Thursday, 2 September 2010

HBR Interview - Creativity and Dance

As part of my research into creativity and career change I came across this brilliant interview with choereographer Mark Morris.


Q: What do you think accounts for your company's success?

A: I think the reason we are so popular with audiences is we don't lie or bluster. We don't inflate ourselves. The dancers dance honestly—that's the best thing I can say about them. Indeed, one of the things I scream about the most is "fake, fake, fake," or "chicken, chicken, chicken." I want the dancers to reach a level of authenticity that is surprising—not only to audiences but also to themselves. In the end, we have to mean what we're doing or else it's all worthless.

That's the point about genius, really. It involves both skill and honesty. Consider Maria Callas, whom we all loved and adored even though she was singing so horribly flat half the time. Yet she had this terrific authenticity. Horowitz made lots of mistakes playing the piano, but it worked because it's not about playing note perfect. That doesn't mean that you have to be touchingly imperfect to be a genius, but you do have to be real. And that's the essence of my company: We are real people who are incredibly skilled.


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