Pod de Deux podcast episodes

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.

Barkha Patel is an Indian Classical Kathak dancer based in New York. She has been trained in the Jaipur and Lucknow style of Kathak by her Guru, Rachna Sarang, and is currently also training in Bharatanatyam with Deepak Mazumdar and Hindustani rhythm with Pandit Divyang Vakil. Barkha completed her Master’s in Kathak Performing Arts from the Kalidasa Sanskrit University in Nagpur, India.

Through Barkha Dance Company, Barkha teaches classes in New York and New Jersey that help students become more aware of their physical strength and grace while learning the history and culture of the Indian heritage. She is currently working on her first full length production due to premiere in 2019!

Under her Guru’s guidance, Barkha has assisted in teaching productions that have been presented in both the United States and India. She presented her own debut solo in New York City in 2014, and she has travelled to many cities in the U.S and India (Gujarat, Bangalore, Mumbai) to perform Kathak solos. Other notable performances have been for former Prime Minister of India, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, and music virtuoso Pandit Jarajji.

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.

Ali oversees the curation of Abrons Arts Center’s performance season with Artistic Director Craig Peterson and manages artist relations. As an independent curator, she has produced visual art exhibitions, performances, and public programs at Danspace Project’s Food For Thought Series, AFROPUNK AFTER DARK 2015, Knockdown Center, MoCADA, MINKA Brooklyn, Weeksville Heritage Center, and more. She has also organized discursive events as an Alumnae Fellow at the Barnard Center for Research on Women, with Movement Research as part of their Studies Project platform, and the DISCOURSE series as the Associate Curator of the 2017 American Realness Festival. Ali was co-founder of the curatorial platform MAMI (2016-2017), which produced a music compilation, an exhibition, performances, and nightlife with NON WORLDWIDE, Fake Accent, BUFU, BBZ London, GET ARTISTS PAID, and over 150 DJs, artists, collectives, and activists. She graduated from Barnard with a B.A. in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and interdisciplinary concentrations in Dance and Race/Ethnic Studies.  She is currently an M.A. candidate at the Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance at Wesleyan University. 

Check out the array of forthcoming performances on Abron’s Arts Center’s website!

This episode was recorded at Btoven Music studio.

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.

Dance Network is the first-ever, over-the-top, digital network dedicated to showcasing all styles and genres of dance. Dance Network’s goal is to help dance lovers celebrate together. Featuring over 400 hours of original and licensed video content, live event coverage, revealing blogs, and The Barretender, an in-house podcast featuring in-depth interviews with leaders in the world of dance, Dance Network is becoming the premier outlet for dance entertainment, lifestyle, education and inspiration.

Dance Network offers viewers across the globe access to its content for $6.99 a month. This includes original shows, dance competitions, feature films, documentaries, video instructional, blogs, news, podcasts, and live streaming all at your fingertips.
This episode was recorded at Btoven Studio in Manhattan.

CAN WE DESIGN FREEDOM: Marc Bamuthi Joseph

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[*If you’re listening with headphones, be sure to use both left & right for this episode!*]

This month, we had the good fortune to catch Marc Bamuthi Joseph for a quick interview while he was in NYC! Marc is widely recognized as one of the most vital voices in performance, arts education, and artistic curation. We packed so much into this relatively short conversation, speaking with Marc about how community engagement and social change are inextricably bound to his artistic practice; his new, soccer-inspired piece, /pehLO-tah/, which will be performed at BAM Oct 18th-21st; and some of the ways in which he ties performance work to community engagement efforts. In the process, we touched on the concept of black joy, parallels between soccer and choreography, and even “the semiotics of the goal scorer’s celebration.” 😉 Obviously a fascinating figure on both intellectual and creative levels, Marc gives us a great deal to think about, and we encourage everyone to see /pehLO-tah/ at BAM, Oct 18th-21st!

Recognized as one of the most vital voices in performance, arts education, and artistic curation, Marc BAMUTHI Joseph is hailed for producing and/or performing riveting works of political, economic, and social significance. His bold poetically-driven work investigates social issues and cultural identity. He is a steadfast believer in empathy as the most valuable currency in building community, and seeks to spark curiosity and dialogue about freedom, compassion, and fearlessness through pioneering arts stewardship and education.  He is a 2017 TEDGlobal Fellow and was also named a Top Influencer by Dance Magazine this year. His latest (2017) touring work, /pehLO-tah/ is inspired by soccer, Bamuthi’s first generation American experience, intersecting global economics, cross border fan culture, and the politics of joy. In addition, BAMUTHI is the founding Program Director of the non-profit Youth Speaks, and a co-founder of Life is Living, a national series of one-day festivals which activate under-resourced parks and affirm peaceful urban life. His essays have been published in Harvard Education Press; he has lectured at more than 200 colleges, has carried adjunct professorships at Stanford and Lehigh, among others, and currently serves as Chief of Program and Pedagogy at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, where Bamuthi continues to discover intersections between art, societal concerns, and community in the Bay area.

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…)

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. (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…)