What an odd question. What an odd quandary. How is it even possible that, when you have total control over the creation of a dance, you could possibly actually for real create something that you do not like. Then what do you do with it? Keep pushing the paint around until you finally like it, or until you have so much paint on the canvas you need to scrape it all off, gesso the surface, and start anew?
I’ve been pondering.
I think some songs are fabulous to dance to, but not very inspiring when it comes to translating into a visual image. When performing, we want to do something more than simply dance in a textured box. Dance as entertainment requires more than choreography. Otherwise, our audience might as well go to a club or party and watch people dancing, particularly where couples dances are concerned. People attending a show expect and deserve more. Interesting sets, dazzling costumes, and special effects all enhance our dances, with each element contributing to the entertainment quality of our final production. But we can love to MOVE to a song, yet find no visual expression or concept to convey that song on stage.
So we try to force it, perhaps. We may create a dance for it anyway, with a loose idea for a concept that we are sure we can tighten up as we build it. However, even after all our effort, we may find at the end of the day that we have created a dance we simply do not like. So what to do with this song we love but can’t seem to form into a scene? Or, what to do when we form a scene complete with costume, tight choreo, special effects… and we still are not feeling it? Is it a bad dance if we do not like it? Or, might it be a good dance, just not one that suits us personally. Of course, when I say “we” I mean “me.” I still wonder how it is possible that a person with total creative control over an act can finish up with something not to their liking. But this has happened to me. Has it happened to you?
What makes a dance a good dance? Is there even such a thing? As I know of many dances some people love and others do not like at all. So it all comes down to personal preference. Which would mean there is no such thing as a good or bad dance, only what a person does or does not like. I think the important thing is that the creator of the dance be pleased with it. That individual must feel satisfied with their creation.
I think the thing to do is to ask yourself, “What is it about this dance that I do not like?” My thing always comes down to: It’s boring. It’s just a set, some dancing, some mover work… but it is not AMAZING, it is not MIND BLOWING, it is… just a dance. A good clean fun dance with a great set, awesome costumes, and effects that show effort was extended. Yet still, it is just a dance. It NEEDS something. It needs… maybe a space ship to come flying in and land on the stage. Or some explosions. Or six scene changes just to add interest, not because the dance actually requires the changes, but to keep the audience eyes moving so they don’t get bored.
At what point can a dance be accused of being overworked?
I suppose at the end of the day, I have to remind myself why I dance. I do it because it is a social outlet through which I can express my love of music. I can’t sing or play any musical instruments, but I LOVE music and love to dance in real life. In Second Life, I can expand on dancing by incorporating visuals into the production. It is art. It is creative expression. It is often fun. And, it is how I “hang out” with like-minded people.
Feel free to like, share, and comment. I am eager to hear of your experiences in ever having created a dance you did not like. I would like to read how you handled it. Just to get some new thoughts, different perspectives.