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Shhhh……welcome to the innermost depths of my creative mind where I spill all…a road none have traveled before….
OK, I’m back in thinking and feeling mode again on this dance. My first practice is in two weeks so I need to “move it, move it”
The creativity process is this whole up and down thing, and nothing illustrates it better than this:
The whole key is not to get overwhelmed, not to get lost in the minutia, and focus on the big parts. I get discouraged sometimes, especially when the ideas dry up, when things aren’t coming together. That’s when I stop and step back for a day or two. Sometimes this is also a sign I’m going in the wrong direction. If I’m not enjoying creating the dance – I’ll feel this all the way through and every time I perform it. Don’t let that happen to you! I’d rather scrap my original idea (like I did for this one) or even change to another song if I need to. Sometimes you just need to step back for a breather, spend time letting inspiration hit you then coming back.
I had one dance I loved but things just weren’t clicking with the choreography. My answer? I changed my scenery and went to another sim!
Yep. A naturalist sim – Lupe’s. I tossed hovertext over my head saying I was lost in dance and to feel free and enjoy, tossed on my choreo huds, played my music that only I could hear, and I broke through my creativity wall with my music and choreography. If you’ve seen this performance – Echoes in Rain by Enya, now you know the beauty of the sim was an inspiration.
Sometimes I choreograph in my dance studio, sometimes on a rough build of the set, sometimes on another sim like this one. I trust my feelings a lot when it comes to dance, and that internal pull.
So, back to forming my vision. This will guide the rest of my choices – set, movement, effects, choreo, so I need to have a basic starting vision that will evolve over time. I mentioned attitude, 2 other dancers, dancing forward stage a lot and really trying to draw in the audience so they felt I was connecting directly with each of them.
Back to listening to the music again…. (remember when I said pick a song you love because you’ll listen to it 800 times?)
I try not to get lost in fancy effects in the beginning stages, because then they can become my focus more than the dance itself. Sets are actually one of the most difficult things for me. Costumes are the second most difficult thing – always a challenge. I’ve actually started to read articles about design and composition, using colors. Whether RL or SL, similar concepts apply! Bonus? I may get better at home interiour for my own RL home!
So, my rough concept. When I dance for this venue, I’m always inspired to really push my limits and do things I’ve never done before. I’m also driven to create an amazing and cohesive performance – from the movement, to choreo, costumes, effects, and set. I don’t want to have a great set and weak choreo, I want costumes that will pop.
So, as I let ideas flow and begin seeing visions in my head (dance visions, not psychedelic ones)! What I see as a rough start:
The dance starts in a big dark sewer under the street. Lighting will be important, probably vegetation or stuff hanging down, sewer grates that shine down light. The 2 female dancers come out and join me from side tunnels. I want to add an effect so it feels like we’re really moving through the sewer. There will be dirt and water flowing through the bottom of the sewer and probably a few skittering rats. During a transition in the music, we will climb up a ladder into a dark alley and dance. Because this is the Riddler and his skill is magic, I really want to try flipping the set like it’s made of cubes – they all start a staggered flip and it transforms into Riddler’s lair. Once in Riddler’s lair all bets are off – choreo takes on an edge, add some special things. Riddler is in “her space” and is really going to show who she is. Riddler wants to take over the world – is extremely intelligent and wants it all.
I like this idea. I know I’ll change it as I create, and probably even simplify it. Now I have a vision.
Next step is animations. As a woman, I find that animations can appear very differently depending on the costume I wear – whether a long flowing dress, barely there leather straps, or in this one as the Riddler. I like to have either the costume I will wear or something that’s similar before I start choosing animations. It might not be “the” dress, but one that flows similarly to what I’d like when I finish the costume works well. I generally start the base of my costume at this point, then refine it and finish it later.
For this dance, I’d already finished the costume. Here it is:
Actually, that’s not the final version. I added question marks to the hat too, so that it tied in and really felt like the Riddler. It’s not a great picture, but you get the idea.
Now I have my music, a vision, a costume/something similar, next step is to start choosing animations for my dance.
Onward and upward! Until the next installment…dance to the music in your head and enjoy the ride!
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