CO/DA Trainee Program 2018

Trainee Program 2018

Trainee Program 2018 Students Selected from Adagio Intensive Program

As part of Company Danzante’s Arts Education Initiative and our community outreach & engagement activities this April, Co/Da continues with it’s 5th year of our Trainee Program.

This Trainee Program was established in 2014 as dance education initiative for eligible high school dance students training at Adagio Ballet School of Dance. Since last year we have extended the invitation to eligible middle school students.

They experience a look inside how a professional company works and an opportunity to learn and perform new repertory by a guest choreographer.

We had a short conversation with

Erin Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Burr our guest choreographers for this year’s trainee program. This is the interview that we had with them.

 

 

CO/DA: What can you tell us about your work with the trainee program this year?

Erin:  Growing up a classically trained ballet dancer, I wanted to incorporate a blending of ballet technique with the contemporary style. Contemporary ballet was my first experience with the contemporary genre of dance. I felt this style would be a great way for the trainees to not only pull from familiar territory, but also explore creating different lines and using more grounded movement not typically found in the classical form.

Liz: I had such a fun time working with the Adagio students this year. I like to collaborate with my dancers, so I gave them many tasks where they had the chance to come up with their own movement. I think this was challenging for them because they have never really worked this way before, but it’s something that we do in Company Danzante all the time. I hope they had fun with these tasks! I loved seeing what each dancer created because it was so unique and authentic to them. The piece would not have shaped the way it did without these stunning dancers.

CO/DA: Is this a new choreography? How did you come up with the idea for this piece?

Erin: Yes, this is a new work! It is also a work in progress. I love the compositions of Zoë Keating and feel that there is always a story behind them. The two pieces of music I chose reminded me of a trip my husband and I took last year to Bryson City, NC and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, where we came across “The Road to Nowhere.” The history of the creation of the Park and the hundreds of people that were displaced from their homes because of it was so interesting to me. The road that was to be built for families to go back and visit their old family cemeteries was never completed, and ends with a 365-foot tunnel leading nowhere.

Liz: Yes, it is a new piece. I spent a long time looking through music because I wanted to find something fun and upbeat for this group of dancers. The music tends to really inspire me when I choreograph. For this particular work I liked the syncopated rhythms in the song I chose: “Four Ton Mantis” by Amon Tobin. I envisioned the dancers getting pulled around the space as if they were puppets being controlled by the music. I wanted to convey a feeling of the dancers being out of control and thrown around by the sounds of the snares, high hats, and brass.

CO/DA: What else can you tell us about your experience in participating as a choreographer with Company Danzante’s Trainee Program? How does this translate into your own experience as a creative artist?

Erin: I recognized that it would be challenging to develop an idea, translate it to movement, get to know new dancers, and have a clean, finished product in 6 short rehearsals. I find that I learn a lot about myself, not only as a choreographer, but also as a teacher each time I set a work. It’s interesting to discover which words of imagery or energy resonates with a particular dancer – I feel as though I only scratched the surface in getting to know them and how they learn as individuals! I appreciated that the trainees were diligent in reviewing their choreography from week to week and coming to rehearsals ready to learn new movement. I hope to one day develop the idea and the piece further.

Liz: I think I learned so much from this experience. I learned how to work under a pretty short time limit and juggle working with two separate casts. I have definitely developed a huge appreciation for choreographers to be able to work quickly and efficiently while creating a piece of art with their dancers. My favorite part about choreographing is being in the studio working with my dancers. They inspire me every step of the way. I hope to continue collaborating with artists and students as my dance career continues.

CO/DA: What are your thoughts about the opportunity that is being given to these young students? How relevant do you think this experience is for them?

Erin: This is such a unique opportunity for these dancers! At a young age they are learning how discipline in the classroom translates to the professional world. Learning 3 pieces of unfamiliar choreography with proper timing and energy in a short time is a big feat. For students who are still coming into their own and building the foundation of their technique, it can be scary to push past the normal limits, or even be confusing to be asked to “forget” some of the training aspects they have been working so hard to fine-tune. For example, instead of stacking the body with proper alignment, square hips and shoulders, and engaging turnout, dancers were asked to approach some traditional steps with different initiation points, “off-balance,” and turned in. This experience forces the dancers to tap into their body and spatial awareness on a completely different level. They are getting a little glimpse of where their hard work could take them in the future!

