Do Whatever You Need to Do
conceived and performed by Aleksandra Ścibor
music: The Beatles, Elvis Presley
inspired by A Choreographer’s Handbook by Jonathan Burrows
created within MA Contemporary Dance Education, Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts
Maybe you were searching in wrong directions, in directions in which you are not creative, but there must be a direction in which you are creative. Seek and search and remain available, and go on groping – unless you find it. Each man comes into this world with a specific destiny: he has something to fulfill, some message has to be delivered, some work has to be completed. You are not here accidentally, you are here meaningfully. There is a purpose behind you. The whole intends to do something through you.
Ok. I set out on this trip…
Do whatever you need to do. There are not that many ideas. It might take a while to find one, but it’s worth the wait.
That’s a good one!
The first things you make are not the piece, but if you don’t start somewhere then you won’t get anywhere. Concentrate on what you’re doing, and let the bigger picture take care of itself. It’s only work.
Sure… depending where you’re standing…
Accept what comes easily. Choose one minute of music, one minute of moving image, a short text, and a still image. Start at the beginning and go forward. It`s ok not to know what you’re trying to do. Inspiration is useful if you can get it, but working is more useful. How much time have you got?
Maybe that’s the right amount of time. Work three days without questioning what you’re doing, and then have a look at it. Even a little is enough.
If you care where you are, then we will care also. What’s the next thing you want to do?
I just want to choose.
It’s all right to be desperate. Take no more than 5 minutes in your home to choose these things. Browse thru what you’ve chosen and before you show or play something complete the following sentence: I chose this because…
So I’ve made my choices. And now what?
Do whatever you need to do. The only question is this: whichever way you’re working, is this the way you want to work? A principle is not a rule, it’s just a way to take care of some of the decisions, leaving you free to do what you do best, which is to be intuitive. At the same time the idea that you can make what you want is a fantasy. You are you, and you can only make what you can make. ‘You’re going to make the piece you’re going to make, whichever way you choose to try and make it.’ This was said to me by the choreographer Rosemary Butcher. The trick is to find out what you can make.
This is not the best way to work, it’s just a way to work. If it doesn’t work, drop it.
But if I drop it, I’ll have nothing at hand.
The worst that can happen is that you fail… Many great pieces grow from processes which accept that what is lost leaves room for something else to arrive. The question is this: what is the right way to work for the thing that you want to do? What can you do, at this moment, in this process?
I can relax.
The paradox is that when I accept that all I can do is the old ideas, the habits, then I relax, and when I relax then without thinking I do something new. It’s ok not to know what you’re trying to do. In the end you have to choose something to work with which you care about, and then play with it as freely as though it were just an exercise.
Hmmm… The only thing I care about is the question you ask on page 62. What do you know that you have forgotten that you know?
Maybe it’s very new to me? Sometimes to do something new, you have to reinvest, rather than reinvent. Sometimes, however, to do something new, you have to question everything.
So do you mean that I should go for this?
This may or may not be useful. Nothing is ever wasted.
That’s an encouragement, isn’t it?
You will find a way. It’s all just work. Sit still for three minutes with your eyes closed.
In this silence I remembered that I love dancing. But I m not sure any longer if I know how to dance…
Deciding just to dance and follow your intuition is also a principle. It’s ok not to know what you’re trying to do. The only question is this: whichever way you’re working, is this the way you want to work?
It is what it is.
If it isn’t working, drop it. You have to have something to fantasise about.
It’s all just work.
What about the music?
The atmosphere created by sound or music can give the performance a sense of greater meaning, carried by the emotional landscape of what we hear. What is the meaning which you want to be carried? What meaning is the dance carrying?
Shall I give you my answers…?
Or maybe just enough trust will do? Take a break.
Forget all this.
photography: Aleksandra Ścibor