Hedwig Dances brings together choreographers Rigoberto Saura and Taimy Ramos in "SEA LEVEL: Above and Below". We asked these rising choreographers about Saura's "The Flowering Mechanism" and Ramos' "A Flor de Piel", and here's what they told us:
Gavin Sutherland is the Music Director of English National Ballet, and he's a master of an invisible art. He knows how a dancer moves to sound, and how to keep the sounds that come from an orchestra of musicians moving perfectly with a stage full of dancers. He knows every part in detail, and he knows how to make each of them part of all of the others. DancerMusic wanted to learn more about all of this --- about the complex choreography of collaborations that are the heart of Gavin Sutherland's art. So we asked him if he would give us a look inside the art of bringing music to dance, and here's what he told us:
Marinda Davis is a phenomenal choreographer who continues to fight against phenomenal odds. This past May, Marinda shared her story on the CW's My Last Days, which detailed her battle against a series of diseases that compromise her health and how dance has played a major role in fueling her resilience and healing. We are humbled and send our heartfelt love as she continues to fight for her health, but here we choose to focus on the light she brings to our world through choreography. In more recent years, Marinda has had her company and choreography featured on NBC's World of Dance and has taken a dive into the commercial side of the art form. Through the years, she never forgot about the connection she made as a dance convention assistant to the legendary Gus Giordano, and now has the opportunity to choreograph on the legacy company that he left behind. There is something incredibly satisfying and elusive about life coming full circle, and for Marinda, this experience with Giordano Dance Chicago was just that. DancerMusic Dance Editor Kristi Licera caught up with Marinda to learn more about how she formed her relationship with the company, as well as the creative process behind her work for GDC, titled "Flickers." Here's what she told us:
Although nobody talks about it very much, courage is an important part of dance. It takes courage to go on stage and perform of course, but it also takes courage to keep facing the reality of imperfection, a reality that in some ways becomes more vivid the more you find the courage to improve. Then there are even more intimidating, more difficult challenges, some of them very frightening, and that's when you need courage just to keep going. Paige Fraser has always done that and more. When she was awarded a Princess Grace Award, when she was named by Dance Magazine to their prestigious 25 to Watch, and all of the other times that her work has been so widely admired, many people might have thought that it was because of her exceptional gifts as a performer, and of course it was. But the only reason anyone ever got to see Paige Fraser's always-impressive performances is because she kept going, even when anyone with less courage might have given up. Fraser has begun to turn more of her attention to choreography, and her latest work is a twenty-five minute piece entitled ASCENSION for Northwestern University. We wanted to hear more from Paige about her work as a choreographer, and especially about ASCENSION, so we asked her to give us an idea of what we'll see in March at Northwestern's Josephine Louis Theater. Here's what she told us:
There is no magical solution to getting out of a creative rut. All we can do is try and listen to the needs of our bodies and minds and make the most of the resources around us to achieve the desired effect. That is the approach that Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, Donald Byrd, has taken in the creation of a three part choreographic series titled Rambunctious. Donald's resume includes so much more than award-winning dance choreography; it includes operas and theater works for world renowned companies including the New York City Opera and the Dutch National Opera. There is also a certain creativity needed to fund these numerous projects, and Donald's consistent brilliance and work ethic has garnered grants and awards from many national foundations to support his work including the Rockefeller Foundation, New England Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts and The National Endowment for the Arts. Between the countless dance, opera, and theater works, this incredibly accomplished choreographer and leader must continuously find new ways to keep the ball of innovation and creation rolling. To find out more about Donald's creative process, DancerMusic Dance Editor Kristi Licera asked for a behind the scenes look at Rambunctious 3.0: The Immigrants, which Spectrum Dance Theater will soon present at The Dance Center at Columbia College. Here's what Donald told us:
This year, Cerqua Rivera Dance Theatre celebrates its 20th anniversary season. Every dance company dreams of celebrating such a milestone, so what is the secret to the success? It might have something to do with the incredible blend of live dance and music that the company continues to curate, but more likely it is the passionate and consistent commitment to their artistic mission that co-founders Wilfredo Rivera and Joe Cerqua demonstrate year after year. Despite the challenges of building and maintaining an audience, procuring funding, and pushing the boundaries of both music and dance, CRDT has nourished the creative talents
The person that you are is a sum of all your experiences - good, bad, ugly and everything in between. If you happen to be Deeply Rooted Dance Theater Co-Founder and Associate Artistic Director Gary Abbott, then those experiences also inform the choreographic works that have and continue to receive praise from critics and audiences alike. What does all of this experience have to do with Gary's latest choreographic work, "Parallel Lives," for Deeply Rooted Dance Theater? Well, when we got to talking with Gary, it seems that he had been collecting the pieces of this creative puzzle for some time without realizing what the final picture would be. From deep within his past came the memories of an upbringing in a house of strong women. From his experience choreographing for theater and from his mentors, a deeper understanding of how to use drama and staging effectively to convey his ideas. And from teaching at the university, an unexpected connection with the ballet class pianist that would lead to an original score for the piece. DancerMusic's Kristi Licera caught up with Gary to see how all of these pieces came together to form "Parallel Lives" and to learn more about what's on the program for An Inspired Past, A Jubilant Future. Here's what Gary told us:
Darryl Joseph is an independent producer with an intricately careful sense of how to put beats together. Originally from New York and now living in Chicago, his solo tracks are often sparse and electronic, and always elegantly designed. He's found himself more and more in demand as more and more people have heard his work, not only as a sought-after collaborator for vocalists, but also for choreographers. His gift for enthusiastic collaboration as much as for composition has led to recent projects with Stephanie Martinez, Christopher Huggins, Nick Pupillo, and now with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago Choreographic Fellow Rena Butler. We asked Darryl about a lot of different things --- composing for dance, working with Rena Butler, what's up next for him, and more -- and here's what he told us.
Alessandra Corona Performing Works is the New York based company that Alessandra Corona founded in 2012, building on a widely successful performance career. That career included rigorous training in her native Italy, a dozen years as principal dancer with Ballet Hispanico, and a broad range of dance and theater accomplishments, and it continues with her performances as part of ACPW. "My goal is to make artistic works that integrate dance, music, theater, video and film arts," she writes at the Company's site. "My passion is to create art collaborating with high-level professional artists from different performing art disciplines." Manuel Vignoulle will premiere a new work called "W2! (Women Too!)" and we asked Manuel if he'd give us a little closer look at the work. Here's what he told us:
As an art form, dance on film is in its very early stages. Despite the visual enchantment of concert dance, there isn't yet any widespread understanding of how that enchantment can be shared with a wider audience in video and film. There are probably many skills, many ideas, many techniques yet to be discovered that will bring new dimensions to concert dance when it is presented in a visual recording, and in their film Augmented Organism, Jazmyne M. K. Geis and Cy Gorman not only explore, but master many those possibilities. Here are 4PHOTOS from Augmented Organism, with description and insights from Jazmyne Geis.