This paper explores the practice of using hooded crane dancing as an aesthetic and spiritual journey towards creative experiences through a gradual understanding of hooded cranes. I first became involved in individual and group performances that observed and mimicked hooded cranes via video clips. A documentary film on the hooded crane (Doori) played a strong role in increasing my awareness and understanding of the ecology of the Suncheon bay wetland conservation area, including hooded cranes. As I became more immersed in my performances, I became more adept at particular movements and reached the level of doing choreography work on my own. In this paper, I have tried to investigate how I was able to reveal my inner self while searching for ideas, modifying story-lines, selecting music, doing choreography and performing a final piece on stage. Data collection was done between September 2014 and May 2016, including field notes, reflective memo taking, photos, video clips and self-recollections. After data analysis and interpretation, I was able to grasp almost 13 aspects related to creative work following Root-Bernstein (Root-Bernstein & Root-Bernstein, 1999).
As a professor/researcher/artist, I enjoyed playing with my ideas and body movements, heavily shaped by knowledge accumulated through my understandings on hooded cranes. I also needed to transform existing resources and carefully select an appropriate piece of music for my choreography work by coming up with images or abstract concepts. The course of this journey inwards, enabled by my intimate contact with the world of the Hooded Crane was uplifting, aesthetically and spiritually. Additionally, the course of the journey toward my own creative space in the Suncheon wetlands, where I existed in harmony with the Hooded Crane, lifted my spirit up and allowed me to reach a better place, aesthetically and spiritually.