Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It's not about being perfect.

On Monday this week, I went sailing at the Cal Sailing Club in Berkeley. The wind was calm enough that Theron recommended I try driving...my first time at the tiller! The wind was so calm that the boat barely responded to my steering. All of a sudden, a gust came out of nowhere (apparently very common behavior on fall evenings on the San Francisco Bay). I completely freaked out! 3 seconds of sheer terror at maybe 8 knots. The wind subsided just as quickly and then I was completely embarrassed by my level of fear.

I am taking great comfort in the phrase "It's not about being perfect, it's about being human."(My perfectionist could use this reminder on a daily basis!) Phil Porter said this to describe what we do in WING IT! We dance, we tell stories, we sing songs, all made up in the moment and out of the content of our lives. As a performance company, we're not perfect, we're human.

Part of my intention for the Art Every Day Month in November is to try new styles of artistic expression. This is a great way for me to practice new things with their own gusts of wind! With my heart racing, I went to the art store and bought acrylic paints and some small square canvases (ranging from 3" to 6"). I have never used acrylic paints before. I have not made two dimensional visual art since junior high! Perhaps these pieces of art will live on my wall. Perhaps they will be Christmas presents. Or, perhaps they will go in the box to give to Goodwill.

Another favorite WING IT! phrase is "Get on. Get off. Get over it!" Perfect for improvisation. Start something, mess with it, end, move on to the next thing.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Improvisational Performance

On Tuesday evenings, Gretchen Wegner and I teach a performance skills class based on the improvisational system of InterPlay. I love the integration of voice and movement, of personal content with group expression. I find that InterPlay provides a unique system for ensemble creativity.

In last week's class, I explored internal inspiration alongside external connection. Tuning in without checking out. It's challenging to pay attention to my internal impulses while paying attention to the greater whole of what I am creating with my partner! And yet, I find those moments of group body and group mind so satisfying when they occur.

This week I am performing with the WING IT! Performance Ensemble. The company is celebrating 20 years of ensemble improvisation. Wow! I have now been in the company for 7 years. Before I joined this group, I was scared to death to use my voice in front of an audience. The use of the InterPlay technique has helped me to integrate my voice and my movement. It has been an inspiration for the dance-theatre work I do with my dance company, Mendana Productions.

For anyone in the Oakland vicinity, here are the details for the show:

Oct 23-25, 2009
Friday & Saturday 7:30 pm
at InterPlayce
2273 Telegraph Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Art Every Day

Last week I signed up for the Art Every Day Challenge in a split second decision. It felt rash in the moment. "I am not going to deliberate about this decision. I am just going to do it!" And then I realized that it is still early in October and the challenge does not begin until November. Oh well. Now I am thinking about how to prepare my space for making art everyday. My apartment is already crowded without many clear surfaces on which to work and without a large open space in which to dance. But this is why it is a challenge!

I have signed up for this endeavor with the intention of trying out new artistic expressions and with the hope that these creative days will inspire my dance making. I feel the need to try some new things to get those creative juices flowing. This blog will be the venue for sharing some images and videos and thoughts along the way.