Liz: I think this is a great opportunity for young dancers to be able to work with a professional company and see the inside of how it works. I would have been ecstatic if I had this opportunity when I was their age. I think we held the bar pretty high for these students and each and every one of them took on that challenge and shined in the end. A lot of what I was doing with the students was brand new concepts to them: the movement style, the tricky rhythms, the collaborative process. I hope it helped them see that there is so much variety to contemporary dance out there and to be inspired by that.

 

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CO/DA Trainee Program 2017

Performance Trainee Program 2017

As part of Company Danzante’s Arts Education Initiative and our community outreach & engagement activities this April, Co/Da continues with it’s 4th year of our Trainee Program.

This Trainee Program was established in 2014 as dance education initiative for eligible high school dance students training at Adagio Ballet School of Dance. Since last year we have extended the invitation to eligible middle school students.

They experience a look inside how a professional company works and an opportunity to learn and perform new repertory by a guest choreographer.

We had a short conversation with Madison Horwitz our guest choreographer for this year’s trainee program. This is the interview that we had with her.

CO/DA: Hi Madison, how are you doing today?

MH: Great!

CO/DA: What can you tell us about your work with the trainee program this year?

MH: It is titled Y.D.Y which is an abbreviation for the term “you do you”. People are very quick to share their opinions and experiences from their life, and assume that others will have the same experience. Not only that, but you’ll turn around and someone else will have a completely different opinion and/or experience. So for someone like me who likes to take people’s advice, it becomes difficult to decipher who’s experience to follow. Because of this I’ve been realizing that no one should follow anyone else’s path, but instead decide what sounds good to you, and care less about pleasing people or letting people down. No matter how hard you try it is impossible to make everyone happy, so this dance is about focusing on your own voice.

Trainees 2017

Y.D.Y by Madison Horwitz

CO/DA: Is this a new choreography? How did you come up with the idea for this piece?

MH: This is a new work. I am mostly inspired by the music before I get an idea, so that’s how it started at first. Then I got pictures in my head of how I wanted the beginning to go or certain sections based on the music. After that I just filled in the blanks! The idea in the first question above started to develop as I developed the movement. So It was kinda cool to be inspired in real time in the studio as I was teaching the kids. The story unfolded in front of them at the same time it was unfolding in front of me!

CO/DA: What else can you tell us about your experience in participating as a choreographer with Company Danzante’s Trainee Program? How does this translate into your own experience as a creative artist?

MH: Any time I choreograph it is such a telling experience. I often hear sentences come out of my mouth that my teachers used to say to me in the studio. It is not until now that I see the true value of what they were saying as I say it to other students. So as an artist it makes me want to find new ways to translate what I’m saying into my own body as well as finding new ways for the kids to understand it.

CO/DA: What are your thoughts about the opportunity that is being given to these young students? How relevant do you think this experience is for them?

trainees 2017

MH: This is a great opportunity for them. They will have real world experience when they are done being students that will get them through! I was always a pretty nervous kid, especially when it came to auditioning and working with new people. If I had had this experience as a student I feel as though I would have been more prepared as well as more confident.

 

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Emerging Choreography Program 2016

                           Interview with Rachael Mauney

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Rachael Mauney

As a part of our Emerging Choreographer Program, Company Danzante is supporting dancer Rachael Mauney in the creation of new work. This program is designed to create opportunities for young artists to have a chance to develop, explore, and investigate creative skills in choreography.  The following is a conversation between Rachael and us about her creative process and development of this year’s program.

CO/DA: Hi Rachael, how long have you been a part of Company Danzante?

Rachael: This is my fourth year with the company. I’m very grateful for the experience to create with the company that has been such a major element in my life for the past 4 years. It has been a challenge and continued to cultivate my own growth.

CO/DA: Today you are having a complete run through with the company for the show coming up next week. What are you working on at rehearsal at this point?

