By Michelle Lynch Reynolds

October 1, 2016, PUBLISHED BY IN DANCE
October In Dance Cover ft. Safar-e Zamaan – Journey in Time, Badakhshan to Kolyab. Photo courtesy of Afsaneh Art & Culture Society

Creation is an unruly and complex thing, full of seeming contradictions. A dictionary of words describe it, refusing to adhere to grammar, to consistent parts of speech. Exploration / limitation / control / flexibility / author / collaborate / agitate / participate / work / play / intention / surprise / mess / precision / vulnerability / authority / / /

/ intimate / formal / familial / As this issue of In Dance heads to print I am anxiously awaiting the birth of my first child, due later this month. I wonder how she may look like me and her father, her great-grandmother, her ancestors. Will she carry forward my unusually short thumb, or her grandfather’s insatiable scientific curiosity? And, in what ways will she be wholly unique? How might she forcefully push against tradition to forge her own path?

/ process-based / results-oriented / humbling / empowering / / /

/ continuity / A regular reader of In Dance could see “creation” as a distilled commonality across decades of published writing about dance, be they previews, reviews, photo essays, poems, reflections, or investigations. We have heard from artists about their unique perspective on wrestling with—and embracing—the process of creation. This process often, but not always, leads to sharing their creation with others, on stage, in a class, on paper, online, and then back into a new or continued process of making. Creativity Coach Holly Shaw shares her insights into this cycle on page 11, and how one might approach the transitions from one artistic project to the next.

divergence / lineage / Also in this issue are articles featuring artists working deeply within their cultural traditions: Theatre Flamenco’s Carola Zertuche and Hope Mohr. Zertuche was interviewed from Theatre Flamenco’s home in San Francisco’s Mission District where they are preparing to celebrate 50 years of Flamenco. Hope Mohr shares insights into her company’s annual Bridge Project, a collection of performances, workshops, and conversations with luminaries of post-modern dance. This year’s Bridge Project is centered around Locus, a work by Trisha Brown from 1975 which will be reinterpreted by 10 local artists from varying disciplines.

/ experiment / joyful / mystery / boredom / educational / confusing / / /

/ multiplicity / Creating is looming large on my mind and in my body, and while childbearing may not be an artistic practice per se, it certainly is an act of creation. My collaborator in this act is small, but she already has a mighty influence over my life, compelling me to reconsider long-held assumptions about my emotional identity and physicality. She is teaching me that limits are empowering, vulnerability is natural, control is a fiction, and creation takes a huge amount of energy. As with any meaningful collaboration, the process: nonlinear and sometimes challenging; the result: transformative.

Michelle Lynch Reynolds is Program Director at Dancers’ Group, is part of the leadership group of San Francisco Bay Area Emerging Arts Professionals and is a member of Trio, a loosely London-based experimental performance collective.