When I was a little girl, my mom enrolled me in ballet classes. I was so terrible and so frustrated that I eventually asked if I could just stay home and read books instead. Apparently, she was relieved. We both knew I had no future in the physical arts.
Sometimes, though, I feel like I’ve missed out on something. There’s probably nothing more fun than creating something beautiful with a full team, and I can’t think of a better visual for the combined power of vision and teamwork that drives the best innovations than dance.
My favorite movie of 2013 was about a young dancer trying to realize her own vision of the world. In most situations, her lack of social filter caused her and others a lot of pain. But in art, it was her source of strength.
There’s immense value in playing a part that written by someone else. We get to be part of a team and make something that’s only possible when we all let go of our egos and work together.
There are other times when we waste a lot of energy trying to play a part that isn’t meant for us. We’ll never be more than an understudy.
Finally, there are times when we have to own our unique vision. It’s even more work than learning someone else’s meticulous moves. We have to translate our idea into something others can not only collaborate on, but help us perform.
Whatever stage you’re in as this year comes to a close, I hope you’ll find a little joy in some of my favorite dances of all time.
For the all-star team with great leadership and outstanding production values: Bob Fosse Choreography, The Rich Man’s Frug
For the co-founders who still have to rely a little on smoke and mirrors: Adriano Celentano and the inimitable Raffaella Carra, Prisoncolensinaunciusol (dance starts at 1:23)
And, of course, for the solo artist who’s still trying to fight the power on her own: Rosie Perez in “Do The Right Thing”
Happy holidays, everyone!