Rachael: I have a lot of ideas about lighting that I am still playing with.  I’m also still playing with the opening solo a lot, as well as specific interactions between the dancers.  I am never completely satisfied with it and I’m always tweaking small details. I am interested in making a statement and I am constantly analyzing the work as a whole, wondering about the choices I made and what other options are possible.

CO/DA: Tell me about your process? How do you develop the piece? How many dancers are you using? Which music did you choose?

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“Porcelain”

Rachael:  I love the creative process. As a dancer, I almost enjoy it more than the act of performance itself, or at least as much. My process starts with my own thoughts and ideas, moving into a lot of time in the studio developing movement. I also try to read a lot about the subject matter I’m exploring and get to know my concept better. The work becomes a very personal relationship to me and I want to dedicate as much time and energy to knowing it as possible. The piece is based on the short story “The Yellow Wallpaper.” I also use text from a Sylvia Plath poem in the work itself. This actually came first and then the music was just a response to their words.

I am using 6 dancers, including myself in this work. Once I am in the studio with the dancers, I spend time teaching the movement, but also asking to see things in many different ways. Sometimes the way I did something translates differently on another person and gives me an opportunity to re-evaluate the intention of that movement. I usually set a pretty full rough draft and then make a lot of changes. This is something about the creative process that can be so hard, but also so fascinating. Putting work into something that may or may not end up in the final product is part of experimentation. The more a dancer and a choreographer are willing to give up their own ego; the process becomes not only easier, but much richer. The process is what gives the work purpose.

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Company Danzante

CO/DA: Can you share more about your experience working in this program? When are you performing this work?

Rachael: Saturday April 23rd at 6:30pm! This is a very cool program because it allows this larger community event to happen. National Dance Week is something that movers from all backgrounds and experience can get excited about and enjoy. It also shows several different generations of contemporary dance, beginning with Company Danzante Trainee program, including repertory from more seasoned choreographers, and then allowing young artists to produce work. I think dance is in a place right now where it is overwrought with self-satisfying presentations and media saturation. It’s important for all of us to remember where we have come from, what our ambitions are, and most importantly that we’re all in this thing together and need to respect our intimate but evolving dance community.

CO/DA: We’re excited to see how it turns out. Thanks for having this conversation with us.

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NATIONAL DANCE WEEK

 

COMPANY DANZANTE .-                  Trainee Program 2016

Interview with Olivia Lou Jordan

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As part our community outreach & engagement activities this April Company Danzante continues with its 3rd year of our Trainee Program.

This program serves as one of Company Danzante’s Arts Education Initiatives and gives students training at a pre-professional level the opportunity to work with professional artists in their community.

Olivia Lou Jordan, shares some of her personal experience through her creative process as our guest choreographer for this year’s trainee program:

CO/DA: Hi Olivia, how are you doing today?FullSizeRender 78

OLJ: I’m great! Thank you for asking.

CO/DA: What can you tell us about your work with the trainee program this year?

OLJ: It’s a piece pulled from real life feelings and experiences.

CO/DA: Is this a new choreography? How did you come up with the idea for this piece?

OLJ: Yes, It’s a brand new piece. I was first inspired to create a new work based on a couple of lyrics I heard in a song. “There’s a secret- I can feel it through the floor- cry out in helpless agony of broken memories and things I thought that I would never be.” Those words really sat with me and I couldn’t get them out of my head- it inspired me to create the movement. Then I randomly heard a new song called “Rise up” by Andra Day and I just knew I wanted to use it for this particular piece. I incorporated white flower petals in the piece to represent memories and people that you know you haveto let go of in order to move on in your life and survive the pain- in order to “Rise Up”.

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CO/DA: What else can you tell us about your experience in participating as a choreographer with Company Danzante’s Trainee Program? How does this translate into your own experience as a creative artist?

OLJ: It was a wonderful and challenging experience. As a choreographer its always a challenge that what your own body can create doesn’t always translate to another dancers body- especially when they are young kids. I also knew going into it that my idea was a little mature for the age of the trainees-So I wanted to create it in a way that could be translated to all ages. Everyone experiences pain, even kids, so when I spoke with the trainees about expressing themselves through the movement in a “human way”- It was fun to try and create ideas and analogies that they could relate to.

