Existential Art Crisis…

I had an existential artist moment.

I had all these great insights into how I’m going to approach this new choreography I’m working on in a really multi-layered approach — journaling, researching old videos to drill moves and combinations I thought were interesting, recording multiple improvisational videos to the same song to start establishing patterns, designing my practice to train for this specific piece.

Then I went through my practice video log.

When I started really critically studying my videos, I saw myself in a completely different light than I have in the past. I have always been horribly self-critical and have never fully liked any video of myself I have made, but this was different. I could not get past the fact that… I look amateurish. I’m not graceful. My arms are a wreck. What’s most important, almost all my pieces are completely emotionally vacant. God, after getting so excited about this new piece, I suffered the most severe bout of ego-death I’ve ever experienced.

For the first time EVER in my life, I questioned whether I was meant to be a dancer. What purpose does it serve?

I had a moment where I thought, “Maybe I’m never going to get to the point where I can create something significant, no matter how hard I try.”

I know, this sounds completely overdramatic. But you know what, it WAS pretty darn dramatic to me. I felt rattled in a sense that I haven’t felt in a long, long time. The phrase “shaken to the core” had new meaning.

I don’t know what it means.

I hope it means that I am about to move forward significantly as an artist. I think it means that if I want to create something really meaningful, I need to start choreographing pieces as opposed to just improvising. I need to work harder. I can’t give up.

This week is devoted to relearning how I approach dance. It’s time for a complete overhaul. Stay tuned.

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4 responses to “Existential Art Crisis…

  1. I think you’re being too hard on yourself, after all, you’ve been in big shows, you’ve been certified by Suhaila, you’re obviously not an amateur. I really enjoy your style and have been watching your videos you have posted for several months since I subscribed to your blog and frankly haven’t even noticed the things you’re stressing about. I would agree about the emotional connection, actually I think the majority of tribal fusion dancers out there don’t really do that, and I wish they would, I think a dancer that reaches out and smiles and throws love out to her audience can cover a multitude of small technical sins, just by her charm. 😉

    • Thanks, Tammy. I suffer from Overly Criticial-itis. I agree with you about tribal fusion dancers lacking emotion frequently. I still remember seeing this girl’s solo — it was her first solo ever — and all I really remember from the performance was that she was smiling the biggest, happiest, genuine smile I had ever seen. It made her instantly memorable — I don’t remember what skill level she was at, I just remember the smile.

  2. Pingback: Nurturing Creativity « Starving Artistry

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