3/2013 Mai-Juni


During a recent visit to the Silva Dance Company studio in Central Harlem, New York, I became the witness of a very interesting audition: The choreographer Leandro Silva did an excellent job making the dancers feel good about showing their individual talents by encouraging them to play with the music, to have fun, and forget about anybody else in the room.

The result was amazing: The dancers immediately loosened up; I could literally see how relaxed they were, and how much they enjoyed the experience, eagerly grabbing this opportunity to show their full creative potential within the theme of the audition. Their faces were full of admiration for the other contestants’ improvisations, and while they likely felt inspired by them, every single lady in this small group expressed herself in her own special way. One song and four unique interpretations! All of them valid, all terrific! There was no competitive pressure in the air. The choreographer had succeeded in creating an atmosphere to bring out the best in each dancer and keep their performance anxiety to a minimum by focusing on creativity instead of competition. And not only that: He had also created a space for mutual respect.

When I left, I felt extremely grateful for this experience, and it inspired me to write about the wonderful concept of CREATIVITY once again. Creativity does not only mean individuality and uniqueness, although these are essential ingredients. It also embraces inspiration and authenticity. When you tap into the source of your creative potential (instead of copying others for fear of not being able to compete with what you have to offer, or of “not being enough”), you inspire yourself and others. This is when you become truly authentic, and your audience will feel that.

You may argue that you have to stay within the limits of a choreographer’s specific instructions and expectations,… and you are absolutely right! But let me ask you this: Isn’t there an infinite panoply of varieties even within those boundaries? When I see a dance show, I find it fascinating how the dancers’ idiosyncracies as to their artistic expression, their personalities, their movements, and their gestures merge into a harmonious choreographic entity. It is a playful interaction of real human beings, each of them with their own singular experiences, which – together with their specific talents and skills – are flowing into their distinctive “body dance language”. The audience can sense it when the dancers are “in the zone”, present in the moment. This is when their inner beauty comes to shine. This is when the words “grace” and “divine inspiration” come to mind. Thus, creativity also means being present and listening to your inner source. Where creativity rules, there is no space for rivalry. Where creativity rules, there is art.

By Regina Huber

Photo Camnhi © Marcos de Castro