Welcome, Jul/Aug 2010

By Wayne Hazzard


How do we catalyze creativity?

I have a crystal ball on my desk. The optical beauty of the sphere never ceases to provide amusement to first time visitors to my office—and even a few Dancers’ Group staff. The shiny globe is certainly a visual reference to my own bald pate, while the dome shape directly references the brainy insides where choices about current or future situations and problems are being assessed. With the ball’s impressive physical presence come doses of the mystical mysteries of life and most certainly, universal concepts of spiritual deities that can course through our minds. I love the divine and hokey references that are associated to this age-old prop that range from late night séances—the stereotypical image of gypsy woman wearing a headscarf—to mustached stage magicians predicting our paths. Each gaze or question into the translucent sphere helps direct, or lead us towards revelations of mightier than thou divinations. The perceived and real magic of the ball speaks to a collective human interest in what will come to be. Is the act of imagining creation?

Crystal balls can now be seen in a variety of modern day references. There is the 30-day weather report, political polls that predict our next Governor and for an arts organization, the parallel can be drawn to writing project descriptions for grant proposals that seek to define an artist’s imminent desires and future performance plans. It seems that any gazing, or guessing is a creative endeavor that is with us at all times. And the more we practice this future thinking or predictive modeling, the better we get at it. Are artists inherently gamblers? Is the creative process all about trusting in something that might result in bankruptcy, or conversely, boundless riches?

Fortune telling, or future telling for artists may seem as arbitrary as the gambler’s role of dice. Could it be that ensuring and securing support for any artist’s work is as simple as placing all of your cards on the table? Does showing your hand lead to more results? Certainly transparency is rewarded and I believe that those that show up and participate are rewarded.

Human nature often proves that the promise of a sunnier, more prosperous tomorrow motivates us to work. The belief that it holds new opportunities allows for the potential of that fresh, new, groundbreaking discovery that the arts share with all aspects of creation.

Tangible data to support my initial query will forever be in development and questioned while the events and performances that are featured for July and August are ample reason to visit new productions, new spaces, and new ideas born out of a host of desires.

As you gaze into your future, imagine the best.

This article appeared in the July/August 2010 issue of In Dance.

Wayne Hazzard is a native Californian and as a co-founder is proud to continue his work with the Bay Area dance community as the executive director of Dancers’ Group. Hazzard is a leader in the service field who is known for his work with fiscal sponsorship and on new program development. Hazzard had a distinguished 20-year career performing the works of many notable choreographers including Ed Mock, June Watanabe, Emily Keeler, Aaron Osborne, Joe Goode and Margaret Jenkins. Coinciding with his life as a dancer, Hazzard has and continues to work as an advocate for dance.