Oh how wonderful it is to have a good rehearsal. But what makes a good rehearsal?
On Friday I didn’t get as much cleaning done as I wanted, I am stressed that I need more time to rehearse this dance, new transitions that I built don’t look as I envisioned (that is nothing new,) and there are still a few blank spots to fiddle with. The beginning of rehearsal proved difficult as I struggled to get “spatial relationships” to work – and they didn’t. But, what happened toward the end of rehearsal simply made my day – my week, and probably my month as well.
There is something magic about “working together toward a common goal.” At this point in my life as a choreographer/educator, process is ultimately more important than product. On this particular day we (me and the dancers in the piece) worked together toward a common goal without me having to direct, encourage, prod, scold, nag, cheerlead, or any of that. As I worked with a quintet, another group of 6 took it upon themselves to refine and rehearse their section. Simple, I know, but watching young people making choices, taking ownership of their experience, and working together proactively is nothing short of inspiring.
As educators, we can only wish that students enjoy experiences that we have found valuable. We hope that they not only listen and perhaps understand what we are really doing here, but that they actually use the concepts and bring their own strengths, vision and creativity to any given project. This is an ultimate joy. Dances end, styles and popular aesthetics change as fast as you can pirouette, audience applause - as fleeting and rare as it is – disappears, (one is wise not to base their worth on it,) and the curtain ultimately closes. Friends and colleagues graduate and move on, and “secret dancers,” are forgotten. But, these experiences, and the character they build, become a part of the psyche, and are used and developed in new and exciting ways - owned forever.
I know, I am such a geek.