Friday, December 23, 2016

Looking to 2017...

So this is a companion piece obviously to yesterday's year in review post. :)

As a bit of additional information from yesterday, in dancing in more shows than I originally had planned to and with the healing process regarding dance, I ended up recycling a bunch of pieces that I had done before. And, yes, since these pieces had never been performed here, they were essentially new for the area. They were okay but didn't feel as satisfying as I would have expected them to be. Or, in some cases, it was hard to reproduce the piece as it had originally been intended, which wasn't a big deal since I'm an improvisational dancer but was a disconnect from the enjoyment that I had had on some of those pieces before. And this is important b/c it leads to a bunch of goals for next year. :)

Goal: Work on more pieces
Since I had so few new pieces this year, one of the goals for 2017 is to work on new pieces to have them ready at the drop of a hat should I need to fill in at the last minute for a show. I used to have a paradigm where I knew when the big events were and I'd get ready for those and map that out way ahead of time. I don't have such a blueprint to go by now and while I do have some performances planned already for 2017, it's not within the context of (insert ominous voice) big event so something to adjust to.

Goal: Redefine what practice is/Rekindle practicing
For a number of reasons that I won't get into, I'm taking some distance from the style and term of "tribal fusion", which is also having a rippling effect on my goals for next year. One of the very immediate thought that popped to mind and that I've been wrestling with this past year is how to practice because, as part of that distancing, I don't want to drill as much as I used to.

When I was trying to practice in the last year, it felt so off! Like I had no point of reference anymore and like what I was doing was wrong. It wasn't. The context was different and I ignored that. It dawned on me recently that my whole context around dancing has changed so drastically in the last few years but I've been semi ignoring that and trying to do the same version of practice... which is nonsensical. I don't have a studio anymore, I don't have a troupe or students to lead through drills, I'm not even in the same city, etc. And I'm not going to drill as much.

So time to thoroughly revamp and redefine what practice is, how to construct a practice session, etc. I'm also thinking of not being so all or nothing with practice in that it doesn't have to be long sessions. I just need to do it more and find out what works for me now.

Goal: Redefine who I am as a dancer
One thing that I realized in the last couple of weeks is that the main reason why those previous pieces didn't feel "right" was because I am no longer that dancer nor even that person anymore. They were a snapshot in time and represented a period in my life, sometimes even whispering messages to me (i.e., my subconscious speaking to me) but these aren't as relevant anymore. So who am I now as a dancer? What feels right? Where do I want to take this? I don't have answers right now... and that's okay. I can surely figure that out over time. I'm not going to let that introspection get in the way of actually doing things, though. But I'm hoping that, through the experimentation that I'll do in my practice and performances, I'll explore these questions and hopefully come up with some answers (which will of course change over time).

I have a few other goals that are evolving and I may work on for 2017 as well but this is a good list to start with, especially since some are bigger goals in the grand scheme of things. :)

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