This last week I found myself in a creative process again and I was thrilled and obsessed.
We were 3 girls, one choreographer and two dancers. The theme was collaboration, so we worked more as a collective: using our different inputs and strengths to work towards a common goal.
I love working on this theme. There is an utopian idea of collectives forming equality between members and the use of democratic choice-making. Something we quickly find out is that this approach is slow in getting things accomplished. Questions like “I have a suggestion, what do we think?” and “Is this ok for you?” impede the flow of creation.
What we lose with these questions is fast decision-making which is sometimes exactly what a creative process needs, especially in time sensitive processes (and being honest, which project doesn’t have a deadline to meet?).
A better way to approach collective work is to establish everyone’s roles and goals; who is the project leader? who has to make fast decisions? How much autonomy does each person have? What’s the balance of individual vs group? How clear is the common goal? What are the unknowns?
I’m not out to explicitly answer all these questions in one go; they are usually discovered over time. A collective is a dynamic dialogue between members. And I find this relationships so interesting and fulfilling to investigate!