Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Perform less, watch more

One of my favorite performance photos from 2013

You may have noticed that I haven't posted about a lot of upcoming performances lately, and I'm OK with that. After attending a few shows as an audience member at the end of the year, I made a conscious decision to cut back on performing for the first few months of 2014, for a few reasons:

1. I feel like in my rush to reach my goals as a dancer, I got into a habit of chasing after performance opportunities.

2. I'm currently in an inspiration lull, where I'm a bit bored with my music and in need of something new. For a while there I felt like I was constantly coming up with new solos and now I am drained, and I really need to go back and improve the things that I rushed through and then discarded.

3. When I'm focused on developing a new solo, I only work on the specific "new" technique or idea I'm playing with in it, instead of doing well-rounded practice. I feel like a lot of my basic technique has gotten sloppy and I want to spend the first 3-4 months of the year getting myself back into shape, and then moving beyond where I was.

4. I feel like right now I should be putting more energy into troupe stuff, now that we don't have a director to keep us on track, I really need to work on self-managing and making sure I'm not getting lazy about the choreographies we perform.

A nice side effect of not performing all the time is that I get more opportunities to watch dance. Faizeh just wrote a great blog post "Why You Should Watch Bellydancers Live and on YouTube" that I completely agree with. And when I get focused on performing all the time, I never get to watch other dancers. Either I'm dancing that night myself, or I feel like I have to stay home and spend time with my husband because I've danced every night that week, or I've blown my budget on costumes for new shows, so I can't really justify dinner out and a show ticket. It's no wonder I'm starting to feel uninspired, I haven't been out immersing myself in the art I so dearly love!

So while I will still be performing at Open Stage every month with my troupe (and probably as a soloist), I'm looking forward to spending more time in the audience than on the stage. 


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