“An artist with passion is like an electric shock that moves you when you least expect it. Their abilities strike you suddenly and strongly, evoking feelings that you never expected to arise.”
What is passion? Do you believe that it is palpable? How can you be sure that it courses through your veins? To be brutally honest, if you have to ask yourself any of these questions or feel you have to prove that it is there, you may be missing the mark. But it is something that is difficult to wrap your brain around. How can you tell just how much emotion and personal desire is driving a person’s actions?
I believe passion is palpable. Now I haven’t even specifically referred to dance. But passion can be projected onto anything. It is substance. It has weight. It has quality. It lives within people and within their contributions, whatever those may be.
There’s no doubting that it exists, but it is not easy to explain. The more largely you connect or relate to it, it is less likely that you can describe it and its purpose. But it is distinguishable…strong…overwhelming at times. There is something tangible to be felt from an explosive combination of movement and emotion. Whether we understand passion or not, as human beings we all understand movement in some way, even if we do not experience it to the fullest extent. We also harness a keen understanding of facial expression and feeling. A dancer may not even be aware of the emotional intricacies of a piece, but starting at the drawing board and projecting one’s own feelings and life experiences onto a work can make it ten times more realistic on a personal level.
“It lives within people and within their contributions, whatever those may be.”
I have experienced extreme emotion many times onstage. I make a point of bringing it to the table always (J.O.D. – it’s a no-brainer, you can’t be without it), but I think I can recall two or three times in my life when the emotion onstage was so omnipresent and so discernible that I nearly cried (performing in the ensemble of Dark Elegies in college; my senior solo project for college entitled After This, choreographed by Jennifer Hart; and during the final scene of Swan Lake in the swan corps). And I’m talking close to potential weeping, not just a glistening tear sparkling in the stage lights. I wanted to cry because I had nested myself deeply into my role. The culmination of the work and the ability to enjoy the experience had led me to a place of deep understanding within the material.
Maybe I’m just an emotional person (very true), but it’s all in the delivery. How else can you explain being moved to tears or anger or fear by the expression of another? An artist with passion is like an electric shock that moves you when you least expect it. Their abilities strike you suddenly and strongly, evoking feelings that you never expected to arise. Whatever you take away from the passion bestowed upon you, recycle the fuel into your own work. Let it strengthen you in some way because it is the only thing that keeps us going. How else can you explain dedication to the arts and the challenging lifestyle they present? Obsession exists and an extreme desire to feel alive. And I do. Every time I dance. I pull from a number of sources to cultivate the beauty my art demands – life experience, dedication to those I love (here and gone), my current state of mind, the pure bliss of movement…and living…Above all, there is that feeling of being alive and in the moment – the moments when I know I am being completely true to myself and my passion.