inspirations, beliefs, philosophies: is a dance career a *REAL* career?

dpg_0286A while back as a colleague and I were talking about a company we work for, the topic of conversation moved from our usual dance-related musings to our availability for some upcoming gigs. Our boss is a generous and understanding man who cut his teeth in the corporate world and then transitioned to the artistic one, but he doesn’t often understand the life of artists and people in non-corporate fields. A week or so before, I sent my schedule of availability to the corporate office which included all dates I could accept gigs as well as dates that I couldn’t. It just so happened that this year I was unavailable for a gig that I usually make myself available for and my boss was highly disappointed. He took it upon himself to go ask my colleague, “Why is Bryan not available for this event? He usually works it. He’s not doing anything new and he doesn’t have a real job, so I don’t understand why he’s not available!”

I’ll admit, when I heard this, I was low-key offended. “A real job?!”, I thought to myself – “what on Earth am I out here doing everyday and night?! Playing?!” After I settled my nerves about the shade of it all, it got me thinking, “Is a dance career a “REAL” career?”  Why wouldn’t it be? For those of us in this career path, there’s no other answer but YES. We throw our bodies around rehearsing and performing, tax our minds planning and codifying lessons, shrink our wallets training and keeping up with what’s next…sounds like a career to me! Although that’s my reality, I wanted to get the consensus from the other side, from people who aren’t dancers or in the arts industry. Flip the page to see what I found…

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choreo journal #11: the art of letting go

SPDC promo photo by Nicole BattistoneRELAX. RELATE. RELEASE.

This dancelife does not quit y’all.  After a full Monday through Thursday of taking and teaching classes, creating choreography, and a performance or two, I’m damn near beat. As much as I love it, the fatigue in my bones, muscles, tendons, and joints all want to take a looong break in my very comfortable bed. Then comes Friday. The end of my week is punctuated with company class and rehearsal for dancEnlight, one of the two modern companies that I dance with. I drag my physical body out of bed, toss some food down my gullet, throw on an eclectic array of dance clothing, jump in the car, battle traffic and time, arrive at the studio, say hello, and try to warmup – all that is before class begins. Class itself isn’t that bad – some stretching, tendus, battements, a lovely adagio, some really nice movement across the floor, wrapped up with a big leaps and girthy movement. Sweaty and smiling, my favorite part of class comes when the chill music plays and we take the floor for cool down.

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Quote

hello friends! thinking of you all…

baryshnikov leap

“When a dancer comes onstage, he is not just a blank slate that the choreographer has written on. Behind him he has all the decisions he has made in life. . . . Each time, he has chosen, and in what he is onstage you see the result of those choices. You are looking at the person he is, the person who, at this point, he cannot help but be. . . . Exceptional dancers, in my experience, are also exceptional people, people with an attitude toward life, a kind of quest, and an internal quality. They know who they are, and they show this to you, willingly.” – Mikhail Baryshnikov

 

choreo journal #8 – free

abstract-spirit

“…the moon and the stars / you know they’re really aren’t so far / I feel so free…”

– lyrics from “Blue”, composed & produced by Yoko Kanno, vocals by Mai Yamane, from Cowboy Bebop OST 3 “Blue”

Recently, I posted about “epic” songs. You know, the songs that make you feel open and free and want to soar to the highest heights. You love to listen to them because they make you feel great.

When it comes to creating movement set to the music, it’s a COMPLETELY different story. I don’t know what it is about – is it that I don’t think my movement would do the song justice?

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philosophy: the cycle of artistic expression

“don’t imitate, originate”

Disclaimer: This is my very first philosophy post. Remember that all of this is relative and is my opinion only. I welcome other viewpoints and am always up to discuss all matters involving the creation and expression of the arts.

In the quiet moments when I think about the fact that I create for a living or when I’m watching others’ creations, I’m always amazed at the capacity we have as humans to take an impetus or inspiration, conceptualize/literalize it, and create what can be considered as art. We have an innate ability to “make something from nothing” and I find it endlessly fascinating. If you’re intrigued, I elaborate after the jump….

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