"Our imagination is boundless. In a split second we can imagine an incredible number of things. To give form to what is imagined takes great creative powers … Creativity is giving form to imagination." -Dr. Fereydoon Family, PhD, Prominent Physicist
The simplest definition of creativity is laughably straightforward: creativity is “the ability to create.” For artists, whether they are performing artists, visual artists, or writers, creativity is much more than just an “ability to create.” Creativity is the key to presenting great art: it involves inspiration, imagination, and innovation. In the poetic words of Jaques De’Ambois, former dancer of New York City Ballet and Artistic Director of the National Dance Institute, “It’s your pulse, it’s your heartbeat, it’s your breathing. It’s the rhythms of your life. It’s the expression in time and movement of happiness and joy and sadness and energy. It’s a venting of energy. It’s extraordinary, and that’s common to all the cultures and it’s common to all individuals.”
Creativity in the Dance World
Dancers must use creativity in a variety of settings: auditions, classes, rehearsals, and performances. Ballet Austin Trainee and former Girl Scout Brownie Erica Ducoing relates that she has been asked to creatively “improvise” (make up a dance on the spot!) during auditions for professional ballet companies. Trainee and former Brownie Michelle Howie shares that creativity is a must in her modern class at Ballet Austin: “[Our teacher] pushes us to improvise, and it sometimes feels awkward, but it’s good for us!”
In whatever form your creativity takes, (whether you dance, sing, act, draw, paint, sculpt, write, or play music), you can apply the following advice:
- Be inventive. Ballet Austin Trainee Michelle Howie gives this encouragement to creative Girl Scouts: “Don’t be afraid to push the envelope, and don’t give up!”
- Be true to yourself. Margot Fonteyn, a luminous British ballerina, astutely said: “Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike.”
- Enjoy yourself. Mikhail Baryshnikov, that storied Russian dancer, gives this excellent advice: “The essence of all art is to have pleasure in giving pleasure.”
Ballet Austin partners with the Girl Scouts to provide creative ways for girls to learn more about dance. Join us for one of our Community Education programs, including opportunities to see inspiring in-studio rehearsal viewings and participate in engaging dance workshops. Learn more about Ballet Austin’s upcoming performances and class offerings by visiting www.balletaustin.org.
-Sarah Rostoker, Ballet Austin Community Education Dept.