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RHYTHMS OF THE HEART

 

ATLAS INTERSECTION FESTIVAL 2016

The beating of the heart persists through life’s journey. It experiences the highs and lows of new life, love, loss, pain, and all the complex emotions each phase of life brings.

Award winning world-jazz ensemble Veronneau and acclaimed contemporary dance company Company Danzante, will transport you on a journey through life’s transformative moments, interpreting in music and dance the cycles of life that we all relate to irrespective of cultural and personal differences.

This full-length work is a new creation developed by the musicians and choreographers, which weaves together both art forms to express life’s transformations and the common ties that bind us as humans with the same aspirations for love, happiness, family and community.

Don’t miss this world premiere performance by two of the DC areas celebrated artistic groups

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March 6, 2016 |

Lang Theatre | 60 minutes

GET TICKETS @DANZANTE $30

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Excerpts of Rhythms of the Heart Open Rehearsal at The Black Box  at  Adagio  Ballet & Dance  School  Feb 13th  7:00pm

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NYC STAND ALONE COMPANY DANZANTE SERIES

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The Series Stand-Alone approaches the public and invites them to participate and feel the life experience of dancing.
This is a project use the improvisation technique. We investigate movement dynamics and different points of balance. The use and application of dance techniques through improvisation is a tool which gives us the opportunity to combine our training and personal styles using the elements of intuition, imagination, weight and balance, and spontaneity..

 

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Company Danzante at Jacob’s Pillow 2015

Company Danzante Contemporary Dance Photo Series. Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out performance

Company Danzante at Henry J. Leir stage

Company Danzante concluded our 2015 spring season with a performance at Jacob’s Pillow. This festival is so important to the development and sustainment of modern dance and we were honored to become a part of it’s history.

Company Danzante Contemporary Dance. Jacob's Pillow Inside/Out Performance

Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out Performance

Danzante performed on the Henry J. Leir stage as a part of the festival’s Inside/Out series. This space is an outdoor stage with a panoramic view of the Berkshire Hills. The stage sets a unique and beautiful atmosphere with the natural sunlight coming through the canopy of trees draped over the space. Arturo Garcia’s work “Here and Now” and Katherine Horrigan’s work “Collected Remnants” were transformed through the natural elements of the space and the inspiring backdrop.

Company Danzante Contemporary Dance Photo Series. Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out performance

Inside/Out performance after the show

The company had the opportunity to share this experience with the audience after the show in a brief question and answer session.

Company dancers had the opportunity to explore the festival as well, including seeing performances by other companies in the Ted Shawn Theater, and exploring the dance archives. Because the festival has played such an integral role in the current evolution of modern and contemporary dance, this was a significant performance for the Danzante dancers and choreographers. Arturo Garcia and Katherine Horrigan performed in the Ted Shawn Theater with Tania Perez-Salas in 2006 and were excited to share the experience of Jacob’s Pillow with the dancers. The Pillow continues to share the legacy of contemporary dance with each generation of artists.

We are so thrilled that Company Danzante had the experience to be a part of the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival! Keep checking our social media for new photos and dance films from the Pillow and look for our 2015-16 season information soon!

Company Danzante Contemporary Dance Photo Series. Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out performance

Ted Shawn Theater – Jacob’s Pillow

Company Danzante Contemporary Dance Photo Series. Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out performance

Ruth ST. Denis Studio. Jacob’s Pillow

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Company Danzante Emerging Choreographer 2015

WWW.COMPANYDANZANTE.COMAs a part of our Emerging Choreographer Program, Company Danzante is supporting dancer Grace Ball in the creation of new work. This program is designed to create opportunities for young artists to have a chance to develop, explore, and investigate creative skills in choreography.  The following is a conversation between Grace and us about the process of creation.

 

CO/DA: Hi Grace, how long have you been a part of Company Danzante?

Grace: I have been dancing with Company Danzante since September of 2013. So about a year and a half now.

CO/DA: Today you have another rehearsal with the company. What are you working on?

Grace: Today I am working on my piece “meet cute”. We are in the process of exploring and learning phrases that will then translate into my choreography.24932819132_007b03f1f2_m

CO/DA: Tell me about your process? How do you develop the piece? How many dancers are you using? Which music did you choose?

