Despite not posting on here for a few months I've had one topic swimming about in my head for a long time, however my thoughts on the matter have always been clunky and without clear direction. In all honesty I'm scared. Now I think I will bite the bullet, clunkiness and all.
In May of this year I stopped performing with Hofesh Shechter Company as I felt three years of one thing, (even though a fantastic thing,) was more than enough. Bluntly put, HSC are a mainstream, large-scale company and I naïvely believed that after working with such a company, finding work as a freelancer wouldn't trouble me at all.
I was quite wrong, and thus ensued months of fruitless auditions and bitty projects that didn't pay off enough to even pay the rent. It was a useful experience and things have since improved, but it was in those auditions that I remembered what I both love and hate about the dance profession, as I know it.
It is my belief that arrogance should not exist in contemporary dance. Years sweating in front of the mirror at dance school, wearing only a unitard, usually puts that idea to bed straight away, and with the obstacles we all generally face in order to get work or recognition, humbleness and openness are usually the byproducts of that. It is however, not a perfect world.
There was one audition in particular that caused me both great joy, and great pain. At one point during the day we were put into small groups and asked to create a small piece of 'choreography'. Amongst my group there was someone who was incredibly generous, open to everyone's ideas and who singlehandedly made that thirty minutes of my day a very manageable thirty minutes. We are now the best of Facebook friends. There was also a character who listened to no-one, immediately assumed that their ideas were stronger, only focused on themselves, and succeeded in offending more than one person within our party in the process.
There have of course been contrary moments, but for me dance has generally been nothing but a humbling experience. I will not presume that I will ever be in a position where I can offer others job or creative opportunities, but your peers might one day be known teachers, choreographers and artistic directors. They might be able to offer you those opportunities. Be nice.