the first decade of the 21st century. And street dance is blossoming around the world. Instead of looking at current styles, let's explore how one can approach innovating with dance. These are just possibilities but they're intriguing to entertain.

First, what kind of music inspires you? Is there a genre that fires up your soul to passionately move? History has shown that new dances have sprung from changing musical cultures. The instrumentation, rhythms, and progressions of a burgeoning musical genre are the lifeblood for our bodies to move in new ways. We illustrate that music with our hands, feet, head, core, and every inch of our being.

Next, inspiration can be found in the world around us - in nature, in cities, even our homes. As a new music genre motivates us, we can see movement patterns and rhythms from our surroundings that we can make our own. Look at primal creatures moving in the wild. Or construction machinery in your neighborhood. Or how the video frames jerk when you scrub through a Quicktime movie on your laptop.

Bringing in other artistic forms can inspire new directions. What if we took the hybrid approach? Fusing spoken word with popping. Bring a narrative filmmaking approach to choreography. Or create musical rhythms and sounds from our body movements. The perspectives of other non-dance artists can give us new eyes for our dance. We might even create a new form of performance art. 

There seems to be a need to evolve in all of us. We want to grow. We want to become something more than we are. And our artistic journey is intertwined with this desire. To stay frozen in time and spirit seems antithetical to the human experience. We're explorers at heart. We love to discover and to delight in the discovery of something new.

So creating seems wired in our nature. As we preserve and appreciate what has been done before us, how do we unleash this deep need to create? Perhaps it will be found when we're able to speak out in our own artistic voices to the world. As artists, we can choose not to create or speak alone. When we express what's deep inside of us and share that with another, something magical happens. It's very real and tangible. We just might be responding to everything that we've been taking in. And somewhere in this back-and-forth dialogue, a new dance vocabulary or art form can be born.

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