Sitting in front of my computer on this rather chilly autumn afternoon I cannot believe that we PD artists have seemingly come to the end of this portion of our “journey”. Over the course of practically one year we have created, critiqued, blogged, organized, rehearsed, coordinated, risked, stumbled, fumbled, doubted, questioned and actively participated in the development of intimate artistic visions as well as have acted as key players in the birth of this unique and ambitious Counterpulse Festival.
I have said this before, but after having seen all of my colleagues’ performances I can truly attest to how honored I am to have shared the festival with so many truly passionate and dedicated individuals. Although each genre/style was greatly different we were unified by the common thread of ancestry, deep tradition, commitment and respect.
I like writing and communicating by nature so with regards to the “blogging” portion of this project I entered it with curiousity, openness and an eagerness to share. I appreciated the fact that I was able to share in stream-of-consciousness form with members of the public who were willing and interested to read about my trials and tribulations with “Koreni”. I’d never blogged before so it was cool when I received written comments/responses to my musings.
How did the “blogging” affect the development of my work? Personally I think that in writing one is able to somehow bounce off ideas and organize thoughts in a unique way that helps to better focus, to “unclutter” so-to-speak. We performers do not create just for ourselves. There is always an audience and a public to have in mind and the greater connection we maintain with them the better we are able to communicate with them. C.S. Lewis said “We read to know that we are not alone” and I think that in writing and sharing our experiences we do the same. When a colleague answers my writings and says “Danica, I feel the SAME way you do!” it helps me to not feel so alone or perhaps confused and in turn I too am able to learn from others’ musings. I must say that reading many of my PD colleagues’ blogs inspired me in the development of my own work and has even spurned me to consider maintaining a regular blog.
The “public-process” aspect of PD was also interesting for me in that it offered an added intimacy and immediacy with regards to the artist/audience in a way that I would not normally be exposed to. Personally, I have always consulted key people who I respect and admire when I am working on/about to present a new choreography/project. I feel that an outside eye is extremely necessary and helpful as it, like the process of editing, helps us grow and attain better artistic clarity. But then again, without proper questioning/critique sometimes the outside “eye” can be too vague. The PD works-in-progress showings coupled with the Q&A sessions immediately following literally helped me clear up some doubts regarding the presentation of myself within my work and also posed some thought-provoking observations and ideas which I actually took to heart. I strive to communicate with my audience and especially in this culturally-specific medium from within I work it is absolutely necessary that I do not alienate anyone, rather invite and inform so they in turn may feel welcome in my “community”. I also appreciated the opportunity to be able to witness the audiences’ reaction to my colleagues and to be able to offer encouragement as well as advice as there is a great gift in being able to observe and listen.
Koreni is opportunity and gift given to me that I in turn shared with some of you, and like the ripples of a stone cast in the sea I hope that its path is just beginning. Thank you.