Kimberly Falker, August 2016:
Kimberly Falker is the host of Balancing Pointe Podcast, where she interviews successful and inspiring guests who are living and working in the world of professional ballet and dance. Each episode offers specific “take away” advice for the aspiring dancer and valuable information on the “real” world of professional dance. Kimberly is a Florida native who worked in Elementary Education before attending law school and building a career as a prosecutor for the Department of Social Services in Boton. During college, she performed in the Florida State Flying High Circus, which is similar to Cirque du Soleil. Now, Kimberly is the mother of both an athlete and a serious student of ballet. As her daughter, Cosette, became more focused and passionate about pursuing a future in ballet, Kimberly realized that she needed to learn how to best support and guide Cosette through the world of ballet. She launched Balancing Pointe podcast as a way to learn about the dance world and share her learnings with other students, parents and anyone interested in dance. Since launching Balancing Pointe Podcast, Kimberly has interviewed over 100 talented and passionate dance makers.
Nel Shelby, July 2016:
Nel Shelby is the founder of Nel Shelby Productions, a production company based in NYC and focused specifically on preserving and promoting dance through dance videography. Nel Shelby Productions boasts a diverse list of dance clients in New York and beyond. Nel serves as Festival Videographer for Jacob’s Pillow Dance and is Resident Videographer at the Vail International Dance Festival (VIDF). Her documentary about choreographer Nejla Y. Yatkin was screened at a PillowTalk at Jacob’s Pillow’s 2015 festival, and past films include The Altitude of Dance, a documentary on VIDF, which debuted on Rocky Mountain PBS; four short films for Wendy Whelan’s Restless Creature; and a short created with Adam Barruch that screened at NYC’s Dance on Camera Festival and San Francisco Dance Film Festival. She holds degrees in broadcast video and dance, and she lives in New York City with her husband, dance photographer Christopher Duggan, and their kids Gracie and Jack.
Jessica Lang, June 2016:
Jessica Lang is a choreographer and the artistic director of Jessica Lang Dance. Hailed as “a master of visual composition” by Dance Magazine, Lang seamlessly incorporates striking design elements and transforms classical ballet language into artfully crafted, emotionally engaging contemporary works. Since 1999, Lang has created more than 90 works on companies worldwide including Birmingham Royal Ballet, The National Ballet of Japan at the New National Theatre Tokyo, Joffrey Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, Cincinnati Ballet, Colorado Ballet, Ballet San Jose, Richmond Ballet, Pennsylvania Ballet, Ailey II, ABT II, Hubbard Street 2, and New York City Ballet’s Choreographic Institute, among many others. American Ballet Theatre has presented her work at the Metropolitan Opera House, and she has received commissions from the Dallas Museum of Art and the Guggenheim Museum for its Works and Process series. For opera, Lang received outstanding acclaim for her directorial debut and choreography of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater at the 2013 Glimmerglass Opera Festival.
Greg Miller, May 2016:
Greg is the executive director of Dance Parade, looking forward to its 10th year in May 2016. After working 14 years in management for Fortune 500 companies, Greg has been serving as an arts administrator to non-profits since 2003 when he co-produced the Fall Collection, a mixed media festival in the Lower East Side. Drawing from his love of dance and cultural experiences from living nine years abroad, Greg founded Dance Parade, Inc. in 2006. Greg seeks to anchor the ”One Parade-Many Cultures” vision by encouraging as many artistic and vibrant forms of movement as possible to unite and celebrate under the umbrella of dance.
Miro Magloire, April 2016:
Born in Munich, Germany, Miro Magloire started his career as a composer. He studied at the Conservatory of Music in Cologne, Germany and achieved renown at a very young age, with his works playing at festivals across Europe and on German state radio. In 1993 he relocated to New York to study Modern Dance at the Ailey and Martha Graham Schools. He soon turned his attention to choreography and, in 2004, founded New Chamber Ballet. Magloire has created over 60 ballets for his company.
