Category Archives: Dance

TODAY’S MUSE: Martha Graham

DAILY MUSE | Today I offer an inspiring and powerful quote from dancer/choreographer Martha Graham. Use it today– and everyday– to champion your creativity.

There is a vitality, a life-force, an energy, a quickening
that is translated through you into action
and because there is only one of you in all of time,
this expression is unique.
And if you block it, it will never exist
through any other medium and be lost.

Photograph by Barbara Morgan.

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The Creative Power of Austin Powers

DAILY MUSE | I can never be sad when I watch the introductory sequence to “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery”. The music, the colors, the tongue-in-cheek homage to bright, shiny 60’s Pop culture– are all pure creative joy. They always lift my mood.

I already have the musical theme (the awesome Quincy Jones “Soul Bossanova”) on my Ipod. But now I can watch the intro sequence everyday! So can you. Enjoy!

Mike Myers’ account of how the idea of Austin Powers came to him is quite inspiring. While stuck in traffic a particular song (which happens to be one of my own favorites) started playing on his car radio. Myers said, “I heard the song The Look of Love by Burt Bacharach. And all the childhood memories of my father, of watching Monty Python and Benny Hill and Carry On movies and The Mouse that Roared and Strangelove, all the James Bond movies … it all came back.” (via The Canadian Encyclopedia) He began playing and experimenting with the elements of the character– right there in the car. The fundamentals of the Austin character were designed by the time he parked and got out of the car. He wrote the script in the following three weeks. Sent it off to a studio executive one morning and got a greenlight by the afternoon. Pretty cool huh?

TODAY’S MUSE: Connect With A Creative Ally

DAILY MUSE | It’s easier to be creative in community– with creative allies who will give you the permission to show up as the creative genius that you are. As allies they’ll give you the space to reinvent yourself- or the space to just show up and be great. They’ll listen to and honor your ideas. They’ll mirror them back to you. Sometimes magnifying them and expanding them. The more you surround yourself with creative allies, the more permission you will have to show up as creatively.

List all the people you know. Who among them are your creative allies? Or have the potential to be one? Connect with one today. Now, in fact. Pick up the phone. Make a lunch appointment. Or a date to go to a museum. Or to a play. Honor your current creative allies. Reach out and cultivate new ones. And also look to see who you might be a creative ally for? Reach out to that person. Be generous with them. Create and give them the space to just be great in.

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TODAY’S MUSE: The Discontinuity Principle

Belvedere, by M. C. Escher

DAILY MUSE | via Creativity Web | Disruption offers creative possibilities.

The more you are used to something, the less stimulating it is for our thinking.

When you disrupt your thought patterns, those ideas that create the greatest stimulus to our thinking do so because they force us to make new connections in order to comprehend the situation. Roger van Oech calls this a “Whack on the Side of the Head”, and Edward de Bono coined a new word, PO, which stands for “Provocative Operation”.

Try programming interruptions into your day. Change working hours, get to work a different way, listen to a different radio station, read some magazines or books you wouldn’t normally read, try a different recipe, watch a TV program or film you wouldn’t normally watch.

Provocative ideas are often stepping stones that get us thinking about other ideas. Abutting ideas next to each other, such that their friction creates new thought-paths a technique that flourishes in the east (haiku poetry and Zen koans) but causes discomfort in Western thinking.

Learn other creative techniques here.

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Hello Dali

DAILY MUSE | Here is a wonderful documentary on surrealist Salvador Dali.

(Last week, I used his image “Persistance of Memory” in this post.)

TODAY’S MUSE: Squiggles

DAILY MUSE | TODAY’S MUSE comes from a fellow WordPress blogger, Weird Guy. He explains the childhood memory of a friend who’s mother had a unique way to keep order in the car and the kids occupied on long car trips. She… “would take pieces of paper and draw random lines and squiggles on them and then hand each child a sheet with the lines on it. She would have the kids use the existing lines to draw a picture from their imagination. Once a picture was handed back as “completed”, she would repeat the process all over again.”

I find this to be a great creative exercise. In fact, I tried it with my god daughter last night–she loved it. It really frees up one’s imagination and gets one into opening up to a communal creative process– that kind when something can be created soley by the combined creative efforts of yourself with others.

Consider that this creative technique can be applied to all forms of art as well– music composition, dance, comedy, theatre, painting, film, and more. It’s a method of improvisation.

Try it. If you do, or have, share about it here.

Read more here… (link and photos via Weird Guy)

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TODAY’S MUSE: The Evolution of Dance

DAILY MUSE | In case you haven’t seen this video yet– one of YouTube’s most popular of all time — please enjoy your first viewing. If you’ve already watched it before, please enjoy it again. And by all means shake your groove thang.

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