• SkunkWorks Dance

Letting go of tradition to embrace the new.

#WednesdayWisdomSW There is always the question within the dance world: is it better to hold tightly onto the traditions of the past or move with the current of the new?

In many ways, looking to the visual art world can provide a lot of perspective on this issue. For example, I. M. Pei, the artist of the glass pyramid in the courtyard of the Louvre, died recently bringing attention to the dynamic history of the monument.

Unknown to many tourists that pass by the pyramid on a daily basis, when constructed in 1989 the French people felt disgusted by how far it strayed away from the traditional architecture of the Louvre. Thirty years later, the French have embraced the pyramid so much that their current president had his inauguration into office there! For the French people, it is now see as one with the Louvre.

This cycle beginning with a distaste for change and ending with a loving acceptance is common, especially within the arts. In the dance world, the renown choreographer Ohad Naharin's original pieces were highly disliked by audiences before they were thought of as genius.

As human beings, we have a tendency to resist change, but when we decide to give in to our inherent need to feel safe, we loose out on the brilliance of the new. If artist I. M. Pei did not take the risk to create the glass pyramid or if Ohad decided to stay in his shell as an artist, this world would be a lot less vibrant.

While it is important to honor the past, at SkunkWorks, we are big believers in "Radically Innovative Dance" and are constantly pushing forward to "#bethechange". It is important to take risks and be inventive even if it seems like you are falling on your face because you never know how long it will take the world to catch up. What we do know it that they will.

Our information on the history of the Louvre came from a great article in The Atlantic: https://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/

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All main photos unless otherwise credited, were taken and edited by Chloe Hamilton. 

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