Dance Academy depicts the unforgiving world of ballet as seen through the eyes of a group of teens attending a national school in Sydney, Australia. On the surface, it seems like another semi-fluffy teen drama. But when you look just a bit deeper, it talks honestly about art from an artist’s point of view. You learn with the characters the difference between crazy makers and critics, why foundation skills are perishable and why they matter and how competition can be both helpful and hurtful.
When the characters execute perfect coreography or achieve a dancer’s high, the viewer feels it with them.
It’s all the better if you love dance in multiple forms.
The first two seasons are available on Amazon and on Netflix wireless. So if you’re looking for something that connects you to the creative experience, definitely give it a viewing.
The exercise in Sound of Paper today is not good for public disclosure. When that happens, I’m trying to find videos on creativity, art appreciation bits, photography, or blog posts from other people traveling the Artist’s Way path.
Today’s about writing badly resonates with me. I have been making the last few years the path of the beginner. I lived with two perfectionists growing up – and as a fat child, I was utterly imperfect, beyond correction, and I am still treated by them as though this is some infraction I have committed against them personally because I am not exactly who they demanded I be. (No, G.O.D committed the infraction – it was one of this little “f you’s,” that the Creative Force drops after it watches things go on for awhile – sort of like this particular f-u from God to free-will interfering conservatives.) Instead, I have pursued my life as my fat, highly organized yet at times messy and beautiful self.*
What I’ve also been doing is taking up things I kinda/sorta want to do but told myself I couldn’t. I’m actually glorying in the criticism I’m getting of the bad art in Spellcasting picture book, and the perspective is helping me with the play I’m doing a first draft of as I dive heavily into the revisions of the Divorcing a Real Witch book. I can do it badly! Yes! It’s way more important than making it perfect. Someone else can fiddle with formatting and duck away from actually writing because it’s not “just right.” I get the secret:
NOTHING IS EVER JUST RIGHT. THAT’S WHY CREATION IS NOT STATIC.
*I have a reallygood life. It’s way better than what those tools were trying to force me into. And I am grateful for the composite DNA from my ancestors, the subvert messages from the few really caring teachers at my school, and for the surprisingly subversive tone of Sassy and Seventeen magazine in the 1990s.
1. Gift someone a blue monkey. This does include you. I have a tiny plastic one on my desk, who keeps me company alongside two Ganeshas as I work my creative path.
2. Stand up. Do a snoopy dance.
I like this, but if you’re not into reggae, something else that works for you is great:
3. Do something messy. Fingerpainting and papermaking are my favorites.
4. Find fuzzy things to pet. Make sure the fuzzy things are OK with being petted.
5. Host an old school salon, but make it a LOWBROW salon. Discuss the social merits of Jersey Shore versus the Real Housewives series. Serve foods that come in a specific color of box.
6. Read nursery rhymes and Dr. Seuss, out loud. (Also great for getting the writing juices going.)
7. Go “run around the muddy spot” (something my mother would tell me to do when I was bothering her.) This could involve going for a walk, taking a bike ride, jumping in a pile of leaves (preferably one in your own yard…)
8. Get those window markers or crayons, and express your jubilation on your household windows and mirrors.
9. Watch Singing in the Rain, especially Make ‘Em Laugh.
10. Trips to the zoo are always awesome.
11. Have a Ministry of Silly Walks pub or coffee crawl.
12. Pick a small business you love and have a whole bunch of your friends converge on the place for a shopping event.
13. Write thank you notes. If you’re feeling really goofy, record you and any supportive friends doing your own “I’d like to thank the academy” speeches. Upload to Youtube. For the love of the gods, turn off the comments!
This is a capture from Como Zoo and Conservatory, as gardeners changed out the flower garden. I thought it made a good metaphor for creative work. It doesn’t just happen – we all get a touch muddy along the way.
Perhaps this might be better classed as “engineering appreciation.” A lot of you may already have seen this, but for those that haven’t, this is about creativity, having a supportive person on your side, and the simple, meditative dedication of perseverance.
Some of the work on the artist’s way or Sound of Paper can’t be posted here – you know, the naming names type stuff. Also, sometimes I just need to keep it to myself for awhile. I am trying to, on those days, post something like this kickass video instead, that focus on creative process, self-talk and making it happen one little bit at a time.