It's been a week, and things move on. Still, got some thoughts.
Survivor is dance, music, film and poetry. There's sculpture, choreography, composition and space design. I've never seen so many forms of expression thrown together on a stage. I was curious to take creative insight from the sidelines watching a part of the development, rehearsals and a couple of the stage performances. I thought it might be instructive to the work of marketers and brand people like us. Our work is not the same, but there are parallels.
- As with any strong brand creation, the idea matters. A lot. Great art is not random decoration, but follows a big and original vision. Stick to the big thing in your head and heart. Keep it firmly in focus. Don't let the trials and tribulations of a production sweep it away.
- Mix it up. Bang a choreographer/composer and a sculptor/painter together, add in one unbounded music director and his inspired orchestra, a massive ensemble of spirited drummers, a troupe of magical dancers. They'll add, blend and cook it and there's no telling where this will go.
- Be open, stay loose. Yes you have a vision, but let new stuff in. If it works and enhances the idea, take it. Build it in, make it part of whole. Don't worry whether it was planned or envisioned to begin with. If it's good.
- Allow the innocence of outsiders, the kids, the drummers, your mum. The raw impulse of people who are not ingnues who can inject fresh notions to work that has been laboured over by the pros.
- Take things as they come. And they do come: a riff, a new step, a crash, a flash. Build them into the vision, to round it out. Don't resist the unexpected contribution of colleagues. They may have just the final piece of the jigsaw you're looking for.
- Your audience is part of the project. If they're flat, the show will be flat. You get nothing back. If you invite them in, welcome them as part of the experience, you'll get that spark.
- Raise the tension. Demand people's courage. Let them tread risky paths. Feel the danger. And then, love it. And keep calm. It's a combustible formula.
- Don't be prissy. The arts aren't compartmentalised. A dancer is a cameraman. A drummer is a reader. A singer is a sculpture. Clearly, the guy from the Independent on Sunday with the look-at-me, spiky, red, glittery hair-horns clearly had some trouble ranging beyond his pigeonhole. Don't listen to sour critics.
- It's ok to be incomplete. The end idea matters, even if it's a project in process. The aim to realize the vision is interesting in itself. A strong idea is strong, even if it's unfinished. It's ok to share, before it's perfect. My friend Lance watched Survivors, got it, and said that.
Oh and another thing. Israel is not a police state, Antony. It has a police alright (not a very good one I think), and it certainly is in a right state. However, there's no way, that I can think of, you could cajole any Israeli Jew, Arab, Druze, Beduin, Russian into much of any obeisance. A more individually-spirited and awkward bunch of people will be hard to find on this planet. Visit, and you'll see their streak of independence running so deep, that no police could suppress it.
Besides, where do the creative takes, above, spring from if not from the fiercely free-ranging minds of Israeli artists, nurtured there in some of the world's most inspired and unrestrained dance companies.
And perhaps this is the end-take: Art needs freedom to soar. Get in touch with venturethree for our own top tips on brand creativity. Hofesh Shechter's Political Mother is at Brighton Dome 31 January.