Sunday, March 24, 2013

Creativity Flows in Two Directions

To be a creative person, whether it's writing or visual arts, creating or playing music, dance - I believe one commonality is that the creativity must go in two directions. We create our passions, our lives, our experiences and interpretations and those flow out into the world in whatever way is our own. But we also must have creativity flowing inward.

We must also be the audience, the reader, the viewer, the listener. We have to be refilled by things outside of us - by which I mean to be inspired and exposed and present in the world.

I know that some artists sometimes have to go inward or to retreat from the busy-ness which can consume our time and energy. But I also know that we have to go out and see what others are creating. It doesn't have to be in the same medium in which we create - but just to be witness to the process and product of others.

I believe it's good to step outside of only what we create and get inspiration from other mediums. To expose ourselves to, and sometimes to immerse ourselves in, something outside of our norm is good. It keeps us awake and aware.

And it keeps creativity flowing in as well as out.

On Friday I went to the final White Bird Uncaged performance of the season. I bought season tickets to all of the Uncaged series, as well as individual tickets to a couple of other shows. This performance was originally with a different group from outside of the US; but Visa and immigration issues cropped up which prevented them from being able to get here in time for the performances. White Bird tapped Illstyle & Peace Productions, a hip-hop dance company from Philadelphia as a replacement.

Even though hip-hop dance is something I've never done and never will, it was inspiring and, yes, creativity flowed inward. A couple of parts the movement and the energy was so strong that I had tears. Not crying because of narrative content or regret or anything negative - but tears of awe of the dance and the physicality and how the dancers worked together.

For me, watching dance can help to fill my creative tank. Often the most inspiring and the ones I respond to most are the ones I could never explain to another person; I don't even try. I respond to dance at a physical and emotional level - it's not something which passes through my logical brain. I may admire the skill and the movement - but I don't know what most of it is called and I don't even try to figure out the meaning. I react with my body and with my spirit. And my spirit is where my creativity lives.

What fills up your creativity? And where is the center of your creative response?

This is a video of Illstyle & Peace Produtions. I like that there are some pieces of performances, as well as information from the founder and choreographer. It does have captions, as well.