Inspiration – The Power of Movement

by Madeleine Butcher

1. Where have your ideas come from?

My ideas often come from music – as I listen, I see movement. Occasionally an interest in exploring a formal structure such as a fugue or canon. Or an idea like accumulation or the concept of trying hard and then letting go.

2. What approaches have you used to flesh out your ideas?

I just make the choreography during rehearsal or before and then change it as necessary.

3. Once you received an inspiration, what were some of your next steps?

I’d go into the studio and let the music move me and explore possible phrases and then write down the movements and ideas.

4. What strategies have you used to take an inspiration and translate it into something you could use to generate movement and create a piece about?

It seems to me that the inspiration is the movement.

5. How have you handled an inspiration that seemed too big to tackle through movement? For example, refine it, abandon it, etc?

I haven’t found an inspiration too big to be handled by movement yet.

6. How many of us have these magnificent ideas in our heads for pieces that never see the light of day? What advice do you have for those who find it hard to get started?

Maybe it isn’t time for that piece to be born yet. Let it simmer, go away, return – if it keeps coming back, then find an easy and fun way to approach it. Maybe find one movement or gesture that contains the germ and go from there. Or, start looking for wardrobe – keep your eyes open in the world for clues – if you ask your inner soul to reveal the work, it will.

7. In translating your inspirations into movement, have you found any limitations in movement’s ability to fully realize what you’re attempting to communicate? Or, have you felt that as a choreographer you were limited in your ability to access movement that fully realized your inspiration? How did you manage that hurdle?

The limitations have all been in me – movement has no limitations. It is a powerful and true language that each person has to find for themselves