256 pages, 9 × 7 × 0.7 in
January 6, 2006
Simon & Schuster
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0743235274
ISBN - 13: 9780743235273
About the Book
This inspiring, encouraging guide will show every reader--from the author facing a bad case of writer's block, to the business person looking to secure a deal--how to achieve his or her fullest creative potential.
Read from the Book
Chapter One: I Walk into a White RoomI walk into a large white room. It's a dance studio in midtown Manhattan. I'm wearing a sweatshirt, faded jeans, and Nike cross-trainers. The room is lined with eight-foot-high mirrors. There's a boom box in the corner. The floor is clean, virtually spotless if you don't count the thousands of skid marks and footprints left there by dancers rehearsing. Other than the mirrors, the boom box, the skid marks, and me, the room is empty.In five weeks I'm flying to Los Angeles with a troupe of six dancers to perform a dance program for eight consecutive evenings in front of twelve hundred people every night. It's my troupe. I'm the choreographer. I have half of the program in hand -- a fifty-minute ballet for all six dancers set to Beethoven's twenty-ninth piano sonata, the "Hammerklavier." I created the piece more than a year ago on many of these same dancers, and I've spent the past few weeks rehearsing it with the company.The other half of the program is a mystery. I don't know what music I'll be using. I don't know which dancers I'll be working with. I have no idea what the costumes will look like, or the lighting, or who will be performing the music. I have no idea of the length of the piece, although it has to be long enough to fill the second half of a full program to give the paying audience its money's worth.The length of the piece will dictate how much rehearsal time I need. This, in turn, means getting on the phone to dancers, schedul
Table of Contents
1 I Walk into a White Room
2 Rituals of Preparation
3 Your Creative DNA
4 Harness Your Memory
5 Before You Can Think out of the Box, You Have to Start with a Box
7 Accidents Will Happen
10 Ruts and Grooves
11 An "A" in Failure
12 The Long Run
From the Publisher
One of the world’s leading creative artists, choreographers, and creator of the smash-hit Broadway show, Movin’ Out, shares her secrets for developing and honing your creative talents—at once prescriptive and inspirational, a book to stand alongside The Artist’s Way and Bird by Bird.
All it takes to make creativity a part of your life is the willingness to make it a habit. It is the product of preparation and effort, and is within reach of everyone. Whether you are a painter, musician, businessperson, or simply an individual yearning to put your creativity to use, The Creative Habit provides you with thirty-two practical exercises based on the lessons Twyla Tharp has learned in her remarkable thirty-five-year career.
In "Where's Your Pencil?" Tharp reminds you to observe the world -- and get it down on paper. In "Coins and Chaos," she gives you an easy way to restore order and peace. In "Do a Verb," she turns your mind and body into coworkers. In "Build a Bridge to the Next Day," she shows you how to clean the clutter from your mind overnight.
Tharp leads you through the painful first steps of scratching for ideas, finding the spine of your work, and getting out of ruts and into productive grooves. The wide-open realm of possibilities can be energizing, and Twyla Tharp explains how to take a deep breath and begin...
About the Author
Modern dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp was born in Portland, Indiana. As a child, Tharp was an accomplished musician, dancer, and athlete. In the early 1960s, she went to New York City to study dance, and she performed with the Paul Taylor Dance Company from 1963 to 1965. Then, in 1965, she formed her own small company, focusing her efforts on choreographing severe modern-dance works. As both a dancer and a choreographer, Tharp is noted for her ability to create dance with a popular appeal without losing integrity or depth. Although her first works were rather somber and highly structured in style, her later works have often captured a more whimsical note. Eight Jelly Rolls (1971), for example, delighted audiences with its dancing set to the jazz piano music of "Jelly Roll" Morton. Other enormously popular works include Coupe (1973), a piece set to music by the Beach Boys, and Push Comes to Shove (1976), which was choreographed for the ballet star Mikhail Baryshnikov. In addition to creating works for her own company, Tharp has created commissioned pieces for a number of other dance companies, for films, and for nondancers in such other entertainment fields as ice-skating and sports. These works include Bach Partita (1984), created for American Ballet Theatre, When We Were Very Young (1980) and The Catherine Wheel (1983), created for Broadway, and dance numbers created for the films Hair (1979) and White Knights (1985).
"Though its context is a choreographer's world, its principles are universally applicable and sound....It could change your life."
-- Elizabeth Zimmer, The Village Voice