Bennyroyce Royan, February 2016:
Bennyroyce Royon is a Filipino-American dancer, choreographer, and teacher. He is the Artistic Director of BENNYROYCE DANCE, a contemporary dance company based in Brooklyn that has its next show on April 21st at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture! Bennyroyce can currently be seen in the Broadway revival of The King and I at the Vivian Beaumont Theater in Lincoln Center. He holds a BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School and has been noted by The New York Times for his “keenly focused, succinct way with movement.” In addition to performing with numerous acclaimed dance companies in New York City and beyond, Bennyroyce has appeared in PBS’s Great Performances, on Good Morning America, and in the music videos.
Social Media: Find @bennyroycedance and http://www.facebook.com/bennyroycedance
(Photo credit Bjorn Bolinder)
Ron Honsa, February 2016:
Ron Honsa is Executive Director of the Manhattan-based production company, Moving Pictures. Since founding the company, he has overseen hundreds of television and film projects for its diverse clientele. Moving Pictures has distinguished itself as a creative studio for original programming, documentaries, and commercial projects. Its work has been recognized by a wide range of industry awards. Ron’s own television credits include CBS Reports, NOW with Bill Moyers, Saturday Night Live, America’s Most Wanted, ESPN’s Battle of the Giants, Sesame Street, and more. Honsa has long had a personal passion for directing performing arts for film and television. He produced and directed the award-winning documentary The Men Who Danced, which will screen at this year’s upcoming Dance on Camera Festival. His more recent documentary, Never Stand Still, won Best Documentary at both the Dance Camera West Film Festival in Los Angeles and at the San Francisco Dance Film Festival.
Brighid Greene, January 2016:
Brighid Greene is both an independent dance artist and the Programs Director of Dance Films Association (DFA). DFA is a non profit membership organization that functions as the catalyst for the production, presentation, and preservation of dance on camera; DFA also works with the Film Society of Lincoln Center to host the longest-running annual dance film festival, Dance on Camera (DOCF). With DFA, Brighid facilitates the exhibition and creation of dance film from the perspective of a dance artist, with a focus on storytelling through visual physicality. A performer herself, Brighid graduated from Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in dance. In her performance career, she’s performed in series such as Performa, Prelude NYC, Catch!, and Under the Radar. She is currently a cast member in Then She Fell, the Bessie Award winning and critically acclaimed immersive dance theater production by Third Rail Projects.
Reid Bartelme, December 2015:
Reid Bartelme is a freelance fashion and costume designer who lives and works in New York City. He founded Reid & Harriet Design with his FIT classmate Harriet Jung in the Fall of 2011. Collaboratively, they have designed costumes for Justin Peck, Marcelo Gomes, Emery Lecrone, Kyle Abraham and many more. They have costumed productions at American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet and Ballet Next. Along with Justin Peck, they are featured in the documentary Ballet 422, which premiered at the 2014 TriBeCa Film Festival. Prior to designing, Reid spent many years dancing for prominent ballet and contemporary companies throughout North America, including Pacific Northwest Ballet, BalletMet Columbus, Shen Wei and Lar Lubovitch.
Loni Landon, November 2015:
Loni Landon is a dancer and sought-after choreographer in New York City. Her own collective, Loni Landon Dance Projects, is a contemporary dance company dedicated to highly physical, dynamic and challenging movement that delivers strong emotional currency. In addition, her work is commissioned by dance companies and filmmakers across the country. Commissions include Keigwin and Company, LEVY DANCE, BODYTRAFFIC, Hubbard Street II, Ballet X, Ballet Austin, and many more. Landon received her BFA in Dance from The Juilliard School in 2005. After Juilliard, she danced in Munich, Germany for several years, where her choreographic style began to take shape.
Heidi Latsky, November 2015:
Heidi Latsky is the founder and choreographer of Heidi Latsky Dance (HLD), a New York City–based dance company dedicated to redefining beauty using performers with unique attributes to bring rigorous and provocative contemporary dance to diverse audiences. Latsky first received recognition dancing for the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and later headed the movement department at the School for Film and Television. She is a renowned advocate for diversity in the arts and a founding member of Dance/NYC’s Disability and NYC Dance Task Force.
