Fri Dec 16 2011
When you were in Europe, what kind of work were you auditioning for?
I didn't know what I was doing. I just kind of went for whoever had auditions. I started in London, I went to the Place to take class, and I went to another school, the Pineapple. There was an audition in Leeds—I can't even remember the name of the company now—and it was in an aerobics studio and it was really young. I went to Paris and that ended up being fun. Not so much dance. I went to Aix to audition for [Angelin] Preljocaj and to take class with them.
And he has a Viola Farber background in his training.
Nothing happened with it. I mean, I don't think he was even there. It was just his company class. I went to Nuremberg and there was an audition for the Staatstheater there, and I can't remember the name of the choreographer who was running it, but I really liked her, I really liked the vibe, I really liked the way that she worked. I got far, and then nothing came of it. So then I went on to Berlin and I took classes, then I went to Amsterdam and took some more.
What an amazing experience.
It was really great. It was fun, it was exciting to be by myself. And then it was exciting to come back and really feel like this is where I want to be.
That's when you got your scholarship?
Yeah. I was there for just over a year. You know, you start—you have to get your class card signed, get into the intermediate class, get your class card signed, take the advanced classes. I think what helped was that Robert [Swinston] had some projects that involved students, and I got to participate in those. And actually doing the work really helped me grow more comfortable with the technique.
What projects did you do with him?
We did a Torse revival. And Inlets 2 .
What was it about the technique that seemed natural for you?
A lot of it had to do with the fact that—of course there's an aesthetic, but there was no longer that ballet [mandate of], Okay this is how an arabesque looks. This is the right way to do it. It was, I'm doing an action, and when I do that action fully, of course there's room for improvement, but that's it. And so what it looks like on my body, it looks like on my body, and that's okay. You didn't have to fight so hard to look like everyone else. And adagio I hated in ballet. In the context of Cunningham, it was not so difficult for me to approach.
Was it the rhythm? What do you think?
I think it was having the freedom to not worry so much about how I looked all of the time. And there is a texture to the movement. It's something that when I watch the work I see a lot. Some movements are really thick, and you can see people's limbs cutting through the air in this slow, sustained way, and then some things are so light and fast and sharp. There's so much freedom to play with that, so when you're bored of doing something one way, you can try doing it another way and it's okay: You're always able to reinvent it through textures and rhythms.
Do you imagine a different texture before you perform?
Sometimes. Yeah. I think of how I want it to feel.
What dancers were you with as a member of the Repertory Understudy Group [RUG]?
Daniel [Madoff] and Melissa [Toogood] were understudies when I started doing projects with them. And John [Hinrichs] was there. Dylan [Crossman] came a little bit later.
But you did do some projects with Daniel Gwirtzman?
Yeah, I did some stuff with Danny. I did one show with Pat Catterson early in my time in the studio. But I was busy. I was working, too, at night. It was hard, when I was an understudy, to find time to do much. I was working at a restaurant at night, and we were actually working almost every day. There was one year we worked 52 weeks.