The subtle art of artistic accompaniment
Where am I now?
I am at the Israeli Circus School, one of my favorite circus schools in Israel. They are creating a production with students who have been here for 6 -7 years. When students stay for a long time in a school, it says something about it. Even though I visit once every two weeks or so, I love the atmosphere; I understand very well why they choose to stay.
In the past 2-to 4 years, I was privileged enough to work with two graduates of this school, preparing them for professional circus schools in France and Europe. It’s been a joy, the school they came from was in their whole being. That is why I am here.
Why am I here?
I am accompanying this creative process from a distance. It’s part of my research process, which this blog is all about. In fact, everything I choose to do now relates to this research. In any case, I am observing and, when possible, assisting in the process. There is not much for me to do; they are doing a great job independently. Teachers and students alike.
Accompaniment is of vital importance.
I seem to be a fly on the wall. But I give my feedback when needed, and having someone who cares is already a lot. In the case of the circus school, they are many, the teachers, the students. It’s a big group; they are there for each other. In the case of a solo creator or a small professional company, the stakes are different.
The delicate space between us
When you work with solo artists or a group, feedback is vital. The group dynamic of a team is the first thing to pay attention to in a company. With a solo performer-creator, the balance is a delicate one. The work is their; you are mostly there to facilitate and assist in working through setbacks and blocks on the way.
More than the actual feedback, the way it is given is critical. Essentially artists and the team need to know that you are there for them. There’s nothing else really; there’s just them, their creative work, and what you can give them with words and careful attention to bring the work forward.
There are two or more worlds here and the energetic space in between as in any co-creation. You need to create a safe psychological space for people to grow in mutually.
It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top
One of my favorite things to do is accompany creative leaders. Leaders seem to be “lonely” in their struggles; I know this from my own experience and my work with other leaders. It doesn’t have to be lonely at the top. Surrounding yourself with the right team is of the essence, and possibly finding a good coach to accompany you on your path.
Working with creative leaders is my thing because the stakes are the highest, and their responsibility is the greatest; I get that all too well; I’ve been there so many times. I’ve also been lucky to have great assistance from coaches, mentors, and partners, which made all the difference.
When you get to do this for others, making that kind of difference it’s an enormous privilege.
Ok, I’m off to rehearsal. If you like this content, please share it with others.
Comments are more than welcome below.