During the break I have watched many YouTube videos, films, classes, and live performances. Some of these have been dance and many have not. I have had to challenge myself to think before I speak and hope I can accurately understand from where each performer comes so that I may appreciate what has been brought to the performance.
In December we chatted about tradition and technique style/genre. Interestingly I have witnessed many groups attempting to stretch beyond their typical repertoire and exploring varied genres. Sometimes this has worked for those groups and at times the attempts were difficult to view. My perspective is that I think a group challenging itself to expand its repertoire should be aware of any cultural traditions as well as technical expectations that may be attached to performance styles new to a group of dancers, actors, or singers. Enthusiasm and hard work can help some things but do not compensate for what may be seen or heard as traditionally incorrect.
Do we as a society allow preconceived notions to sully our expectations? Does media hurt or enhance expectations? Are our opinions based on the same experiences as those we observe or hear?
How must we as dance teachers, instructors, and educators adapt to help our students move fluidly through many exercises both technically and emotionally? To convey absolutes is not necessarily right but when are interpretations not open to interpretation? Dance and life are not just mechanical but also emotional and must have breath to and feeling to be more than just steps on a journey. Not every person is at the same place on his or her journey at the same time. Finding objectivity to be patient and appreciate each person's journey is a challenge and a joy.