by Peter Watts
It might feel a little early for New Year resolutions, but here’s one I want to suggest right now:
During 2012, go enjoy one live performance arts event every month
While a small number of classical Christmas pieces were included, the majority of Kuan’s program choices were non-traditional. Hanukkah rhythms. Tchaikovsky re-arranged as big-band jazz. Choruses in Cantonese. A Rodetzky clapping frenzy personally conducted by the conductor herself. From beginning to end, it was an explosion of the seasonally unexpected. Kuan radically reengineered her audience’s expectations of a Christmas concert.
Shunning the formulaic produces magical results. When we break new ground there is an edge of risk that summons our full spirit to the task, and that spirit manifests as passion.
Don’t play it safe. Play it with passion.
In her book “The Artist’s Way”, Julia Cameron suggests we each have a well of creativity. We dip metaphorical buckets whenever we want to pull up creative ideas and unless we take time to re-fill the well, we will one day dip the bucket only to have it come back up empty.
Cameron therefore recommends a regular treat called an “Artist’s Date” where you replenish that creativity. For presenters there can be no finer Artist’s Date than the performing arts.
Why wait till the New Year to start this particular resolution. December is a time when the arts come gloriously alive. Whether it be a play, a concert, a night at the ballet, or a choir singing on a street corner, there is inspiration to be found all around us
As presenters we are members of many communities, and one of those is the community of the arts. Let’s make 2012 a year to enjoy our membership.