I was reminded of my book of the moment "Improv Wisdom" again this week.
The idea, that Patricia Marsden mentions in her book, of the limitations of having to constantly come up with something different came to me as I was watching dancers using props.
Dont get me wrong I love using props. They are an enticing aspect of the creative dance class delighting the students with the chance to play. But they can be a distraction too leading to dull predictable movements. On this occasion they were using buckets and scarves. The idea was to wash the scarf in the bucket, flick the water off it then put the scarf back in the bucket and skip and dance to another part of the room swinging the arms, changing the bucket at times from hand to hand by taking the bucket behind them. Before I knew it many of them were off balancing with buckets on their feet or heads, rolling buckets, dropping buckets and so on. The dancers just focusing on the simple instructions were dancing with such grace while the others were thinking too much and the mind and body were not as one.
Some times this happens in the Adult and Child classes where an adult wants to extend the experience of the child by thinking up as many unusual ways of doing the movement or using the prop as possible but not actually experiencing what can be gained from following a simple instruction for a period of time.
It seems to me another case of needing to find that point of balance where the student can relax and allow the ideas contained within the task to be explored and see where that takes them without the frantic need to keep coming up with alternatives all the time. The pressure involved in always being original stops the student from allowing their own individual response to emerge.
I wonder if this strikes a chord with anyone else? Or do you feel it is important to challenge the student to come up with as many ideas as possible? I would love to hear your thoughts.