INTO SUNLIGHT: Ron Honsa, Nan Penman & Robin Becker

nyc-crew-shot-1We 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.

Into Sunlight is an evening-length dance by choreographer Robin Becker inspired by the book They Marched into Sunlight. The book portrays the tumultuous shift of cultural perspective caused by the Vietnam War through the lens of events in October 1967. By weaving together stories about soldiers in Vietnam with growing social and political unrest on the campus of the University of Wisconsin, Maraniss explores the effects of violence on both those in battle and those at home. (Learn more at robinbeckerdance.org, new & improved site coming soon!)

Ron Honsa, Executive Director of Moving Pictures, first became aware of this dance project three years ago and was immediately drawn to the compelling subject matter based on Maraniss’ powerful non-fiction book. Working closely with Robin Becker and her dancers, Ron documented rehearsals and performance footage from the company’s New York premiere, as well as their recent tour in Vietnam. He juxtaposes dance performance against provocative conversations with the choreographer, author, dancers and several veterans, as well as family members and protesters who are highlighted in Maraniss’ book. Learn more about Moving Pictures at www.mpny.tv.

WELCOME TO THIS SITUATION: Interviews from ImPulsTanz – Vienna International Dance Festival

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(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. Here’s a run-down of our interviews, 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)!

Minute 22:00 – Ori Flomin taught the morning movement workshop that Jessica took, “The Energetic Body through Dance and Meridians.” We spoke to him about the meridian theory upon which he bases much of his choreography and teaching as well as the origin of his choreographic style and even his favorite “element” (you’ll have to listen to understand!). Originally from Israel, Ori has been creating and presenting his choreography extensively in New York, Europe and Asia. He is currently an Adjunct Faculty at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York City.

44:00 – Adam Naughton participated in both Ori Flomin’s movement workshop in the morning and the fascinating presentation of Tino Sehgal “The Situation” that we observed in the afternoon. He helped us better understand Tino Sehgal’s piece and shared his thoughts on learning to move with an awareness of meridians and elements. Adam attended ImPulsTanz with a small group of emerging choreographers who were selected to participate in workshops for the entire festival.

55:40 – Ray Chung taught the Contact Improvisation workshop that Clara took, “Riding the Curve of Space.” In this interview he shared how he became involved in contact improvisation (including the role of “jams”), the key principles that make contact unique, and how he engages beginners in the technique. Ray has worked with Contact Improvisation since 1979 as part of improvisational performance practice. He integrates other movement forms into his work, including martial arts, bodywork and Authentic Movement.

1:04:00 – Christian Apschner, who took Ray Chung’s contact improvisation class and would later teach “Contemporary Contact Ballroom” in week 4, talked to us about making a career of contact improvisation after working as an environmental engineer for many years. Christian is co-founder of the Vienna-based rollingpoint association for Contact Improvisation and related dance and movement forms. He developed what he has termed “three-dimensional flow movement sequences.”

I DOVE IN WITHOUT LOOKING: Kimberly Falker


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In our first Skype interview, we connected with Kimberly Falker, founder of Balancing Pointe podcast and Premier Dance Network.  Kimberly shared how she became inspired to start the first dance podcast and eventually the first dance podcast network.  She also revealed tips and advice on dance podcasting and opened up about lessons learned and her greatest assets for success—consistency, work ethic and going back to her “why.”  Learn how she continues to expand the conversation on dance as she encourages other dancers with her mantra of podcasting for all.

You can also find Balancing Pointe on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Kimberly Falker is the host of Balancing Pointe Podcast, where she interviews successful and inspiring guests who are living and working in the world of professional ballet and dance. Each episode offers specific “take away” advice for the aspiring dancer and valuable information on the “real” world of professional dance. Kimberly is a Florida native who worked in Elementary Education before attending law school and building a career as a prosecutor for the Department of Social Services in Boton. During college, she performed in the Florida State Flying High Circus, which is similar to Cirque du Soleil. Now, Kimberly is the mother of both an athlete and a serious student of ballet. As her daughter, Cosette, became more focused and passionate about pursuing a future in ballet, Kimberly realized that she needed to learn how to best support and guide Cosette through the world of ballet. She launched Balancing Pointe podcast as a way to learn about the dance world and share her learnings with other students, parents and anyone interested in dance. Since launching Balancing Pointe Podcast, Kimberly has interviewed over 100 talented and passionate dance makers.

WE ARE NOT THE FOCUS: Nel Shelby

CHRISTOPHER_NEL_RETOUCHED-3We were delighted to sit down again with Nel Shelby, dance videographer and entrepreneur, to follow up on our brief conversation from earlier this year at the Dance on Camera Festival. In this episode we delve deeper into Nel’s filmmaking process for PS DANCE!, her highly successful new documentary about dance education in public schools that has spawned a movement to bring dance to every child. (You can find our interviews with PS DANCE! viewers here.) We also learn about Nel’s intuitive, collaborative approach to making documentaries and dance films and about how she built her own company, Nel Shelby Productions, over time. Nel articulates her learnings about drawing out interviewees by being present without becoming the focus and shares a positive, optimistic attitude about the future of dance.

Nel Shelby is the founder of Nel Shelby Productions, a production company based in NYC and focused specifically on preserving and promoting dance through dance videography. (more…)

Jessica Lang

Jessica Lang and Kanji Segawa by Christopher Jones

We sat down with Jessica and learned about her approach to choreography and her latest work Thousand Yard Stare, which will be presented at the Joyce June 14th through the 19th. She revealed how her education at Juilliard eventually put her on the path of choreography and how she came to realize that a performance career was not for her. We also talked about her experience forming her own company and opening a dance studio in Long Island City. For more information about her show at the Joyce, visit Joyce.org or visit Jessica Lang’s website.

 

YOU DON’T NEED MUCH TO DANCE: Greg Miller

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In this episode we speak with Greg Miller, founder of Dance Parade New York. We were fascinated to learn that Dance Parade was started in response to New York City’s Cabaret Laws, restrictive laws that require business owners to obtain an expensive Cabaret License in order to allow dancing in their establishments. Upholding the Cabaret Laws, the courts went so far as to say that “dance is not expressive.” We couldn’t disagree more, as you’ll hear in our further discussions with Greg about the 5Rhythms technique and the expressive community of Burning Man. Be sure to attend this year’s Dance Parade on Saturday, May 21st, where you’ll see 81 forms of dance! Learn more at http://danceparade.org/ and at https://www.facebook.com/DanceParadeNY.

Dance/NYC 2016 Symposium: Building New and Non-Traditional Dance Audiences: CUNY Dance Initiative

audience picPod de Deux attended this Dance/NYC 2016 Symposium discussion and workshop and learned how the CUNY Dance Initiative (CDI) is developing new dance audiences while offering NYC dance companies free space to rehearse and perform. After the session, we interviewed PDD alum Jamie Benson, who presented helpful tips on how to build a following with social media strategies. We also recorded enthusiastic feedback from audience members and another presenter, Charles Rice-Gonzalez, a CUNY Venue Director.

This post is part of a series of interviews conducted at the Dance/NYC 2016 Symposium.