BY BRIAN GERKE
1. No to personal ownership over choreographic art that involves more than yourself.
Yes to reflecting on who has invested in you and how.
Yes to sharing credit and esteem, acknowledging the many entities that have led you to the culmination of a project.
2. Yes to compassion as well as sensitivity to the diverse experiences and backgrounds of dancer collaborators and fellow dance makers. Yes to self-compassion, too, especially in any creative process.
Yes to a safe space, generated by respect and courage, which inspires risk taking, inquisition and the free expression of ideas, no matter how conflicting they may be.
Yes to gaining insight from alternative learning styles, approaches, and ideas.
Yes to bravery and openness. Yes to trying on an idea with sincerity, and yes to saying no to things that you have considered but are not interested in including.
3. Yes to the intentional use of language vs. symbology.
Yes to noticing when your desire to capture something with words is actually making it more impossible to express with the wholeself.
Yes to embracing gestalt of meaning to underscore the necessity and power Integrative Intelligences [body, mind, emotion, imagination] on stage and in process.
4. Yes to experiential research over product based ambition.
No to mechanized, non-living, ways of creating choreography.
No to implicitly or explicitly seeing dancers as tools.
Yes to Unison as an intentional revealer of distinctiveness, uniqueness, and personality. No to Unison as a thoughtless device or as an erasure of the individual.
Yes to a uniquely expressive body over a dancing form that is perfectly proficient and devoid of personal groove.
Yes to processes that access the body in diverse and colorful ways, in order to cultivate and elaborate a multilingual body, full of possibilities, capable of complexity, simple clarity, and subtle sensation finding.
5. Yes to curiosity and finding ways to become curious.
No to complacency and embracing a singular working method that progresses by the use of previously established ideas and working methods, while avoiding experimentation and the risk of failure. Yes to transformation.
No to arriving and finishing.
Yes to seeing the possibilities and opportunities for inspiration, incubation, and greater expression and fulfillment in the refining and differentiating stages of creative process.
Yes to travel, reading, writing, creating, and remaining a student.
Yes to experiencing your own process as a collaborator-dancer. Yes to gaining more elaborate subject matter and an immense amount of empathetic information, whether it is in a class or a choreographic process.
6. Yes to validation.
Yes to “and”. No to “but.”
Yes to excess and range over limitation and hesitance.
No to betrayal in all forms. Yes to avoiding it at all costs.
7. Yes to a process that learns from and embraces failure, evaluation, adjustment, and repetition of experimentation.
Yes to trusting the residue each experiment and experience leaves. No to dictating what should remain in palimpsest [thanks, Elise] on participants or how it should appear.
Yes to intentional accountability, challenging requests, and guidelines for all individuals involved in art making, in order to undertake rigorous and profound inquiry the also feels humane, valuing the participants experience.
Yes to being “prepared” and appreciating that this does not always look a certain way. Yes to preparedness as availability for detours. Yes to preparedness as multi-intelligent- mind, body, emotion, and imagination.
Yes to questioning immediate judgments. Yes to valuing clear choice making in place of binaries associated with “good” and “bad” or “right” and “wrong”.
8. Yes to walking the talk and talking the walk. [Thank you, Ellen b.]