Grace: My process is very thought out before any work in the studio actually begins. I generally have been listening to music and being inspired to create. From there comes the concepts and ides behind movement. I then go into the studio and start to move. I create phrases and develop them as I see them on my self and on dancers. Ill work in the studio with the music and begin developing the composition of the piece. I will be using four dancers give or take a few. The music I will be using is from various artists including: Arvo Part, Hildur Gudnadottir, and Ljova and the Kontraband.

CO/DA: Can you share more about your experience working in this program? When are you performing this work?

25024532106_613a633725_mI’ve really enjoyed working with the company. We are very much like a family so it feels very natural for me to work with them. It is also very helpful because I know their strengths and can utilize those to my advantage. I have also had the privilege of working with our apprentices. This has also been a great challenge because it has taught me a lot about what I need to do as a choreographer to encourage and pull out of dancers, that you don’t know, qualities of your own choreography. We will be having a work in progress show on April 25th at Adagio Ballet and Dance School.

CO/DA: We’re excited to see how it turns out. Thanks for having this conversation with us.

WWW.COMPANYDANZANTE.COM

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CO/DA’s Trainee Program 2015

As part of our community outreach & engagement activities this April, Company Danzante continues with it’s 2nd year of our Trainee Program.

This program is a part of Company Danzante’s Arts Education Initiative. This project is directed towards high school students who are interested in dance as a potential career path. They experience professional rehearsals with the company, as well as their own rehearsals for a work set on them by a guest choreographer.

We had a short conversation with Grace Ball, our guest choreographer for this year’s trainee program. This is the interview that we had with her.

WWW.COMPANYDANZANTE.COM

 

CO/DA. Hi Grace, how are you doing today?

GB: Good, thanks

CO/DA: What can you tell us about your work with the trainee program this year?

GB: The work that I will be setting on the students is called Boundless. The piece was inspired by a quote from Kahlil Gibran “For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansions of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.”  There are no particular ideas or themes behind this piece. This piece is a celebration of movement and the dancers moving through space in a continuous and “boundless” way.

CO/DA: This is not a new choreography right? Where did you first set this piece?

GB: Yes, I originally choreographed this piece while at George Mason University in 2012. It was then performed in a student concert and then selected to be performed at American College Dance Festival.

CO/DA: What else can you tell us about your experience in participating as a choreographer with Company Danzante’s Trainee Program? How does this translate into your own experience as a creative artist?

GB: It has been such a joy being able to work with these students. For me dance is to give. And while performing or choreographing I am able to give not only to audiences but these students. These experiences are always such a great reminder as to why you dance and how you apply that to your performance and work in the studio.

CO/DA: What are your thoughts about the opportunity that is being given to these young students? How relevant do you think this experience is for them?

GB: I believe this is a very valuable experience. This process is the bread and butter of being a dancer; being in the studio and working with choreographers. Its learning how to adapt and explore. Learning how to apply your technique and voice to movement. These are invaluable skills that are so very important to students who not only wish to pursue a dance career but any career in any other field.

CO/DA: Good to have a chance to talk to you. Can you give us the details about when we can see the show?

GB: The show will be April 25th at 7pm.

Company Danzante will perform repertory by Grace Ball and new work by Arturo Garcia. The Danzante Trainees will also share the stage with Danzante, performing Grace’s work “Boundless”. Performance will be in Adagio Ballet’s Black Box Theater. Check out companydanzante.org for more information.

 

WWW.COMPANYDANZANTE.COM

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Company Danzante at the Velocity DC Dance Festival.

Company Danzante performed as a part of VelocityDC’s 6th Annual Dance Festival. The company presented choreographer Katherine Horrigan’s work “Collected Remnants.” This piece was a part of VelocityDC’s diverse program that presented many local professional companies.

Company Danzante enjoyed the experience of performing alongside so many other local DC artists. We look forward to continuing to integrate with this vibrant and diverse community as we prepare for our next performance. We are already in rehearsal creating the new works that will be presented as a part of the Atlas Intersections Festival Feb. 21st and 22nd.

Check out the following link to learn more about our upcoming season.

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