creative responsibility

Had a very interesting conversation with André Gingras’s ‘dramaturge’/director Cici (?) the other day about the responsibility of being a choreographer. She felt no artist or choreographer needs to defend their work or ‘take’ responsibility of that they have chosen to present. I on the other hand believe that artists should at least know what it is that they have created and be able to defend what they have decided to reveal in the public domain. I don’t mean explaining every detail and meaning of what the thought process was in the creation but to be aware of how certain images may be interpreted and then assume those possible interpretations or misinterpretations. Contemporary dance is an abstract art form and is open to individual readings which is one of the reasons why that makes it such a rich and ‘intelligent’ dance style. I just hope that our creators are conscious of what it is that they are representing and can assume those artistic decisions. If I am aware that something is offensive but choose to go put it out there, I must be able to know why I am doing it and be aware of how it may be viewed. There are reasons an artist wants to stir up controversy and it is better to have knowledge and validity in our voices. This has nothing to do with the quality or judgement of the work itself but this is the question of what the responsibility of the choreographer has to him/herself and to his/her public. First and foremost the artist should say whatever they choose to say with integrity. Afterwards, it is the audience who will judge, interpret, understand, reject, learn, or discard the work of the artist. I am more interested in how my work is seen through the eyes of others because I already know my reasoning for creating it. I want to know if my message reads as I intended it to be read or if it takes on another form or meaning. I want to know how it affects, offends, informs, or even interests people. One person may see a man caressing a woman may be viewed quite differently from another. It all depends on our personal experiences and each one of us has many ways of seeing things.

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