I've been making lots of discoveries lately.
One of them is that I am really inspired by costuming. My costume helps me put me in the perfect mood for my dance. Now, I don't want to practice with my costume all the time, obviously, but I may need to put whatever I'll be wearing on and use the inspiration for choreographing stuff.
I should have known, really, for a long time that costuming has that effect on me. See, 'Celeste' was the name of my first vampire character. I was a very mild mannered, nice little girl in her early 20s when I would play her and I would transform into this bitchy, defiant creature for the game... we would go all out in our games and dress like our characters. Celeste was wearing black fake leather pants, a satin bra (nothing too revealing but a bra nevertheless, an open fake leather jacket (gotta reveal the cleavage), and stiletto boots. With that costume on, I could be Celeste. Without it, I was a pale (no pun intended) variation of Celeste.
Now the most recent discovery was around choreographing. I was teaching a tribal fusion session this time around for my continuing students. So far, we had been drilling moves and combos. I decided to create a little choreography to get them to see how we put it all together. Anyway, I decided to use a song that they all love madly so that they can at least feel the music even if they don't get the moves right away. (The song is Snakecharmer, for the record.) Now, at first, I didn't particularly feel inspired by the song. I mean, I love it and I use it for drilling and, probably b/c of that drilling, I had a hard time feeling inspired to write something. I improv'd to it a few times but nothing was really gelling except for the 'mother of all big hip circles' at one spot (you know, those big circles where you let your upper body go in opposition to your hips?... except even more deep than that so you are actually bending in half, if only for a split second).
Anyway... then it was Tuesday night and the class was Wednesday! :o I needed to crank up the heat on the freakin' choreography. Turns out that I wrote 2 minutes of it in less than 1 hour!!!!!!! And I love what I did. Well, I did modify things a tad yesterday afternoon while at work b/c there was one spot that I was not thrilled about so I adjusted it. So I think that it's something that I have to do: do it all in a very cartesian way of working on one section, then the next, etc. I know that a lot of folks improv the hell out of a piece and it eventually gels but, for me, it's actually counter productive. And, in the past, when I've used the cartesian method, that's not to say that I don't shift portions around... indeed, I do... but, somehow, I come up with cool combos b/c I am VERY focused on one section and one section only. Some of the combos end up being used somewhere else but some stay there.
Btw, I'm very happy with a lot of the combos that I came up with for Snakecharmer. They are efficient and convey the music well, I think. Heck, even the 'belly dance critique' (i.e., Jeff) agreed.