I am constantly working on new pieces- choreographing new items every day. Every time I perform a piece, even if I have done it 100 times before, I find something new and exciting in it. It could be a particular line of poetry, or a phrase of movement, or the way that the musician renders a particular piece of music. It changes every time, with each performance. The amazing thing about dance is that it really exists only in our dancing bodies- intangible and constantly changing.
One of the things I was told constantly as a child learning Kuchipudi dance is ‘practice makes perfect’. This is fundamentally true. Acquiring good technique comes only with practice. But I also often heard senior dancers say ‘the most important thing is to perfect the technique and then un-learn it’. I wondered as a child what they meant by this ‘un-learning’. Would this lady spontaneously break out into freestyle moves? What I understood later is that they stopped thinking of the dance as a form to be perfected and started using it as a language instead. Fluency takes precedence over grammar. Rather than an end in itself, dance becomes a means to an end -- to communicate with an audience, with yourself, or perhaps even with divinity.