13 September 2017

Breaking our musical habits

My partner recently came up with a new term: “Musicality Fatigue”; being tired of your own musical interpretations. Even when we're putting a lot of thought into interpreting the music, we might realise that in reality, we're often doing the same things to the music, or always choosing the same elements to interpret. These things might be seen as leader issues, but they apply to us active followers as well! Actually, when we're at it, I’d like to coin a term myself as well: “Compulsive Musicality”; when you sort of *have* to do certain things to certain musical elements.

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When suffering from Musicality Fatigue or Compulsive Musicality, it can be a comfort to think that our partners probably aren't tired of us! But we still might feel we want to move on with our musicality for our own sake, because we don't want to express ourselves in the same way all the time. It's not always super easy to get out of automated habits by oneself. Sometimes, it's helpful to just pick particular elements that we know we tend to overdo, and then practice not doing them. But just taking away elements won't really make our dance a lot more creative. We also need inspiration to do new stuff, and inspiration to do old stuff in new ways.

Personally, I’m finding that the simplest solution is still helpful: musicality classes. I'm still taking them. But maybe the goal for going to classes shouldn’t just be to learn new, fixed interpretations - those will soon become as hard to break out of as our old habits. And maybe we shouldn’t always pick musicality classes with teachers whose musicality we admire and want to copy. Maybe we need to try someone else as well, someone whose musicality we don’t really get. For me, a good musicality class is a lot about ideas and concepts that might fit the music in ways that we haven’t thought of yet. Maybe we even need to try ideas we don't like - it could be we discover that there's somehing in there we can use after all. That’s how we can change and grow musically!

And again, working with technique also makes us more musically nuanced dancers. Because in the end, it’s our body that dances. ❤❤❤