Aerial Update: into the weeds

This piece is at the hardest part of creation. I've had this video for a month and been holding off on posting - in part because I hoped we'd get photos back from the photographer, and no luck on that yet, but also just because this video is hard for me to watch. 

It felt good to do. It was a valuable chance to put the work in front of an audience, which always changes how a piece feels, makes it real. And it was just the local student showcase, of works developed that class session, nothing fancy, very informal. Basically the perfect setting for a work in this stage. There's caveats, certainly: I don't have the set object I'd jump off of to start my swings in the beginning, here; the ceiling is very low, so some choreography is cut/adapted; this is two versions ago of music; the fabric is wider than the one I prefer to use and much longer than I want it to be (the amount on the floor is very inconvenient). But even with all that, it went fine, basically. No disasters, people clapped at all the right parts, I felt good.

So why the hangup?

Because, basically, this part of development sucks.

It's a slow grind, an anticlimax. The creation of choreography is done. I'm no longer figuring out what order I should combine steps or skills. I know how each thing transitions to the next thing, and about how long it should take. I can do all the things in the order I want them to happen.

It just doesn't LOOK GOOD yet.

And it's not supposed to! That's what rehearsing is FOR! But I know what I saw in my head as I made it, I know how it OUGHT to look, I know how it should FEEL, and even sometimes when it feels right it still doesn't look right yet. It's messy, it's rushed, I have unexpected problems based on small variances that my body hasn't learned to smooth out yet. I get tired in the middle. It's clunky. My legs aren't straight where they should be. Etc.

And as much as I know that this is normal and totally predictable for this point of development - especially as I'm pushing my physical skills and endurance - I'm frustrated by it. Understanding doesn't make it (much) easier. It's so clear in my head, and I know it can be better, and it's not yet. I have to keep telling myself it will be.

I have doubts. Creating work of any kind always means doubts, and making a solo show about personal experience ratchets up those doubts to a serious degree. The line between "me" and "the work" is very blurry. What if the work is not good enough? What if *I* am not good enough? Especially as I am incorporating aerial performance into my work (I have performed some for others, but not just as myself) for the first time: I know I'm not an expert aerialist. Will I be good enough? Will I embarrass myself? Can I perform up to a suitably professional standard? Will it be worth watching?

And of course, right now, this piece is not at that "good enough" place. That's why it's not premiering yet, it's not meant to be finished, all is according to plan - it just sucks for a while.

The only way out is through.


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