Creating a Studio Practice
One of my main goals for my Emerging Artist Residency with Mocean Dance has been to develop a studio practice for myself. For those who don't know, a studio practice is essentially the way in which an artist works in the studio. For me, as a dance artist and emerging choreographer, my studio practice consists of the routine I follow when I enter the studio to create.
Although I don't suppose a structured studio practice is necessary for everyone, for me, as a lover of routine and structure, it helps greatly. Walking into an empty studio, with nothing but myself and my head full of ideas, can be overwhelming. Developing a studio practice satisfies my need for routine, and giving myself structure in the studio gives me an outlet for creative thinking without inhibitions.
Early in my residency, I spoke with local dance artists and mentors, and they graciously shared their own studio practices with me. From their sage advice, and through copious trial and error on my own part, I was able to create a studio practice that works for me. So here it is!
I arrive at the studio at 10:00am on days that I work. I always ensure that the studio is tidy and clear of any extraneous clutter. I set up my computer and my notebook, put on my shoes, and get started. I begin with a short, guided meditation. This helps me to clear my busy head, and get in the right headspace for the day. I use an app called "Insight Timer" for guided meditations and I especially love listening to "Affirmations For Creativity" by Carinne Leduc, and "Creative Flow" by Marian Buck-Murray to kick-start my studio practice.
After I meditate, I'll do a timed free-write. This is pretty self-explanatory. I put a timer on for 10 minutes, and do stream of consciousness writing until my time's up! I usually write about whatever is on my mind, as well as all my ideas for the movement I'm creating at the moment. This is a great way to get all of my thoughts down on paper, and give myself direction for the day.
The next step in my studio practice varies from day to day, depending on my goal. There are a few composition exercises I have found to be helpful, especially if I am feeling blocked or want to create new movement. I might revisit existing choreography, or improvise to music I'm considering. I have also found it helpful to look at source images I have collected, and create movement inspired by the images. I always ensure to record the work I'm doing.
So there you have it, my studio practice as EAiR with Mocean Dance. I must emphasize that I am an Emerging artist with a capital "E," so I am sure that my practice will change and evolve over time. I am definitely not giving advice in this blog post, it is merely a way for my to document my development as an artist, and an outlet to share with those who may be interested.
Thanks for reading my second blog post on hayleybonedance.com! I hope you have enjoyed this little peek into my developing studio practice. If you haven't already, be sure to check me out on Instagram https://www.instagram.com/hayleybonedance/ for more photos and videos.