A few weeks ago, I had the honor of attending a two-week workshop with post-modern dance icon Deborah Hay in Austin, Texas. I first became an admiring fan, then obsessive follower, of Hay while conducting thesis research as a graduate student in Dance at Hollins University. With a background steeped in contemporary dance and yoga, my curiosity around the meditative nature of dance practice and performance directed me to Hay, whose approach to dance making is extremely meditative and inquisitive in itself. I have been wondering about the deeper possibilities of dance that exist beyond pure technique or virtuosic performance for some time (although not nearly as long as Hay, an accomplished dancer and maker who emerged with the Judson[…]

I originally started this blog ten months ago as an Independent Study in my last year of graduate school at Hollins University. While earning my MFA in Dance, the amount of complexing and perplexing information packed into my brain and body is quite overwhelming; a few years will certainly pass before it all stops bubbling and settles in for, hopefully, good. But one thing I know for sure, in this moment, here at my desk in charming Main Hall on the steamy Hollins campus, is… I LOVE WRITING. Like making dance, scribing about it has become a craft of curiosity; I rarely know what will happen when I sit down at my laptop or step in the studio, even if I have[…]

On an uncharacteristically cool May morning, I took the short trip to Winston-Salem to take in part of On Site/In Sight, a three-day dance festival presented by Helen Simoneau Danse. The gathering of local, regional, national, and international dance artists premiered last year and includes movement classes, pop-up, rooftop, and courtyard performances, as well as site-specific works throughout downtown Winston-Salem. On Site/In Sight is collaboratively organized by Blakeney Bullock, Julianne Harper, Jessie Laurita-Spanglet, Caitlyn Swett, and Helen Simoneau, emphasizing a hands-on, low-tech model of presenting dance in new and unusual sites. After catching some videos and stories from HSDanse’s inaugural festival, I was super stoked about the opportunity to attend, play, observe, and write about a snapshot of this innovative and immersive[…]

Yeah, that’s right. I’m writing about a show that I’m in. (OK, technically I was in the UNCC Faculty Show; this time I’m presenting – and previewing – my own work.) But it was bound to happen. Even when one ventures out of the bustling metropolis of Charlotte (kidding) to the smaller, artsier city of Durham (not kidding), the pool of dancers and dance stuff is still relatively small. Also, this show is really freaking great, so… yeah. Last summer, in Frankfurt, Germany wrapping up my second summer in the MFA Dance Program at Hollins University, I think I was a little homesick and happened to check the NC Dancers Facebook page. I noticed a call for submissions by Tobacco Road Dance Productions and the[…]

The title of Charlotte Dance Festival‘s professional concert, Dance Charlotte, is a little misleading, as only one choreographer in each of the two shows presented last Saturday lives in Charlotte. I attended the 8:00pm performance at the Duke Energy Theater and got a taste of some of the dance being made not just in the Queen City, but all around the country. A few pieces were sweet and satisfying; others could have used a palette cleanser. Dance Charlotte featured three solos, the first by Sarah Todd Emery, a long time Charlotte dancer and director who relocated last year to Atlantic Beach, FL and then Atlanta, GA. Most will remember Emery’s impeccable technique and precision from her work with Moving Poets Charlotte; “The Moment[…]

photo: Dick Costa

I feel weird that I am friends with nearly every choreographer or company I have profiled so far on this blog. But what can I say? The dance community of Charlotte is small and my friend pool is large. So I had a lovely and leisurely time talking with Camerin Watson, who I have known for many years as a colleague, co-producer, fellow dance maker, and friend. We met for chai Sunday afternoon and talked about dance and dreams (past and future). Watson graduated with a BFA from UNC Greensboro in 2007, after which she briefly lived in Washington DC, working at the dance hub Dance Place. Out of love and logistics, she followed her boyfriend (now husband), Sean, to Charlotte in[…]

After much controversy, the Radio City Rockettes did indeed perform in conjunction with the Presidential inauguration. In the weeks leading up to the big day, the the long legged ladies drew much attention, first with news that they were being forced to perform at the inaugural ball, and then a revision was released stating that they would be dancing voluntarily and had the choice to decline if they so wished. In either case, for many of the Rockettes, their hopes for the outcome of this debacle were not nearly as high as their kicks. Three days before Christmas, while the Rockettes were in the midst of their most popular and demanding show of their season, the Madison Square Garden Company (parent to the[…]

As a faculty member at Charlotte Ballet, I enjoy the perk of getting comp tickets to all of the academy and company shows throughout the season, including The Nutcracker. The Christmas classic got $1 million total makeover this year, promising grand new sets and dazzling costumes. Even so, I gave my tickets to a friend to take her daughter, just as I do every December. The Sugar Plum Fairy, Drosselmeyer, and the rest of the sparkly (albeit blatantly appropriated) candy cane land are just not part of my holiday tradition, and they’ll enjoy it more. However, there is another, slightly less glamorous, wintertime show that I never miss – The Birth by Starving Artist Productions. Last night I saw The Birth for I belIEVE the sixth[…]

The Unapologetic Classicist It was not easy to nail down Wanda Ebright for an interview. She’s a busy woman – a tenured Associate Professor of Dance and the coordinator for the Department of Visual & Performing Arts at Johnson C. Smith University, a PhD candidate in Dance at Texas Women’s University, an avid patron of dance performances and classes in Charlotte, and a mother of two daughters. After a few weeks of email tag, we finally met for coffee on a warm winter day and talked about dance: past, present, and future. Wanda’s primary medium is ballet, as a dancer, choreographer, and educator, but she’s a self-proclaimed non-traditional ballerina. Tall, athletic, and African American, she fell in love with ballet but also found[…]

Incidentally, I attended opening night of “Shelter” at the Duke Energy Theater at Spirit Square on the opening night of Hurricane Matthew, a Category 5 storm expected to ravage much of the U.S. Southeastern coast. Despite most of the state (including Charlotte) suffering only light rain showers last Friday, I was glad to enjoy the haven of “Shelter”, the joint dance concert presented by Juliana Tilbury, founder and director of PLEXUS|dance, and Sarah Council, founder and director of Sarah Council Dance Projects. I became a fan of Dislocate when I saw the duet version at the North Carolina Dance Alliance’s Dance Swap in April. Choreographed by Sarah Council with the dancers, the quartet rendition in its Charlotte premiere brought back Sarah Ingel, this time[…]