Author: jessilliams

Grant writer by day and dancepreneur by night.

REACH FARTHER: Fran Kirmser

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In this episode, we interview Fran Kirmser, co-author of the new book, A Life in Dance: A Practical Guide. Fran revealed how a class assignment turned into a quest with Rebecca Stenn to create a resource book for dancers. Fran read from the book and shared some stories from contributing artists.  Throughout our conversation, we talked about the various strengths and skills dancers possess that they can rely on to make their own life in dance and beyond.  Look for the book on Amazon and www.alifeindance.com (more…)

Sarah Benvenuti

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Jessica and Sarah Benvenuti, founder of Benvenuti Arts, met up for a friendly chat and drink on a rooftop bar in New York City.  Sarah shared her seasoned approach to fundraising for small arts organizations and artists while sharing helpful tips for artists interested in increasing their fundraising impact.  They talked about practical fundraising strategies, donor and audience engagement, the case for support, grant writing, crowdfunding, fiscal sponsorship, and more.  Artists, this is not an episode to miss! (more…)

Jennifer Tipton

Jennifer Tipton

Jessica had the pleasure of interviewing lighting designer Jennifer Tipton, who was recently nominated for a Tony award for her work on A Doll’s House Part 2 (on Broadway through July 23rd).  Jessica and Jennifer chatted over coffee about many aspects of her process starting with her approach to collaboration with directors and choregraphers, to how she gets inspiration, key differences in lighting dance and theater, as well as trends in lighting, and tricks of the trade. (more…)

DANCE ON CAMERA FESTIVAL, 2017!

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Marie’s Attitude by Kristi Grunditz

Jessica and Clara returned to the Dance on Camera Festival this year. We were on-site on Saturday, February 4th, interviewing interns, filmmakers, dancers and audience members about a range of films including documentary, narrative and choreography.  Here’s a quick breakdown of the topics you’ll hear covered in this episode, as well as an extended version with information about each segment after the “Read More” tag:

Minute 0-5:40 – Into Sunlight (feature)

5:40-15:54 – Jonah (short)

15:54-39:53 – Marie’s Attitude (feature) and Broken Memories (short)

39:53-54:14 – VR (Virtual Reality) Projects

54:14-End – Shorts Program (various short films) (more…)

Bonus episode: Barak Heymann, Producer of Mr. Gaga

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Jessica caught Tomer and Barak Heymann (the Producer and Film Director duo of Heymann Brothers Films) after a Q&A at Film Society of Lincoln Center while promoting the release of Mr. Gaga, their acclaimed documentary film about Ohad Naharin.  Naharin is is the long-standing Artistic Director of Batsheva Dance Company and subject of the film which follows his life from childhood until the present.  Jessica interviewed Barak and learned more about the filmmaking process, where the idea for the film came about, how Tomer selected archival footage, and how Ohad reacted to seeing the film for the first time.

Do not miss this film! It is screening at Film Forum and Lincoln Center through February 16th.   Learn more about Mr. Gaga at http://www.mrgagathefilm.com/.  And learn more about Tomer and Barak’s films at http://heymannfilms.com/.

NEVER LET THAT LIGHT BE EXTINGUISHED: JOSHUA THAKE

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Eugenia Repelskii as Henriette in Raymonda’s Wedding

Jessica and Clara had a lively chat with Joshua Thake, ballet dancer of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (better known on stage as Eugenia Repelskii and Jacques d’Aniels).  Josh revealed what it is like to prepare for roles and travel all over the world with the Trocks.  We discussed why their brand of humor works so well and how the Trocks use certain themes and elements of humor to bring ballets to life.  Naturally, we slipped into a dialog about what qualities make a great dancer connect with their audience.

Visit www.trockadero.org to find where the company is performing in a city near you.

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BY EVERYONE, FOR EVERYONE: EPHRAT ASHERIE

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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. (more…)