New Beginnings

Sep 20

“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, I will try again tomorrow.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

As a member of the Social Change Marketing practice, we work for clients, campaigns, programs, and initiatives that strive towards the goal of behavior change. In short, we aspire for people to embark on new beginnings—a conscious or subconscious decision to think about things a little differently or a little clearer. To reframe. To refresh.

I don’t mean to imply that suddenly, as in a cartoon, we have an epiphany moment where the light bulb goes on and we say “ah ha!” In reality, it is gradual yet iterative changes that develop into new beginnings—whether the end goal is to lead a healthier lifestyle, practice financially conscious decisions, or to be free of mental impediments. This was beautifully illustrated in a video I saw this week entitled, “New Beginnings.”

Filmed at sunrise on the 57th floor terrace of Four World Trade Center in lower Manhattan, “New Beginnings” features New York City Ballet (NYCB) principal dancers Maria Kowroski and Ask LaCour in Christopher Wheeldon’s pas de deux After the Rain. The video was posted by NYCB at sunrise on September 12, 2013.

A man and a woman stand tall—strong pillars against the wind whistling around them. As the music begins, cascading like falling raindrops, the couple begins to sway. Their effortless movements are synchronized and grounded. While they mirror each other, their rhythm mimics the melody of the music. And like a lullaby the simple and repetitive score supports and propels them into motion. As their hands touch for the first time and they look out at One World Trade Center, their bodies separate, exploring the intricacies of the sparse yet fluid music.

Despite its title, the choreography (and music) lacks any [new] beginnings (or ends). One movement flows into the next as the dancers seamlessly skim the surface of the skyscraper’s terrace. Indeed there is something otherworldly about the score and the dancers that evoke a sense of tenderness, and perhaps even sadness.

[“New Beginnings”] is a “testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a tribute to the future of the city that New York City Ballet calls home,” articulates NYCB Ballet Master in Chief Peter Martins. “New Beginnings” is sparse. Simple. And painfully beautiful. And even without a storyline, it takes you on an incredible journey of change.

“Courage doesn’t always roar” and changes of behavior and perception don’t happen overnight. It’s not about a giant leap or a huge lift. It’s about repetition and intention, about thinking clearly and understanding where you want to be. And having someone there to support you; to guide you. So that at the end of day you have the strength and the courage to try again tomorrow. And to keep trying to be better, to live better than you did the day before.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 20th, 2013 at 2:44 pm and is filed under Behavior Change, Social Marketing. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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