What is the source of creativity?
I am in the middle of a week’s workshop in clowning and am being given permission to return to my own creative source.
This is something we could all benefit from. But where is this source, and how do we tap it?
Didier Danthois’ School of the Sacred Clown places the utmost importance on listening to oneself. Danthois believes that only by ‘centering’, or getting in touch with oneself, can one truly begin honest communication. What audiences love, says Didier, is truthfulness. Putting on an act seems artificial and fake. Instead, he requires his clown trainees to ‘return to their source’, or listen to their inner voices and channel centred energy into expression.
After lunch we spend ten minutes as a group holding hands, breathing deeply, becoming aware of our posture and relaxing any muscular tension. This is followed by an hour of solo movement exploration before interaction is allowed. Through this deep work, personal integrity, relaxation and connection to breath are encouraged. All of these help us reconnect with that ‘creative source’. Afterwards, Danthois gives us space to reflect on our ‘truthfulness’.
Not only do I feel his techniques improving my performance ability, it also improves my emotional relations. I feel I can listen better, I feel more’connected’ and safe, and definitely more open and playful.
These are all attributes assigned to assessing creativity. In ‘Assessing Creativity’ (2002), the Center for Creative Learning places indicators of creativity into four tables, one of which is labelled ‘openness and courage to explore ideas’ and another ‘listening to one’s inner voice’. These skillsets include openness to feelings, adaptability, internal locus of control, absorption and capacity for imagination – all of which are promoted by Danthois, and all of which seem part and parcel of ‘reconnecting to your source’.
As artists, Danthois says this is fundamental. “Where do you go to for ideas?” says Danthois. “You have to nourish that source within yourself.”
Certainly we have all felt flashes of inspiration come to us from ‘nowhere’. Great authors and scientists including Dr Deepak Chopra recommend meditation as a tool to clear the mind and solve problems. Is this ‘the source’ Didier talks of?
In my experience, I feel more genuine, more ‘myself’ when acting from that open, honest place.
Whatever your ‘creative source’, make sure you find a way to check in and connect with it from time to time.