michael j. morris

Nijinsky, etc.
23 November, 2008, 12:56 am
Filed under: creative process, research | Tags: , , ,

Earlier tonight a friend of mine expressed her concern for me being shut up inside my house with these ghosts. . . and that’s a bit what it feels like, submerging myself in this research on Vaslav Nijinsky and Bronislava Nijinska. I have read Vaslav’sDiary and Bronislava’s Memoirs and I feel so familiar with them right now. I am presenting research this week on the relationship between Nijinsky and Serge Diaghilev and the affects of the relationship on Nijinsky’s work. Then I am writing a paper on the work of Nijinsky and Nijinska and their affects on the presentation and perception of gender in the early 20th century ballet. This research is consuming my life at the moment.

I am also considering overhauling my choreographic process right now. I had an informal showing of the piece on which I am working right now this past Thursday, and I was struck by what I saw (somehow in a new lens, just having outside viewers). I am considering scrapping about half of what I have created, set, and rehearsed, in favor of a more simple, subtle articulation of my intention. It could be stunning. And the question now becomes if I can release this material, honoring it for the role it played in getting me and this piece to this new crisis point, but recognizing that it may or may not be essential in the final presentation of the work. This would be a new step for me in my process, allowing the work to shift so dramatically from this initial plan. Generally when I begin work on a piece I have a sense of its arch, the entire direction in which it is moving. Partly that is because of the lengthy incubation period through which my concepts germinate. . . so that when I finally move into the studio to create/teach/structure/rehearse movement, I have a clear vision of where I am going. That was the same with this piece. . . it has been steeping since some time in the spring. . . and yet now, faced with its embodiment, I am deciding to take it in another direction. Which is a bit terrifying, but more objectively, most likely a positive shift in my process, allowing myself to let go, be more present in the now, truly see what it is I am looking at rather than clouding my vision with images of what I want to be looking at. . .

We’ll see how this all turns out.

It is amazing to think how close we are to the end of the quarter.

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