michael j. morris

Creative Process
22 October, 2008, 11:24 pm
Filed under: creative process | Tags: , ,

I am in the midst of creating a new dance, one which is exploring the tension between noumenon and phenomenon, or something like objective reality and subjective personal perceptual reality. That which is and our individual experiences/understandings/interpretations/constructions of that which is.

As of now it is a dance for eight dancers.

I am in flux/crisis as to what direction this process will take. There is a polarity between two different process models that I am considering. . . I don’t know if there is a gradient between the two, a kind of compromise between them, a way to address both. I think that is what I am investigating right now, in rehearsals, in my journals, even typing this post right now.

These are the “models”:

Model A: My personal “traditional” creative process which involves the selection of a subject, the development of conceptual material, the structure of the piece, and the actual movement vocabulary of the piece, the conveyance of that material to the dancers working on the project, the rehearsal of that material in conjunction with various exercises (written, movement, conceptual, group/individual, etc.) intended to develop not only the actions of the piece, but the manner in which those actions are considered and carried out, a mode of consciousness in a sense. This is Model A which was initially my plan for this project.

Model B: Now I am wondering if this isn’t an ideal process in which to incorporate a kind of post-positivist research component, intermingled with the creative process, in which the subject of the dance informs the actual process/product. This model could look something like: I as the choreographer generate movement material. I convey that material to the dancers. I observe how they perceive/interpret/construct the material for themselves (a microcosm of the existential macrocosm about which the piece is being developed), then set/rehearse the movement vocabulary as a synthesis between the “original” (objective) and the interpretations (subjective). This is fascinating. . . but also labor intensive.

Perhaps it is possible to land somewhere in between. Tonight in my rehearsal, for instance, I taught movement phrases, then observed the interpretations of those phrases, taking notes as to how they differed from the original. Maybe it is enough to simply consciously compile that data as the process emerges, giving it some ability to influence the choreographic process, but ultimately maintaining the primary responsibility of what is set/rehearsed/performed as an expression of my own creative voice. Having compiled the additional data throughout the rehearsal process opens up the possibility of interpretation/organization of that data into some sort of discovery after the project itself. Still involving the research component, but more after-the-fact rather than mingling it too much with the creative process (for this project; for another project, that would be a fascinating process).

That is the creative crisis I am in tonight. Writing about it has helped me quantify/qualify some of my thoughts. Thanks for being present for that.




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