Pod de Deux podcast episodes

STRUGGLE MAKES YOU BEAUTIFUL: Miki Orihara

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Jessica and Clara finally reunited in the studio for this interview with Miki Orihara, Choreographer and former Graham dancer. We speculated on the differences between modern dance and ballet, and Miki shared her thoughts on how Graham’s technique sticks with the dancer as well as her own efforts to both honor and diverge from that technique. She also shared fascinating stories about entering the dance world after coming to America from Japan and her initial attraction to the theater. We hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did.

Miki Orihara is known for her Bessie Award-winning career with the Martha Graham Dance Company, which she joined in 1987.  In addition to performing the Graham repertory, she has worked closely with the renowned Japanese-American dancer, choreographer and director, Yuriko, preserving her unique approach to Graham technique. She recently presented In the Box 2 – You and Me – (ITB2) at La MaMa theater. It follows the 2015 premiere of In the Box which explored the paradox of “where technology meets the body” inspired by Schrodinger’s cat (quantum mechanics).  ITB2 explored human natured by mixing the human body with technology.  Using a streamlined technology of sensor system and infrared camera, audiences can enjoy the dancer’s motions and visual expressions through streamlined technology including CG, infrared cameras, and three-dimensional audio.  

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…)

I TRY TO MORPH MYSELF INTO THAT PERSONALITY: Vincent Paterson

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We had the incredible fortune of connecting with Vincent Paterson, Director and Choreographer who has created some of the most iconic moments in pop culture. Joining us remotely via Skype, Vincent spoke candidly and humorously of his work with Michael Jackson and Madonna, among other legends, and shared a few of the fun stories from his upcoming book. We delved into the process and nature of choreographing for celebrities who come to the table with their own style, as well as the range of responsibilities ascribed to a choreographer and to a director for large-scale commercial or creative projects. Over the course of the conversation, we definitely got a sense of why so many people from all across the arts world love to work with Vincent. We’re honored and excited to share the interview with you, our listeners!

Vincent Paterson has worked extensively with superstars Madonna and Michael Jackson, and his work has been presented in every possible space and format, including film, theater, Broadway, concert tours, opera, music videos, television and commercials. The works he created for Madonna include her BLOND AMBITION TOUR, considered by many to be the greatest pop spectacle of all time, as well as her legendary Marie Antoinette VOGUE performance for MTV and the choreography for her videos EXPRESS YOURSELF and VOGUE. For Michael Jackson, with whom Vincent worked for over 15 years, he created the BAD TOUR, as well as SMOOTH CRIMINAL, BLOOD ON THE DANCE FLOOR and multiple other Jackson music videos and live performances. Vincent’s other directorial and choreographic works include, but are by no means limited to, Berlin’s first original production of the musical CABARET, now the longest running play in Berlin’s history; the Lars Von Trier’s film, DANCER IN THE DARK; the movie HOOK for Steven Spielberg; and Cirque du Soleil’s, VIVA! ELVIS in Las Vegas.

BLOW PEOPLE AWAY THE FIRST TIME THEY SEE DANCE: Eric Gauthier

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Clara recently sat down with Eric Gauthier at the Joyce Theater when his company, Gauthier Dance, presented the New York premiere of NIJINSKI. We got through many topics in a short time in this interview, covering Eric’s early inspiration to pursue dance (thanks to the musical Cats!), the process that allowed him to establish Gauthier Dance and grow the company relatively rapidly under the auspices of Theaterhaus Stuttgart, and his overall mission to connect with new and expanded dance audiences by presenting the “sunny side of modern dance.” He explained how Gauthier Dance is like a clown, on one side humor and on the other side a foundation of tragedy. Based on what we’ve seen of the company, we certainly agree and couldn’t recommend them more strongly. (more…)

Dance/NYC Symposium 2017

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Jessica and Clara returned to Dance Symposium this year on Sunday, March 5th, interviewing panelists and audience members on concepts and issues of interest to the dance community.  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:

Minute 0:0 0- 21:17 – Designing the Future of Dance Education

21:18 – 32:28 – New Technologies, New Dance, New Audiences Conversation

32:30 – 36:30 – National Dance Advocacy Workshop

36:31 – End – Igniting Public Passions and Participation in the 21st Century

Minute 0:00 – 21:17 – Designing the Future of Dance Education (more…)

THIS IS DEEPER THAN ART: Jason Samuels Smith

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In this episode we connected with our first-ever tap dancer – and one of the very best in the field – Jason Samuels Smith. (See also Divine Rhythm Productions!) As a special bonus, we were also joined by filmmaker Simone Maurice whose documentary about Jason, “Lost In The Shuffle,” just premiered at the Dance on Camera Festival (on Facebook here). With Jason, we discussed what it takes to become an extraordinary tap dancer and how tap tends to be perceived and represented. From there, we delved “deeper than art” and learned about the many early contributors to, and even inventors of, the dance form who have been little recognized or marginalized over the years. With Simone and Jason both, we learned about the misinformation surrounding the roots of tap dance and, in the end, put out a call to YOU, our listeners: write the real story! No secondary sources allowed. (more…)