Learning to do Magic

What does it mean to create magic?  Not the illusion of pulling a rabbit out of a hat or making a body float, but actual magic.  I assure you that supernatural capacities are not required.  What is required are creativity and imagination.  To some extent our world frowns upon imagination and operates as though creativity is a gift bestowed on a few.  Within this framework, it’s easy to forget how important it is to experience magic – to allow ourselves to be transported beyond what we know to a place of wonder.

As children, creativity and imagination are almost innate.  To the chagrin of many parents, any sort of stick can become a sword or gun in the hands of little boys.  Dress up and pretend were integral aspects of my childhood. Pillowcases and curtains granted invisibility. Snow piles became castles.  We could be anyone and do anything: magic!!  Yet somewhere along the way, we’ve lost the art of creativity and imagination – not only as we’ve become adults, but also as a culture.  We’ve become tied to the real and the obvious.    

Contrary to popular belief, creativity and imagination are not available only to a select few.  Anyone who wants to be creative can learn.  Like any skill, creativity requires practice.  What’s amazing is that the more we practice our creativity and imagination, the more easily they come.

Creativity is a key value at Kaleidoscope Studio.  Our goal is to encourage dancers to embrace creativity and nurture it in themselves.  To do this, we use stories.  Imagine a story about sledding – from the perspective of the sled.  Imagine you’ve been cursed to live as a deer, fox, owl, or wolf for hundreds of years.  Imagine you’re a sheep learning how to dance a jig.  Sometimes when we embrace a silly premise, we learn how to think differently; we see outside of the box; we learn to empathize.  Magic is an experience rooted in connection.  Learning to create helps us learn how to connect, and in nurturing connection, we foster life; and a life lived fully is itself a form of magic.

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