Author: jessilliams

Grant writer by day and dancepreneur by night.

THE MUSIC TAKES OVER AND DRIVES ME: Tiler Peck

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Jessica and Clara interviewed Tiler Peck leading up to the premier of her new documentary, BalletNow, which will be available for streaming on Hulu on Friday, July 20th.  The film, directed by Steven Cantor (who directed Sergei Polunin’s DANCER) and produced by Elisabeth Moss, shows Tiler assume many roles as curator, artistic director, rehearsal director and dancer in preparation for a performance at the Music Center in Los Angeles last July. In the interview, Tiler revealed what it was like rising to the greatest challenge of her life in preparing for a production that included 15 ballets in three programs, all while dancing in eight pieces. Tiler spoke about her curatorial rationale for the performance, which featured choreographers Justin Peck, Christopher Wheeldon, Michelle Dorrance, Bill Irwin, and more. Beyond BalletNow, we talked about Tiler’s enthusiasm for stepping into a new role as choreographer this summer at Vail Dance Festival, how leadership at City Ballet is developing after the departure of Peter Martins, and how she has become known as “the ballerina who stops time.”

More about Tiler Peck:

Tiler Peck was born in Bakersfield, California. She began her dance training at the age of two at her mother’s dance studio, Bakersfield Dance Company. At the age of seven, she began studying privately with former Bolshoi Ballet principal dancer Alla Khaniashvili in Hollywood. At the age of 11 she began studying at Conjunctive Point in Culver City, California, with former New York City Ballet dancers Colleen and Patricia Neary. During this time she also studied with former NYCB principal Yvonne Mounsey at Westside School of Ballet in Santa Monica. At the age of 12, Ms. Peck entered the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet, for most of the 2000-2001 Winter Term. She returned to SAB during the summers of 2002 and 2003, and that fall began as a full-time student. In September 2004, Ms. Peck became an apprentice with New York City Ballet. In February 2005 she joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet. She was promoted to soloist in December 2006 and principal dancer in October 2009.

 

DREAMS DO COME TRUE: PAUL HAMILTON

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In this episode, Jessica and Clara interviewed dancer Paul Hamilton about his experience collaborating with a diverse range of choreographers including Alonzo King, Elizabeth Streb, Reggie Wilson, Ralph Lemon and Keely Garfield.  He shared a bit about each choreographer’s style and process and talked about his own journey of discovering and re-discovering dance as his passion and joy.  He also let us in on some of the fascinating dramaturgical processes behind Reggie Wilson / Fist and Heel Performance Group’s production of Moses(es), and Ralph Lemon’s Scaffold Room (from which the above image derived).

Soul Train was one of the influences behind Paul’s Bessie-nominated performance of Scaffold Room.  Enjoy this video homage to Soul Train! (more…)

DANCE FILLS MY WHOLE LIFE: MARTA ORTEGA

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In this episode, Jessica was in Havana, Cuba interviewing Marta Ortega, a dancer with Acosta Danza. Acosta Danza was formed in 2016 when international ballet star, Carlos Acosta retired from a highly regarded 30-year ballet career with the Royal Ballet and moved back to Cuba.  The company commissions international choreographers such as Mats Ek and Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui to create original contemporary works on its dancers.  In 2018, Acosta Danza will perform in Havana and tour in the US, Europe and Singapore. Learn more at http://www.acostadanza.com/en/

Acosta Danza will perform at New York City Center April 25-27th as part of the ¡Adelante, Cuba! Festival. Get tickets here. (more…)

Stephan Quinci

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In this episode of Pod de Deux podcast, Clara and Jessica interviewed Stephan Quinci while traveling in Berlin.  Originally hailing from Italy and Ohio, Stephan now calls Berlin his home where he collaborates with artists and investigates his own performance work. Stephan shared how his current training in release technique influences his performance work and free expression on the Berlin Club dance floor.  We talked about his dialectic process for creating conceptual performance, and the European performance landscape.

Check out his recent dance fashion feature in Sleek Magazine: http://www.sleek-mag.com/2017/10/13/adidas-eqt/ (more…)

EVERYTHING IS GROUNDED IN MY SUBJECTVITY: Ali Rosa-Salas

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In this episode of Pod de Deux, Clara and Jessica interviewed performance curator, Ali Rosa-Salas, who serves as the Director of Performance Programs at Abrons Arts Center.  We spoke about the many roles of a performance curator and how Ali approaches her work at Abrons as she strives to create a place for inquiry and community.  In the process, we learned about the history of Henry Street Settlement and its founder, Lillian Wald. Clara joined Ali and Jessica via skype from Minnesota where she was visiting her family for Thanksgiving. (more…)

WE’RE THERE TO CELEBRATE: Ben Oddo and Michael Mahany of Dance Network

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In this episode we spoke to Ben Oddo, Content Manager of Dance Network as well as Michael Mahany, NYC Dance Network Correspondent. We learned how co-founders, Julie Stadler and David Medeiros, formed Dance Network. Michael shared his favorite moments as a correspondent and journalist of dance in New York City, as well as his passion for dance, wine, and cooking.  Ben and Michael spoke about the network’s growing dance content and future plans for the platform.

We are also so excited to announce our new partnership with Dance Network which will be launched with the release of this episode!  Pod de Deux will now be featured on Dance Network along with their family of programs. (more…)

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…)