Jamie Benson, September 2015:
Jamie Benson, proclaimed “one of the strongest, hottest contemporary dancers of his generation” by critic Lewis Segal, is a dancer, choreographer and Alumnus of Cornish College of Art. Called “Chaplin-like” by Backstage West, Benson danced in LATC’s Shag with a Twist, the film Rent , McDonald’s Mario commercial, TV show Dance360 and Rudy Perez Ensemble. Benson’s lowbrow/highbrow choreographic work is described as “insightful and irreverent” by LA Weekly’s Ann Haskins and has been presented at the Luckman Complex, Highways, Bootleg Theater, NY Transit Museum, Triskelion and Dixon Place, featured in the NY and LA Times, Phaidon Press’ Wild Art, and awarded a grant from the Brooklyn Arts Council. His films were official selections of the 2014 Cinedans Film Festival, 2015 Athens Video Dance Project and Video Danza Havana. Learn more at jamiebenson.com.
Uri Sands, August 2015:
Uri is a native of Miami Florida. He trained at the New World School of the Arts there before pursuing a professional dancing career with companies that include Alivin Ailey, Philadanco, James Sewell Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theater. He has since received national recognition as a choreographer, with works commissioned by Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Dance St. Louis, VocalEssence, Alvin Ailey and more. In 2004 he co-founded TU Dance with Tony Pierce-Sands, both a company and a school with a mission to bring dance to a wider range of participants and audience members. Uri has been the recipient of multiple dance and choreography awards. His choreography is described as being “notable for the fusion of classical elegance with edgy contemporary action, for pulsating intensity with poetic lyricism.”
Jeremy Nedd, September 2015:
Hailing from Brooklyn, New York, Jeremy Nedd is a physical performer, choreographer and sound designer. Upon completion of his formal dance studies at SUNY Purchase college he had the opportunity to work with various creatives in the NYC dance scene, most notably and extensively with Kyle Abraham/ Abraham.In.Motion, through whom he received a New York Dance and Performance “Bessie” award for Abraham’s work “The Radio Show”.
Once relocating to Europe, Nedd had engagements with the Dresden SemperOper (2010-2012) and the Basel Ballett (2012-Present). During this time he had the opportunity to perform works by Forsythe, Kylian, Thoss, Ekman among others. He has also had the chance to present works in both of the companies young choreographer evenings. Within these productions and in collaboration with other theater based artists in Basel, he began his more serious work with sound design, which has become an integral part of his work.
Brock Labrenz, July 2015:
Brock von Drehle Labrenz (An Films), is a New York-based director who harnesses his extensive background in performance to create deliberate and sensual audio-visual experiences. His creative endeavors find him somewhere between the exactitude of modern cinema and the ephemeral transition of the body through space. Brock has persistently searched for ways to bring the audience closer to the experience of the performer and their onscreen choices, in an effort to share the singularity of a given moment. His career has taken him across the globe and his work has been presented and performed at venues such as the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Theatre National De Chaillot, and Sadler’s Wells Theatre. Brock has a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from The Juilliard School (’03). For more information about Brock’s film work, visit http://anfilms.com/
Kate Sicchio, June 2015:
Kate Sicchio is a choreographer, media artist and performer whose work explores the interface between choreographic practice and digital technology. Her work includes performances, installations, web and video projects and has been shown in Philadelphia, New York City, Canada, Germany and the UK at venues such as the Arnolfini, Banff New Media Institute and WAX Brooklyn. Her choreographic research has been presented at ISEA, DRHA, Congress of Research on Dance and others. She is a Senior Lecturer in Dance at University of Lincoln, Lincoln UK. See http://www.sicchio.com
Wendy Seyb, May 2015:
Wendy Seyb is a Director, Writer, and Choreographer who creates works for film, theater and dance. She focuses on representing the humorous side of the human condition in her work, bringing a unique comedic flare to her choreography. One of her career highlights includes choreographing the The Pee Wee Herman Show for Broadway. She’s also been sought out by names like Disney, The Cartoon Network, and Nickolodean, while maintaining her own independent film projects and other theater work for off-Broadway, regional theaters and national tours.
