Pod de Deux podcast episodes

I LOOK FOR A CLEAR ANCHOR IN THE WORK: Christopher LaPlante

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In this episode, Clara connects with fellow Minnesotan dancer Christopher LaPlante. We learn about Chris’ experience independently navigating the dance world, guided by his innate passion for dance. He talks about growing up in competition school, discovering break dance in his early 20s, and the magical way in which he achieved his dream of dancing with TU Dance (with former PDD guest Uri Sands!). Chris also expresses his philosophies of seeking intention in choreographic works, and bringing dance to public spaces where it can be seen by people who may not otherwise engage with the art form. We hope you enjoy the conversation as much as we did.

Christopher LaPlante was born and raised in St Paul Park, MN.  After earning his BFA from the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis Dance Program, Chris danced with TU Dance, Twin Cities Ballet, Zenon Dance Company, Minnesota Opera, and ARENA Dances. He has also done projects with Colleen McClellan Ueland, Catherine Wright, and his colleagues Jessica Briggs and Nicolas LeMere. Chris has presented his own choreography at the 9×22 Theater in Minneapolis, the University of Wisconsin Riverfalls Dance Program, and at numerous venues for site-specific works. In New York, he has had the opportunity to dance with Abraham.In.Motion, to collaborate on a solo with Yoshito Sakuraba, and to dance in a commercial for Coca-Cola. We’ll also learn about Chris’ teaching endeavors and additional choreography.

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!

Paul Hamilton is a Bessie-nominated dancer who started his dance training in Jamaica at the Jamaica School of dance. Upon arriving in the United States, he continued his training at SUNY Purchase, where he studied with Kevin Wynn and Neil Greenberg. Paul also studied at the Alvin Ailey School of Dance, the Martha Graham School and Dance Theatre of Harlem. He has performed with Elizabeth Streb, The Martha Graham Dance Ensemble, The Barnspace Dance Company, Ralph Lemon (Bessie nominee), and David Thomson, among many others. He also apprenticed with Lines Contemporary Ballet with Alonso King. Paul is a member of both Reggie Wilson Fist and Performance Group, Keely Garfield Dance, and Jane Comfort and Company.

This episode was recorded at Btoven Music studio in Manhattan.

I MAKE AN EFFORT TO GUIDE AN EXPERIENCE: Andrea Miller

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In this interview with Andrea Miller, recorded at the Brooklyn home of GALLIM Dance, we dig deep into Andrea’s unique choreographic process and discuss her current residency at the Met Breuer. Andrea describes the way in which she and her dancers develop a distinct movement language for each new piece, and she shares a fascinating example of a piece for which they drew inspiration from prehistoric, non-human movement. We also touch on the historical-cultural significance of Andrea’s 2017-18 residency at the Met as a sign of dance being recognized as an art form in its own right. Finally, Andrea speaks to the experience and personal importance of building a family without interrupting her dance career. Andrea will premiere a new durational work at the Met Breuer this month, May 22–27, 2018. If you’re in New York, don’t miss it!

Andrea Miller is the Artistic Director and choreographer of Brooklyn-based company, GALLIM. A sought-after creator and collaborator in dance, film, theater, tech, and fashion, Miller was named 2017/2018 Artist in Residence at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, becoming the first choreographer to hold that distinction. Miller will culminate the residency with an installation at The Met Breuer (May 2018).

Miller’s highly acclaimed works and commissions have been performed worldwide, at the Frieze Festival, Carmina Burana at Lincoln Center and The Kennedy Center, BAM Next Wave, Jacob’s Pillow, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, and much more. Her choreography for GALLIM has also been commissioned and performed both nationally and internationally. In addition, Miller has collaborated with brands in the fashion world that include Hermès, VOGUE, Lacoste, Calvin Klein and others.

Miller’s educational programming is run from GALLIM’s Brooklyn home studio and has been brought to Universities and educational centers across the US, recently at Harvard, Juilliard, Barnard, NYU, Marymount, Wesleyan, and UCSB, among others.

DANCE IS A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE: Caitlin Trainor

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In this episode we talk to Caitlin Trainor, the Founder and Creator of Dancio. Dancio is a platform that provides online dance classes with some of the best teachers in the world. Starting from the need for a simple warm-up tool, Caitlin created a platform with the potential to bring top-notch training to dancers in geographies with limited access, allow new professional dancers to keep up with class without breaking their bank, and even bring the healing power of dance to people around the world who, without formal training, may be shy about walking into a class. After this conversation, we can truly see, as Caitlin does, Dancio’s potential to affect us as individuals and as a society.

Dancio was recently written up in Pointe magazine. Still in its early stages, there are 4 ballet classes available, with teachers Julie Kent, Carlos Lopez, Craig Hall and Lauren King. You can sign up here for a free barre with Julie Kent!!

Named as one of the “25 to Watch” in 2016 by Dance Magazine, Caitlin herself is a choreographer, performer and the artistic director of Trainor Dance. She is also a member of the faculty at Barnard College/Columbia University.

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…)

DANCE IS A MIX OF WHO YOU ARE: Barkha Patel

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In this episode we connected with our first dance-maker specializing in Indian Kathak dance! Barkha Patel gave us a fascinating, in-depth look at the intricacies and history of Kathak technique while describing her own experience learning and presenting Kathak. Along the way, we talked about how dance can reflect, imbibe and transform a dancer’s personality, and Barkha told us about her first full-length production with Barkha Dance Company, set to premiere in 2019. We hope you’ll be as excited to follow Barkha’s work as we are after this interview! See a video of Barkha in action here and be sure to subscribe to her channel. You can also follow Barkha on Instagram. (more…)