Being a director brings out a lot of sides of you, both good and bad. It's brought out my creativity, anger, joy, frustration, rudeness, and sensitivity. But it's also brought out something that I didn't expect at all: fearlessness and confidence. I've always been self conscious of my body, a by-product of being a dancer as well as a woman. While I was performing this past weekend, I realized for the first time that I didn't give a damn how my body looked or what anyone else thought about it. I felt no fear about showing my body in layers of spandex in front of an audience.
I suspect this change has come from two things. One, being a director has shifted my focus from worrying about my performance to worrying about everyone else's performance. Once I'm done worrying about nine other people, my body image has a very low ranking on my list of things to be stressed about. And two, I've spent two months learning about the body insecurities of nine other dancers. It's been eye-opening and heartbreaking to hear about the deeply-penetrating insecurities we all experience when it comes to how we look in different costumes and how our bodies are shown onstage. Being on the receiving end of these insecurities, I felt a responsibility to show how to confront these insecurities head-on and using those feelings to drive my performance instead of hindering it. This does not discount the feelings of my dancers by any means; on the contrary, they have helped me to harness my own feelings and turn them into something that gives me power.
I expected to learn a lot during my first experience as a director, but I never thought I would be learning to love and appreciate myself more. Thank you to my dancers, and thank you WTF.
(Photo credit, Elizabeth Anderson)
Join Sarah in her class Storytelling Through Movement August 30th, 7pm-9pm at Sonorous Road. This is an introduction to how choreography can be used to tell a story. The format will be user-friendly to non-dancers and dancers alike. We will cover how to take inspiration from the dialogue, setting, and music of the show as well as how to develop original movement material. Taught by Sarah Duncan (Director, Music & the Mirror) and Rowen Haigh.
Music and the Mirror plays Sept 2, 3 at Sonorous Road. Get your tickets today!