Twyla Tharp and the Creative Habit

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Twyla Tharp, one of America’s greatest choreographers began her career in 1965, and has created more than 130 dances for her company as well as for the Joffrey Ballet, the New York City Ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet, London’s Royal Ballet, Denmark’s Royal Ballet, and American Ballet Theatre. She has won two Emmy awards for television’s Baryshnikov by Tharp, and a Tony Award for the Broadway musical Movin’ Out. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1993 and was made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1997. She holds nineteen honorary degrees, most recently from Harvard University.

In her masterwork book, The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life, she outlines a range of inspiring insights and practical tools for establishing a creative life.

Here are a few gems from the book.

 

Always carry a pencil…

 

If art is the bridge between what you see in your mind and what the world sees, then skill is how you build that bridge.

 

Everything is raw material. Everything is relevant. Everything is usable. Everything feeds into … creativity. Without the time and effort invested in getting ready to create, you can be hit by the thunderbolt and it’ll just leave you stunned.

 

The routine is as much a part of the creative process as the lightning bolt of inspiration, maybe more. And this routine is available to everyone. Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is a result of good work habits.

 
 
 
Scott Morgan