This is a piece that has been turning over in my mind for months. I thought it was about time to throw it out to everyone to discuss.
What does it mean to innovate? Is what the waltz lab is doing really innovating? or just brainstorming new variations? I think that maybe creating a bunch of moves that are just stringing together elements we already have is not really innovating. Innovating a dance move is something that is going to feel very different. Maybe it’s based on, or inspired by variations we all know and love, but it’s fundamentally something very different.
I don’t think new variations are bad, or that we should be discrediting them in favor of innovation necessarily, I think we just need to be able to pick out what is truely innovative and what isn’t. And frankly I don’t think you can have one without the other. The very idea of innovation is to take something known and familiar, and take it to new, and (possibly) unexpected places.
As I learned in my voice class last quarter, being too harsh a critic stifles creativity. If you refuse to explore/experiment/post to the waltz lab because a variation might have been done before, or it doesn’t feel grand enough to be a “real” innovation, you are making it next to impossible for you to actually innovate. You don’t necessarily have to jump all of a sudden to the next “island of stability“, as it were. You can build a bridge from what is known to what is unknown, from what is expected to what is unexpected. Try a variation, a new combination, riff on somebody’s idea. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t, but maybe, just maybe, it is also the seed of something bigger.