Ask La Cour Rasmussen, March 2015:
Ask La Cour Rasmussen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, where he studied with the Royal Danish Ballet School. He joined the Royal Danish Ballet as a member of the corps de ballet in 2000 and joined New York City Ballet as a member of the corps in 2002. At NYCB he was promoted to soloist in 2005, and became a principal dancer in 2013. He’s also been involved in a number of creative, collaborative endeavors on his own time, including starring in the dance film Static Electricity and producing a benefit performance for Career Transitions for Dancers.
Diana Pettersen, March 2015:
Diana Pettersen is a New York City-based choreographer and the Artistic Director of Sans Limites Dance. As a NYC (Queens) native she began her formal dance training at Ballet Hispanico de Nueva York. She expanded her Dance studies at Manhattanville College and started her own company, Sans Limites Dance, in 2013. Diana consistently stages performances for Sans Limites Dance and is also a Teaching Artist for the non-profit Dancing Classrooms New York City.
William Cannon, Jan 2015:
William Cannon is a professional freelance dancer based in NYC. He has danced with BalletMet, Hubbard Street 2, Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet and BalletX. He has also enjoyed working on projects with BalletNext, Gabrielle Lamb and Twyla Tharp as well as performing at The Metropolitan Opera.
In our fourth episode of Pod de Deux podcast, William talks about his recent transition to freelance work in NYC, emerging trends in contemporary ballet, recent projects with the Metropolitan Opera and Twyla Tharp, and fond experiences working with contemporary choreographers like Christian Spuck, Cayetano Soto, and Nicolo Fonte. We also shared views on dance reviewers, dance on television, and interesting work being presented in NYC.
Ben Richards, Jan 2015:
Ben Richards is a freelance video artist, dancer and choreographer who lives in New York City and spent three years in Montreal. We initially met Ben at Jacob’s Pillow dance festival, where he has worked on the video team for the last five summers. In addition to freelance video work in NYC–now Ben’s primary focus–he is the videographer and live stream manager for the New York Public Library’s Live from the NYPL initiative.
We had an engaging conversation with Ben at the start of the year to discuss his various dance-related endeavors, how he got into dance, how Montreal and NYC dance scenes compare, life at Jacob’s Pillow, and how the camera can bring life to dance.
Naomi Luppescu, Dec 2014:
Naomi Luppescu is a costume designer in New York City. She received her BFA in Dance from SUNY Purchase in 2004 and then danced professionally while studying fashion design at FIT and the Danish Design School in Copenhagen. In 2010, she retired from her performance career and started NaLu Designs, a company specializing in costumes for dance. Naomi has created costumes for a number of companies, including Parsons Dance, Alvin Ailey’s second company, Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, LeeSaar the Company, and more.
In this episode we could hardly contain our curiosity about costuming and found ourselves asking a ton of questions. We discuss Naomi’s approach to meeting the functional and aesthetic needs of the choreography, the tricks she uses to keep costumes in place as dancers move, and some of the research she had to do for her most challenging costuming project to date. (Hint: it involves stripper videos and a costume that had to be removed in one motion.) We also touched on Naomi’s personal aesthetic preferences and her experience as a creative entrepreneur.
Traci Finch, Dec 2014:
Traci Finch is a classically trained freelance dancer in New York City. Hailing from Utah, Traci received her BA in Dance from Brigham Young University before making a big leap to New York. She performs with numerous choreographers and companies, including regular shows with Miro Magloire’s New Chamber Ballet. Recent projects have included a guest performance as the Sugar Plum Fairy in Garden City Ballet’s The Nutcracker, and performing with Lothar Hempel’s film Mäusebunker. She has also worked with with the Merce Cunningham Trust, Neglia Ballet, Ballet Tucson, and Legacy Dance Theater, to name a few.
In this first episode of Pod de Deux podcast, recorded in December 2014, we talk to Traci about how to build a career as a freelance dancer, whether college prepares young dancers for the realities of dancing professionally, and sewing pointe shoes on the subway. And of course, we had to talk a little about Nutcracker season – what we love, what we hate and Traci’s preparation for dancing Sugar Plum in Montana!