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Interview with Nanette Brodie Dance

January 11, 2013

Nanette Brodie Dance will be performing their 25th Anniversary Concert this weekend in Long Beach.  Tickets are available for purchase here.

For more information about Nanette Brodie Dance, visit their website at http://www.nannettebrodiedance.org/.

When and why was the company started?

The company was formed in September of 1986 after presenting an evening of my own work. I and the dancers enjoyed the process so much that I felt we had become a company. And our first out of town date was in Bakersfield in 1987. I was in another dance company and found that this was the life for me. I enjoy the camaraderie and the chance to truly develop work over time and train dancers to mature as artists in the process. I wanted to see my dances continue into the future and not be performed just once, thereby a company was the answer.

What’s the underlying philosophy and purpose of Nanette Brodie Dance?

We are a company of artists that have developed an eclectic style of dance with roots in modern dance from the philosophy and pedagogy of Alwin Nikolais, Murray Louis and Janice Day. They were my earliest influences. There were many other instructors and inspiring artists along the way, but the theory of Nikolais and Louis always led the way. It was the tools they provided me to find my voice in dance. Our purpose is to perform my work and the work of other artists and to share our training skills and creative methods with youth of all ages in our community and abroad.

Has this changed since the company was first founded?

When it was first founded all the choreography was mine, but then I decided to branch out to include other choreographers if their concepts blended well with mine. I think we have stayed true to our purpose and expanded upon it with our projects with fashion, opera and film.

What is your favorite piece of choreography to date?

That’s difficult to say, except that it is always the newest work, with which the love affair is the strongest. I like the big works very much like Body of Water and Émigré, yet the smaller works, solos, etc. have so much charm, that I love them too.

Briefly tell us about the pieces in your upcoming show.

Romantic Reruns has a nostalgia that every girl has experienced dancing alone in a living room for her invisible perfect man. Polymorphic is pure design and energy created by our Rehearsal Director, Erica Villalpando. It has incredible athletic movement with homage to Eastern yoga. There and Back choreographed by Peter Kalivas, blows across the stage like a tumbleweed in the desert, relentless in its ongoing motion. Émigré draw deeply from the dancers as they find the drama of escape, anger, force, emptiness, confusion and acceptance……the plight of the immigrant. Asking the question why must I leave my country. Dark to Light has 4 separate pieces that each deal with how we see according to the presence of light or darkness. The source of light is important as it may come from beneath, above, internally, etc. This work has a keen dramatic feel that should draw the viewer in to witness the light and the dancer. Let Them Eat Cake is our closing piece and it was created by the entire company with phrases and duets along with phrases that I created. It is based a lot on running in patterns and has a baroque quality, which we play with in the costumes.

What do you hope to evoke in your audience at the 25th Anniversary Concert?

I hope to evoke a love of dance and the passion it brings. I want them to lose themselves in the dance and feel their imagination as they touch the images.

If you could wave a magic wand, what would you like to see for Nanette Brodie Dance in the future?

I would like to see a studio of our own, a place to develop ourselves and future dancers, more funding to allow us to create more work and to travel, and then to perform at the Kennedy Center!

Any words of advice or inspiration for other dancers?

Stick to your dreams with perseverance and fortitude. When choreographing try to find unique movement that is not like what you saw on someone else. Follow the creative image all the way down the dark tunnel till you finish the work. Have a sense of humor that things change all the time and to be in an improvisational mode in your life. Be able to swing with it!

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