In this premium audio interview series, a companion to The Dance Edit Podcast, you’ll get insight and inspiration from the artists who are making dance-world headlines. Each episode will feature an in-depth conversation with a renowned performer, choreographer, educator, administrator, or entrepreneur.
Lauren Lovette on Embracing the Unexpected
Dancer and choreographer Lauren Lovette's career reflects both careful planning and an openness to throwing away those careful plans. Though the former New York City Ballet principal surprised many ballet fans when she announced, last year, that she'd be leaving the company, her decision was motivated by a period of deep pandemic reflection. What Lovette didn't expect was to become the Paul Taylor Dance Company's resident choreographer, a position she assumed in March. Now she's embracing her surprise foray into modern dance, helping a new generation of Taylor dancers find their place in the company, and exploring the overlaps between the Taylor and Balanchine traditions.
PTDC website: https://paultaylordance.org/
PTDC Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/paultaylordance/
Lovette's Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/laurenlovette/
Dance Magazine's August cover story on PTDC: https://www.dancemagazine.com/paul-taylor-dance-company-6/
A transcript of this episode is available here: https://thedanceedit.com/transcript-the-dance-edit-extra-episode-25
Vincent Paterson on Icons, Instincts, and Intellectual Property
Even if you don't know Vincent Paterson's name, you definitely know his work. The artist behind some of Madonna and Michael Jackson's most memorable dance moments, Paterson has been an influential entertainment-world choreographer and director for multiple decades. His new memoir, "Icons and Instincts," is full of stories about collaborating with Hollywood and music legends. But the book also reveals that he does not own the rights to much of his choreography, due to exploitative practices that are still common throughout the entertainment industry. Paterson talks about his efforts in the fight to secure better crediting and protections for commercial choreographers, and about the values that have shaped his multifaceted career.
More information about "Icons and Instincts": https://rarebirdlit.com/icons-and-instincts-choreographing-and-directing-entertainments-biggest-stars-signed-by-vincent-paterson-with-amy-tofte/
Paterson's social accounts:
A transcript of this episode is available here: https://thedanceedit.com/transcript-the-dance-edit-extra-episode-24
Susan Jaffe on Ballet's Path Forward
For 22 years, Susan Jaffe was one of American Ballet Theatre's most celebrated ballerinas. In December, she returns to the company as its artistic director, part of a new wave of female leaders in ballet. She brings a wealth of experience to the role: Since her retirement from the stage in 2002, she's served as dean of dance at University of North Carolina School of the Arts and, most recently, as artistic director of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. Jaffe talks about her vision for ABT—which includes commissioning works from diverse choreographers and updating culturally insensitive classics—and about why educating audiences is a crucial investment in ballet's future.
American Ballet Theatre's website: https://www.abt.org/
ABT's social pages:
Jaffe's Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/susanjaffeofficial/
A transcript of this episode is available here: https://thedanceedit.com/transcript-the-dance-edit-extra-episode-23
Ballet22's Founders on Ungendering the Pointe Shoe
In the fall of 2020, dancers Theresa Knudson and Roberto Vega Ortiz founded Ballet22 as a safe space for men and transgender and nonbinary artists to perform on pointe—not as comedic caricatures, but as themselves. They found that ungendering ballet technique opened a world of creative possibilities. And the company is eager to explore them. Today, Ballet22 not only reworks existing classical and contemporary ballets for its dancers, but also regularly commissions new pieces—often by queer choreographers—that offer more diverse representations of mxn on pointe.
Ballet22 website: https://www.ballet22.com/
Tickets for the company's upcoming season: https://fortmason.org/event/ballet22-summer-season/
Ballet22 Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/ballet22_/
A transcript of this episode is available here: https://thedanceedit.com/transcript-the-dance-edit-extra-episode-22
Abdiel on Dancing the Revolution
For several years, Abdiel (then known as Abdiel Jacobsen) was a standout dancer with the Martha Graham Dance Company. While playing stereotypically male characters onstage, they found themselves drawn to the powerful femininity of Graham's technique and repertoire. Since leaving the company in 2018, Abdiel has been exploring the fluidity of gender and expression in ballroom and social dance, especially New York Hustle. As a scholar, teacher, and performer, they’re now investigating the creative possibilities of gender-neutral partner dance, Hustle's connections to sociopolitical activism, and how social dance can be a practice of healing and transformation.
Abdiel's website: https://www.justabdiel.com/
Abdiel's Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/justabdiel/
A transcript of this episode is available here: https://thedanceedit.com/transcript-the-dance-edit-extra-episode-21
Caili Quan on Choreographing Her Way Home
After eight seasons as a standout dancer with BalletX, Caili Quan left the company in 2020 to focus on choreography—which meant she ended up fine-tuning her choreographic voice in the middle of a global pandemic. That voice, she discovered, kept leading her back to Guam, where she grew up. Some of her work pays direct tribute to her Chamorro Filipino heritage, but even dances that don't center identity are shaped by her upbringing. Quan talks about identifying her core values as a creator, and about her plans as artist-in-residence at this summer's Vail International Dance Festival.
Vail Dance Festival website: https://vaildance.org/
The Festival's Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/vaildancefest/
Quan's Instagram account: https://www.instagram.com/caili.quan
A transcript of this episode is available here: https://thedanceedit.com/transcript-the-dance-edit-extra-episode-20