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Monat Dance – Celebrate Dance 2012 Interview

February 19, 2012

Monat Dance

Photograph by Tim Agler - "Vista," Monat Dance, Courtney Boyd and Andrew Palomares

Tell us briefly about your dance company and its underlying philosophy?

I formed my company in 2009.  Several of my pieces had been selected for the McCallum Theatre’s Choreography Festival in Palm Desert and I found I was using the same small core group of dancers with whom I loved working. Monat Dance is a chamber-sized (about 8-9 dancers) contemporary dance company of classically trained dancers, dedicated to creating and performing new work and presenting ballet as an innovative and relevant art form.

What piece will you be performing at Celebrate Dance 2012?

Monat Dance will be performing Vista, a contemporary ballet to Bach’s Violin Concerto in A minor that I choreographed in 2010. The company performed the ballet at the 2011 McCallum Theatre’s Dance Under the Stars Choreography Festival in Palm Desert, and it received the festival’s second place award. This will be a Los Angeles premiere for the piece, and we are so looking forward to performing it at the beautiful Alex Theatre.

What do you hope to evoke in the audience with your piece?

Well, I hope that they like it, of course! 🙂 One of the reasons I love Bach’s music and wanted to choreograph to this concerto, is that, even though the music is so highly structured, there is a deeply human and contemporary feel to the sound. The title “Vista” comes from a quote by Helmut Walcha about Bach that I have always loved. Walcha wrote,”Bach opens a vista to the universe.” The piece was definitely inspired by the rich musical structure and changing emotional dynamics of the music and hopefully that quality will resonate with the audience.

How did you hear about Celebrate Dance and become involved with the show?

Jamie Nichols saw one of my ballets performed at the McCallum Theatre and invited my company to participate in Celebrate Dance 2011. We had wonderful experience last year, and were delighted to be asked back for Celebrate 2012.

Any words of advice or inspiration for other dancers and choreographers?

Follow your heart, and keep persevering! I think you really have to love what you do. Dance can be a brutally demanding profession, but if you have the passion, strength and resilience, it can be a deeply rewarding one. For dancers hoping to become professional, I think it is very important to take class with a wide variety of teachers and choreographers, and also to try to get out and see as much dance and different types of dance companies as possible. Celebrate Dance provides a wonderful opportunity to do just that!

For more information and tickets, visit Celebrate Dance 2012.


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