Body and Mind… A follow-up.

This morning’s random musings lead me to this thought: I like watching dancers who have clearly put lots of thought into their performances.  I like watching a dancer with something to say.  I like watching a group of dancers express themselves emotionally.  I want to see into the dancers’ souls briefly, to see what makes them tick, what shadows they hide.

What bores me?  I don’t like watching a dancer who has no story to tell.  I don’t like watching a dancer who is just showing off technical skill with no meaning behind it all.  I often find performances that are just energetic and fun dull.  Performances that have put more thought into their presentation than the overall idea of their performance leave me cold.  What’s the point?  What are you trying to tell me?  What is your story?

I want a connection.

Art is about being raw.  Art is not always about being pretty.  Art is not just about having fun.  Art is about expressing your inner Shadow, your demons, your scary secrets in a way that not only provides you with catharsis but also helps others cope and deal with their own demons.  Art is about making a connection beyond, “wow, that performance was really fun!”, or “wow, did you see that girl’s isolations?”, or “did you see that girl with three swords on her head?”.

At the end of the day, I am a dancer because I want to make art, and I want to express my ideas, my demons, my dark elements in a way that feels natural to me.  I practice my technique because my technique is my medium, my paint and my brushes that I use in my performances.  I might not physically practice for 6 hours a day, but I think about dance and art from the moment I wake up to the moment I sleep.  I am not a dancer because I just want to have fun.  I am not a dancer because I just want to show off an aesthetic or my new dance tricks.  I am a dancer because I have things I want to say and ideas to express that I don’t know how to express by any other means.

 

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One of my favorite quotes: “Artists revive old myths and generate new ones. Because their primary sources are spiritual, nonmaterial, they can have a clearer vision. By the use of myths, artists put society in touch with universal basic questions and feelings we all have about life.” -Audrey Flack, Art & Soul

(btw, Audrey Flack has an amazing installation in Rock Hill, SC, you should go check it out).

From my own artist statement from years ago: “Art is a question and answer session. It’s the artist’s solution to the scientific method, without the necessity for being precise or having to reproduce a predictable outcome. Art making is simply visual brainstorming, as well as a reflection of the birth process: conception, gestation, birth! So, art making tends to be a process of personal revelation for the artist. So what is the final result’s purpose then? The art then acts a means to inform and educate the community; it becomes a visually oriented teaching tool that has the potential to truly enlighten. Art is also a powerful means of mythmaking. The myth is a rather underestimated and overlooked thing that is present in every part of our lives on a daily basis. People constantly involve themselves in personal and public mythmaking, re-describing or clarifying themselves and their world. So myth does not exist solely in the realms of fantasy, rather it is intertwined with all truths, and invariably magnifies them. To remind people of myths is to remind people of the many faces of Truth, and art is very capable of that. “

 

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[…] and I have had many, many conversations over the years, between ourselves and with others, about tribal bellydance, […]

 

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