Sitting in the rehearsal space at the Pineapple Dance Studios, London I'm observing the rehearsal process of an international dance company called International Arts Collective.
The choreographer and Artistic Director is Rose Alice and the piece they're working on is called FREE due for performance in summer 2019.
I'm here for R&D (Research and Development).
It's an opportunity for me to gain more insight into the minds and bodies of creatives and their needs. Today it’s dancers. Last year, it was also singers and musicians.
Right now, it's morning just after the Christmas and New Year break. What a refreshing and exhilarating start to my first week back doing what I love after a 6 week ‘end of year' break.
The rehearsal process starts with a ballet warm up similar to the many ballet classes I've been attended however SO MUCH FASTER. It’s mega inspiring to watch the dance artists bend, open, close, extend, restrict and free their encased souls from within.
After a 10 minute self-explorative stretch, Rose Alice hits them with the choreography.
She introduces the music which has an enchanting and emotional cello leading it and I'm in love.
Rose Alice informs me however that this is merely inspiration and that the show's pianist will feed off it tomorrow when she arrives.
I catch myself responding with emotions that internally express the phrase, “Oh that's a shame” but I know to let it go as I remind myself why I'm there. It’s not about me.
The morning goes quickly, just like the choreographic content and the minds of its receivers.
There's something truly captivating about watching dance artists at work.
The dexterity, movement memory and competence derived from fundamental footwork interwoven into a multitude of complex and simple sequences.
It reminds me of language.
How learning the alphabet in any language allows us to communicate together. Here, the alphabet is ballet. Today the language is Rose Alice resulting in movements that speak contemporary, jazz and ballet.
Rose Alice allows each performer to absorb her movements into their personal skin grooves without critique or judgement.
In fact, she later encourages each individual artist to ride on a deeper self-expressive wave away from just making shapes and copying her style.
This is the epitome of rehearsal.
Privately piecing together movement, expression, art, sound, energy and so much more until it becomes what you want. Moulding, gathering, fine-tuning.
The nature of rehearsals encourages repetition – the act of repeating so that neural pathways are reinforced into the left brain and stored for later recall.
And this is the unsaid mantra for the day and each day thereafter for the week.
l observe each dancers’ reactions: absorbed, fatigued, exhilarated, confused, resolved as each day passes.
As I verbally connect with them, I can hear the second key to creative success shouting at me.
As they continue to lay down movement memory, I can see it in their dance too.
It's definitely an integral asset to the creative success process.
Do you know what it is?