The topic for this salon is big. I am going to write about one small part of it. I am interested in how we observe our processes, discern them as repeatable actions, develop them to become tools for others to borrow and make their own. I believe that we can harvest our histories, make sense of what we did and describe it in terms that help us understand the context, the decisions, and perhaps the wisdom and meaning surrounding the work. At the same time we can delineate the data, information, formats, processes that may aid others in their work.
In my case, the idea for such a toolbox made from thousands of hours of teaching and choreographing and dancing came in an instant. It was a visitation born out of utter confusion and despair. As I was preparing to lead a workshop for K-12 teachers I was pondering why the organizing arts and educational institution with whom I was working wanted an outline from me that would describe what was to transpire. They wanted to hand it out at the beginning even though we all knew that the activities would change once I was in the room with the very particular people and needs that would coalesce that afternoon. It was true I had a plan, but it was equally true that the plan would shift as soon as we began our work. Read the rest of this entry »