My Performance Philosophy

Published on June 27th 2019 by Hillary-Marie

I choreographed all my pieces according to this philosophy, including full-length professional shows and choreography for my students. I’ve taught my students to follow this philosophy when creating their work too.

When you present a body of work, when you perform a piece, when you take the stage, four people should walk away from your performance happy:

  1.     The Blind Man should enjoy what they hear. That includes the music itself, and the quality of the sound balance.
  2.     The Deaf Man should enjoy what they see. Is the dancing itself visually appealing, is the lighting complementary to the piece, are the costumes attractive?
  3.     The Tap Dancer should enjoy the performance because the dancing stands true to the vocabulary of the dance, including technique, history and culture.
  4.     The NON Tap Dancer should enjoy the performance, which can be a challenge because not everyone GETS tap dance.

I followed these rules for so many years. The repertoire I put out was visually appealing for the deaf man, it sounded good to the blind man, it was legitimized by the tap dance community and enjoyed by non-tap dancers, but it never felt completely whole to me.

Picasso said, learn the rules like a pro so you can break them like an artist.

And I feel like that’s what I did… because now, I don’t think about these concepts. They don’t cross my mind anymore. I’m glad that I played by these rules for so long though, because it taught me so much, but now, I’ve thrown them out the window.

Current Performance Philosophy:

What I care about most is telling the story and celebrating music and dance as universal languages of the world. The mission of Hillary-Marie’s Sole Music Collective, is to increase the pubic awareness and appreciation of tap dance as a musical instrument through live performances and music videos. My mission when I perform is to increase public awareness and appreciation of tap dance as a musical instrument. 

And it brings me SO much joy to do it.

If I do a performance or create a body of work that contributes to this mission, it feels whole to me.

So now I wonder… When you create work? What is your goal? What is your mission? Do you have a checklist of things to be covered or included? Results that you expect, maybe like a standing ovation?

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