I am so excited!!! Michael Jagger and I will perform at Jacob's Pillow on Wednesday, June 27
with our company from New York, SWINGFX. We will have dancers: Michael Jagger, Paul Romero Jr, Adam Brozowski, Jon Tigert, Elyse Sparkes, Amanda Burton, Michelle Puskas, and myself. Maybe with some other special guests as well. We will be presenting 30 minutes of material. We are thrilled and honored (and even a little nervous) to be going up there and dance where so many other Greats have danced before. And we are esspecially honored to present Lindy Hop at this venue. Other company members and choreographic work will be with us in heart even though they can't be at this performance. Nathan Bugh, Brian Lawton, Samantha Siegel. Keep on the look out for more news from us.
Never Stand Still is a new documentary coming out mid May on the historical venue Jacob's Pillow.
Watch the trailor.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Monday, January 3, 2011
Friday, August 20, 2010
This Summer, technically the Spring as well, has been JAMMED with incredible traveling, gigs, people, places, and things. I can't even fit all the photos and fun things I would really like to. You can easily see all the random pictures on my Facebook profile.
I guess it really all began in May. My birthday month, and turning the BIG 3.0.!
In the month of May, I was in Italy with The Killer Dillers doing our first ever full length show, completely live to "The Nine Penny Orchestra." Then for my 30th birthday, I was in Munich, Germany teaching with Michael Jagger for Boogie Baren. We stayed up all night with Remy and Moe. They are crazy. And by crazy I mean . . . . . you know what I mean. To conclude the month, I taught with Ryan Francois in New York City at Dance Manhattan. It was transformative! The amount one learns by experience, from the source, is absolutely beyond any other form of education. I think I have said this before, but I will continue to say it again, it is the greatest honor and opportunity to work with / partner other phenomenal dancers because of how I am able to physically learn and adapt.
In June I taught with Manu Smith in Copenhagen. I think that may be the most beautiful city I've ever been to. The people, the lay out and the energy. Especially the light. Daylight there was so perfect. It helped that we had great weather and while on a boat tour, Manu and I saw the Queen. Good Luck and great timing allowed our tour boat to pass her private dock as she boarded her own boat. What are the chances that I would see the Queen of Denmark?
Then there was Beantown. Again, with Michael, we had a wonderful time teaching and performing. A spectacular show was produced by Ryan and the other teachers in the Rose Theater on the Saturday evening. I was especially proud of Ramona, Naomi, Karen, and myself as we backed up Jenny Thomas for a Ladies Tap number.
The rest of the month, as for most folks in the Lindy Hop community, was filled with the occurance which is HERRANG. I taught there for the first time in my 11 years of dancing with Manu. It was amazing. I LEARNED HOW TO RIDE A BIKE. (again) Technically my Dad taught me when I was little but I fell and never got back on. Can you believe? So it took all these years of dance coordination, and accommodations far enough away from classes that I had no choice but to get back on the bike and ride. Victory!
I am still on the road. Since Herrang I've traveled with Michael to Germany again, Ireland, and the UK. Once I finally get back to NYC. It will feel really good. More to come soon.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
So that I am clear with myself and everyone else . . . I AM A FREE AGENT. I am an independent artist. I am a dancer who partners. I am a performer, a director, a choreographer, a teacher. I am affiliated with several different companies. And this makes me who I am. I am a diverse, always changing, growing, and adapting creature. One might say that I have no identity or that I belong to nothing. One may also say I am part of everything. Maybe it's easier to just pick which group or identity "you" want to label me in any given moment. I realize the delicate balance this all requires. It is that balance that I intend to seek and pursue in my life. I know I am not one thing or title. And I can not be claimed by one person, or group, or idea. And that frees me to be who I really am.
As a woman, as a "follower", this skill of being solid with who you are, yet flexible with movement is exceptionally important to the dance. I think strengthening and playing with these contrary ideas is what one needs to be a phenomenal partner.
I used to think I wanted to be "So and So" but that changed as I met new talented role models who I then wanted to emulate. Now I realize I can not be any of those people. It is impossible for me to re-create anything or anyone. I have to discover "me" and be who "I" am suppose to be, so that eventually I am that role model for some one else.
It's hard in this dance, as a follower and someone's partner, to find that personal identity. I value the intense work I do with one partner, but equally I value my ability to work with others and maintain the skill of improvisation. If I can keep these two things in balance, then I think I will feel complete. And the feeling of completeness is not based on finding my other half or the perfect partner; it's realizing that being complete is something I do within myself. So I am focused on being a better, more powerful, and inspiring ME. Then I can truly work with and contribute to any group or partnership.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Immediately upon returning home I had rehearsals with Nathan Bugh, Michael Jagger and students from Dance Manhattan for a yearly celebration of dance at The Ulster County Performing Arts Theater. This was the 4th year for us to perform in this show which brings together all styles of dance. We had a great show and it's always a privilege to share the stage with other professionals like Daniel Ulbricht and Erica Pereira of the New York City Ballet!
I resumed regular classes at Dance Manhattan for the month of April which you can see on my calendar. I had an exceptionally good time with my Thursday 8 o'clock Lindy Hop class and all my ladies in Belly Dance.
On April 9-11, Michael and I taught at The Hawkeye Swing Festival. I had so much fun with the folks of the mid-west. People drove in from all over. There were more than 300 folks! And most of them were college students! I was floored by the Collegiate Jitterbug Contests. The Team Division had 10 entries! One thought: STAR WARS. Oh I wish I had a video link to that one.
I guess the next really big thing that happen was just last week. Michael and I taught for another 5 day session at Glenmont Elementary School. Thanks to everyone's support and regular voting, we won the Pepsi Grant of $25,000 which is paying for 2 more weeks of Swing classes in the school with live musicians every day, plus a dance at the end of the week. I can't even begin to list all the little light bulbs that have been turning on for these K-5th grade students. The most significant lesson learned is about communicating with their dance partners and with the musicians. We talked a lot about call and response using examples like singing "T'aint What You Do, It's The Way That You Do It", using the Pushes step that Frankie Manning always called out in the Shim Sham, and of course, watching and imitating dance steps. The whole experience has been beyond anything I could have expected. I want to send a huge thank you to Bill and Livia Vanaver who, through the Vanaver Caravan, sent me and Michael to Glenmont in the first place. Another thank you to Peter Rawitsch and Valerie Falco and all the faculty at Glenmont who support this dance education. And how could I forget, Alan Thomson's Little Big Band who worked with us everyday!
So life goes on and continues to be busy and wonderful. Underneath the work, which I am always grateful for, I struggle with finding my true wants and goals. I am often confused and pulled by others to carry out their passions, which usually gives me great joy. But now in my 29th year of being on this earth, I'm coming to question what it is I really want to focus on. I guess I'm feeling the magnitude of my accomplishments thus far and now I want to carefully choose what I do with the skills I've developed. As soon as I know more, which may take a while, I will write more.