Creative Block

At various points in my life, creating dance things has been as allusive to me as respectable behaviour is to the current president elect. To name a time, the past two years. Because of a few things that happened a few years ago which kind of killed my desire to be alone in a dance studio, to collaborate or dance with others, and to take artistic risks, I've shied away from making dances. Deep in the turmoil of self-doubt and distrust, the very idea of making a piece about something I cared about was way too threatening to attempt. I tried to not-care about what I made*, but it's really hard to care about making something you're trying to not-care about. In tandem with, and not unrelated to, this dance-studio-dread, a real-or-imagined creative block has taken hold of my body. Despite all this confusion, I kept putting myself in the way of dance - at residencies, onstage, and as a dance teacher - and I even cited it, honestly, as one of the main reasons I moved to Berlin this summer. So why have I kept inserting dance into my life, and vice versa? A dash of masochism, a lot of stubbornness, and some faith that this block won't last forever. But since it hasn't budged in awhile, I decided to document what happens to me in the studio when I'm both insecure as hell about my creative abilities, and also creatively blocked.

A lot of what I'm dealing with in the film "Creative Block" is that my ego, in its drive to make "good art" (which is a whole different conversation), takes control of my body. I, along with my ego, try all sorts of things to try to get over myself and out of my head: repetition, yelling, and emotional self-manipulation are some of my tactics - which creates an awkward and uncomfortable amalgam of creative expressions that I recorded. Far from what I've always been taught is "good," this piece is about moving through, instead of trying to avoid, the crap** the ego puts in front of us.

*I'm terrible at this, so everything I did make in these past few years I did, actually, care about. But it also came with an overwhelming anxiety about how inadequate the thing, and hence I, was.

**Including the compulsive desire to be perceived as profound, polished, unique, intelligent, responsible, interesting, entertaining, poignant, and sexy.