Working with ETD this summer has been absolutely eye opening, not only in terms of a dance, but of how a company works together realistically to create work and actively seek ways of improving themselves. Throughout these past 2 months I’ve been able to work with many different aspects of the company and grow as an artist, mover, and person overall.
I think the most important thing I learned from Eryc was how to present yourself and talk to people. He is so sociable and driven when he talks about the company. His confidence and trust in himself allows for an incredible marketability for the company's success. He is constantly searching for new ways to grow and expand the ideas that will help build on this work, and does not give up or waiver when something doesn't work out or a plan gets sidetracked. His ability to adapt to situations and keep driving forward is something I will definitely take away from this as I move into making my own work for my final year of school. Advocating and believing in my own artistic decisions has always been a weak point of mine and watching Eryc at work has really inspired me to take action in my own agency.
Although I was never able to get a good quality camera for the media aspect of the job, I did learn a lot about how to work together to achieve someone’s artistic vision. Eryc has a very distinct aesthetic that is significantly different than my, more simplistic vision. Because of this fact, I had difficulty understanding and shaping the work I was producing to match the work that he liked to present for the company. Eventually I was able to create something that we both found satisfactory, but it wasn’t easy for me. Even just in the noticing of this, I learned a lot about how I deal with problems and how to work through them.
In terms of actually creating work, the dancers taught me how to collaborate and listen to one another in order to continue creating and evolving a dance. I was always impressed by how each person would feel comfortable sharing ideas or thoughts on how to improve, connect, and create functional movement. Their willingness to “workshop” ideas led to a collective understanding of the work and a deep connection to its outcome.
Being an artist is hard, being a company is even harder. I’m constantly amazed by how much work Eryc, Nicole, and Andrew put into keeping the company growing and running successfully. The work is never really done, there is no stopping point, even breaks in time tend to make you slide backwards. It really is a hill with no areas to rest, you’re either pushing forward or sliding backwards and it truly is exhausting. Luckily they all work together to get the job done, but I'm glad I had the opportunity to take a look inside the inner workings and lend a helping hand.