By Massimo Giorgianni
- Have you ever wanted to do something but didn’t have the courage?
- Have you ever felt sure of what you wanted but someone blocked your intent with just a word?
- Have you ever felt sure of a movement or a certain tempo that would have been interesting but you didn’t have the courage to perform it?
- Have you ever been afraid to do something only to have some other couple go on to perform the very thing you had been thinking of?
These are some circumstances where dancers prefer not living out their own potential because they’re afraid of making mistakes- they’re afraid to dare.
Some dancers not used to putting their ideas into practice may have second type of impediment: to use ideas of other people or simply copy what already exists for their whole career.
What good does daring do?
Daring to do something serves for not placing limits on ourselves, not falling into habits but, above all, it is good for having fun. When I say “have the courage to dare”, I mean to not erase your will and desires.
“I’d like to do this but I can’t”
“It can’t be done because it isn’t accepted, because they told me that ….”
Nonsense! You must believe in your dreams, inspirations and ideas. You must believe that it can work; you must visualize it as if it has already happened.
You must visualize the outcome and if you, I repeat, you, think it’s appropriate….then DO IT. It is better to gamble on your own decision than for other people’s decisions. Don’t let yourself be influenced by others unless you have complete trust in whoever gives you suggestions.
This will give you an inner force that will leave you awestruck. You will definitely be happy with yourself; you’ll like being able to decide and doing so will reinforce your decision-making so you will no longer have any limits. You must sense and decide, move on to action, make it real, visible and questionable.
I believe this way of thinking is a part of Art with a capital A; otherwise you are a half-artist because you only carried out the ideas of others without adding your own.
Often, when I do choreography, I don’t merely suggest steps to the couple but I ask them what they’d like to do. I observe what they do when they improvise and ask them their interpretation of a piece. Very interesting things start to emerge when you allow and invite dancers to contribute their ideas. The most constructive thing is that when it’s performed, you realize that the new step or interpretation suits their way of being more.
Progress is found in the courage to dare, in the courage to express what is dictated from inside.
Having ideas that you would like to present to an audience is the first step to cultivate. It is an important moment because you’re about to create something that has perhaps never before existed.
Think about it, it has never been presented in that way. This excites me.
It isn’t really daring; it is only freeing up a process of expression. If you have any doubts, ask advice from someone you think can help you follow through on your idea. However, I’d caution against asking too many people, because instead of being resolved, your doubts will increase and your original idea will get diverted.
I think dancers should really get used to thinking this way, because this is, in my opinion, the way we will have the chance of seeing people on the dance floor with personality and diverse styles and not dancers who resemble each other right down to their walk.
We all have an innate ability to identify with other people which we often do so well, that we have the same way of doing things, of walking, of talking or of dressing. We have to guard against this ability we have. I can learn from another couple but in the end, I have to visualize that movement with MY body, otherwise I won’t be authentic.
I have to see it, feel it and, finally, perform it with my body.
I am sure many of you wanted to do certain things in the past but, for one reason or another, you didn’t have the courage to do it. You have to start by asking yourself: WHY?
Sure, it’s important to think about the result to want to have. I’m not saying that you have to do everything that pops into your head. We want to nurture a sense of taste, not garishness; refinement and not crudeness. We must learn to dare in a tasteful manner.
One time in a restaurant, I was eating a plate of pasta and tomato sauce, a classic Italian dish: pasta, tomato, basil, a pinch of garlic, olive oil and then a bit of Parmigiano. The novelty was that the chef decided to add a pinch of ground coffee! I can’t describe how good it was, to me personally, of course. The chef dared: he modified the classic pasta and tomato sauce recipe – and did so successfully, in my opinion – but he did it in a measured way. The proportion was exactly right – he had thought about it! You don’t throw a handful of coffee onto the spaghetti. The chef put himself in the place of the customer who would be eating and this is the right way to dare, the way that will lead you to new things – to your things.
The same procedure holds true for movement: you must dare in good taste. A question follows automatically: “but we all have different taste?” Fortunately, this is true!
There are just a few rules in dance and I think they are beautiful rules: stay parallel to your partner, in tempo; don’t remove the viewer’s illusion that what you are doing makes sense in relation to who initiates an action and who reacts; the rule that says the man must have an elegant suit and the woman a glamorous dress. If a couple can adhere to these rules then I say… go for it! Experiment with different rhythms, different space and different steps so that your expression is not reduced to just doing what you are told. We mustn’t forget that most of the steps you perform now was invented by someone before… so why not YOU?
There are risks in life that we can’t afford to take and there are risks that we can’t afford not to take.” Peter F. Drucker