Why do a Marathon?
The extreme intensity of a non-stop working environment by its nature challenges perceptions, preconceptions and methods forcing fresh solutions.
Break blocks. Move work and how you forward. Build creative stamina.
Hit the wall and find out what is at the other side. End with new work, widened perspectives and fresh processes.
One of Edmond Hillary’s comments about finally scaling Everest was: “It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
And JFK said, about putting a person on the moon: “We choose to do this not because it is easy but because it is hard.”
And some inspiring words from champions who run marathons…
“why do a marathon…the sheer experience…”
“ If you’re the type that has always wanted to squeeze every drop out of life, to let no day go by before getting something valuable from it, then a marathon might just be for you. Because when you’ve finished, you look back and feel you’ve had a lifetime’s worth of experiences. Not only do you travel all over the physical landscape of 26hrs, you travel all over your own emotional landscape as well – the initial enthusiasm, the settled early part of the work, the despair, the euphoria at the finish… there’s enough there to write a small novel about.”
“You are with other people just like you, all with their own challenges to face, a shared community feeling that pulls you along.”
“To learn the art of the possible.”
“Finishing a marathon makes you look around at the rest of your life and ask – what else am I limiting myself in? What happens is you end up going deep inside yourself and drawing on an inner strength that you might have never known even existed. And once discovered, that inner strength doesn’t just disappear – you find yourself drawing on it every time you face challenging situations in your daily life, too.”
And some past Choreographic Marathoners: (see more in "feedback" section)
“It was a pleasure to train with Maxine as she teaches with passion, integrity and intelligence…. her teaching is authentic and bold and …in tune with her time.”
Jenn Goodwin, Choreographer/AM Hunter award for creativity, Curator Nuit Blanche Toronto
“The format of the marathon was flexible and responsive, allowing for private work time as well as sensitive and insightful feedback sessions and discussion with Maxine and her diverse cohort of mentor/ facilitators whose expertise embraced various forms of dance, physical theatre, voice, clown, writing, etc. The ratio of mentors to creators was beyond excellent. In one rehearsal, I found myself in animated discussion with two mentors about some aspect of my choreography, while another worked directly with my dancer on interpretation, and a fourth documented the process on video. It felt as if everyone had a stake in my work, as if everyone cared about the outcome. In my long career as an independent choreographer, this is a singularly rare and valuable experience.”
Holly Small, senior choreographer, professor emeritus in dance, York University, Toronto
“I was encouraged and validated for bringing a unique movement perspective. In fact, I can say that the support and encouragement I received at the Marathon was the most positive and inclusive that I’ve received in my whole career and I left feeling deeply inspired and motivated to continue creating work.
Kate Alsterlund, (Agent Lynx )
renowned B-girl dance artist, Montreal
“I can definitely vouch for your talents, insight and passion as a teacher in choreography…you allowed me to break free of the pressures I had felt previously that had repressed, you insisted that we take ourselves out of our usual framework, to take our practice seriously. I will also remember with great fondness your choreography marathon, which had us take an over-night intensive in creation. This challenged us again by taking us out of our regular framework and pushing us to focus on our creative capacities.”
Lys Stevens, past curator Studio 303, Montreal
Maxine exuded inspiration, and full dedication to her teaching, her students, and to dance. The choreographic practice she taught was rich in complexity and creativity.
Renata Soutter, co-artistic director/choreographer, Propeller Dance, Ottawa
see "FEEDBACK" section for choreographic marathoner's experiences