trauma, creativity, the artist’s block, or self sabotage – Act 1

From when I can remember, I created dance work.

We lived in a little town outside of Geneva for three years from when I was 5 years old. There are photos of me dancing in the open space of the house dressed up and free. Apparently I used to put on a different costume each night and do a performance before my family ate dinner. Usually, from my memory, it was to a crackly record blaring the song “Born in the USA”!?

This continued on our return to Australia. I would rope friends in and choreograph entire three act performances on them, which were then performed to our families in the rearranged lounge room. I wonder if they were entertained, or bored, or fascinated, or chuckled lovingly at it all when we weren’t looking.

I’d escape in the lounge room and climb into music, costumes and creative dreams for entire weekends.

I put myself to sleep at night, by listening to various pieces of music and imagining the dance that went with them.

When I was a teenager I enrolled into the subject ‘dance composition’ at my ballet school. These Monday night classes were mind blowing for me. Our teacher set tasks and projects to support our understanding of the composition process. She saw something. And believe me, that was the first time she ever did really see something in me – because my journey with her outside of that room confused my self esteem in most other aspects of dance.

I was a dance rebel at age 13.

I was brave.

I made political statements about issues of concern to me, through dance.

Discrimination. The recession. Eating disorders. Grief. Mood swings. Identity.

I would commit to hours, days, weeks to find the movement language and to put that language into sentences and to then create paragraphs and to frame these statements with the space and music.

No one seemed to stop me. So I just went with. I trusted my gut. I didn’t fear rejection. Or being ‘too this’ or ‘too that’.

I am now searching myself for that brave little girl inside of me.


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