In this episode we had a fascinating interview with b-girl, house dancer, choreographer and recent Bessie award winner Ephrat Asherie of Ephrat Asherie Dance. Ephrat revealed how she discovered and became drawn to the “immediacy” of breaking and house dancing. In the process, we learned about the history, music and context behind these dance traditions and how she brings them to the stage. We ended with a valuable discussion on the importance of the role that dance choreographers must assume in understanding and acknowledging their influences, using the example of the widespread influence of hip hop in the contemporary dance world.
Ephrat “Bounce” Asherie, a 2016 Bessie Award Winner for innovative achievement in dance, is a New York City based bgirl, dancer and choreographer. As artistic director of Ephrat Asherie Dance (EAD) she has presented work at the Apollo Theater, FiraTarrega, Jacob’s Pillow, New York Live Arts, Summerstage, and the Yard, among others. Ephrat has received numerous awards to support her work including a Kevin Spacey Artist of Choice Award, a Mondo Cane! commission from Dixon Place, a Workspace residency from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, a Travel and Study Grant from the Jerome Foundation and two residencies through the CUNY Dance Initiative. Her first evening length work, A Single Ride, received two Bessie nominations in 2012 for Outstanding Emerging Choreographer and Outstanding Sound Design by Marty Beller. Ephrat is currently a participant in the LMCC’s Extended Life Residency Program where she was commissioned to create a new work for this year’s River to River Festival. Her new piece, Riff this, Riff that, was well received and toured to Spain in September. Ephrat is a regular guest performer with Dorrance Dance and has worked and collaborated with Doug Elkins, Rennie Harris, Bill Irwin and Gus Solomons Jr, among others. She is on faculty at Broadway Dance Center and is a founding member of the all-female house dance collective, MAWU. Ephrat earned her BA from Barnard College, Columbia University and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where she researched the vernacular jazz dance roots of contemporary street and club styles. For more information please visit www.ephratasherie.com.
Helene Davis loves her job. We sat down with Dance Publicist, Helene, and learned how she created her dream job and started her own business. We were inspired to hear how much joy she derived working with luminaries in the performing arts world and the people who made her job interesting over the years. (more…)
We were lucky to catch Prince Credell of Nederlands Dans Theater (NDT) at City Center during a busy day of rehearsal for the compay’s appearance at Fall for Dance. (NDT will be back for a full engagement in November! Get tickets!) Prince talked to us about his experience working with the exciting range of contemporary choreographers who come through NDT, learning to dance as a character, and some of his proudest moments as a teacher of dance. Speaking with Prince was an absolute pleasure, and we can’t recommend more highly seeing him perform with one of the most impressive and innovative dance companies of today at City Center Nov 16th-19th.(more…)
Jessica and Clara visited choreographer and founder of BalletCollective, Troy Schumacher (and his cute dog Shallot), at his sunny apartment in NYC. We learned about Troy’s collaborative approach to creating ballets by integrating artists who work in different mediums, such as music and photography, into the process and presentation of work. We also discussed his current aesthetic interests and were impressed by his ability to balance the demands of multiple roles: choreographer, director of a contemporary ballet company and not least of all, ballet dancer with NYCB. We had the pleasure of seeing BalletCollective perform last fall and we look forward to seeing the company again on October 27th and 28th at NYU Skirball Center in Manhattan. Buy tickets before they sell out! Oh, and if you too are curious to see the “World’s Greatest Victory Dances” that Troy choreographed for PlayStation, check out the playlist on YouTube.(more…)
Credo: Choreography by Matthew Neenan for Ballet X
We brought costume designer Reid Bartelme back to the studio, nearly a year after our first interview with him, to delve further into his design process and his vast knowledge of the dance landscape at large. In the meantime to our 2015 interview, the New York Times published an article about Reid highlighting his ability to bring together often-disparate factions of the dance world. We addressed the themes of that article, including the best strategies for learning and educating across worlds, the stigmas that sometimes get attached to one dance world by another, and how the terms “downtown” and “uptown” come into play. (Check out Danspace Project!) As usual, Reid was a lively conversationalist and a complete pleasure to engage. Here are few photos of costumes by Reid & Harriet that came up in the course of conversation, including the notorious “S&M bunny” ears for Trey McIntyre’s Ballet X.
We had an engaging conversation about a recent dance film collaboration between filmmaker Ron Honsa, choreographer Robin Becker, and producer Nan Penman. Watch the trailer here. We learned how Robin and eventually Ron became inspired by the historical events and subject matter based on the book They Marched Into Sunlight, written by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, David Maraniss.(more…)
(Ori Flomin, right, watches his dancers perform in his workshop.)
We spent a fantastic day at the ImPulsTanz Dance Festival in Vienna, Austria on July 22nd, during the first week of the festival, and we’re absolutely thrilled to share our interviews from the day! In between taking movement workshops in the morning, observing a workshop dedicated to the work of Tino Sehgal in the afternoon and seeing Simon Mayer’s“Sons of Sissy” performance at night, we spent time speaking to participants and artists on site. Below is a run-down of our interviews (just click “more”), including approximate start times in the recording. Remember they take place on site at the festival, so you’ll hear lively background noise (and even some beautiful opera during Ray Chung’s)! (more…)