1. Who have been the most influential people in your dance career?
career started by working with Eliot Feld at Ballet Tech. I learned about working in a professional environment
from him. Igal Perry of Peridance in NY gave me a sense of ballet technique and at the same time he’s a good mentor. From Jacqulyn Buglisi, Artistic
Director of Buglisi Dance Theatre, I
learned to be grounded on stage and how to perform. She taught me to present myself on stage in
many different ways. That has helped me in CKM&A. And
lastly, Lar Lubovitch, influenced my movement… to make everything circular. Everything is curvy and that’s how movement
can fit together and flow.
2. When were you the most nervous to go on stage and why?
was nervous the first time I did a classical ballet variation when I was a
student at the Boston Conservatory in 2000.
I’d only been doing classical ballet for a few years and I was not 100%
comfortable with it, it didn’t fit my mannerisms. The ballet was Les Sylphides and I had to do a double tour en l’air. I had been doing three or four tours in
rehearsal, but when I got to the performance I ended up landing the jump facing
the wrong direction, away from the audience. I think I was mostly nervous
because I had to wear those white tights…you can’t hide anything in those.
3. How has working with CKM&A on Limited Visibility affected you?
Going through the creative process with CKM&A has been so beneficial for me. It has helped me to realize how to create. For example, I had to ask myself, “what can I do on this set?” or “how can I solve this problem?” Christopher calls it “tasking”. I didn’t exactly understand what he meant by this, but I knew I had to do something, so I just kept going. Not knowing exactly what’s happening, but still being involved in the process, can be really helpful. I like working with details. It takes a lot of time, but it’s good to take that time to create and contribute. I really hope that I’ve contributed to the work.
4. In Limited Visibility, when, why, or how, do you feel the most vulnerable?
When I do my solo in the middle of the piece on the risers I feel the most vulnerable because I transferred the words I wrote myself into my movement. I had to take my thoughts and turn them into movement, into choreography. That is always a vulnerable position to be in. The riser solo is also blindfolded so that makes it more about my thoughts, my intentions. I have to dance within myself but still within the piece as a whole. It’s been great to work with Christopher. I hope it continues so that we can create great works together.
5. What are your long-term aspirations?
Eventually I would like to have my own company and studio, or to run a school… an institution for dance. I’m not so interested in teaching myself, but I’d like an institution where I can create freely. I’m interested in choreography and directing a company. I love to collaborate with other artists, so I’d like to incorporate that into the school. My first choice would be to have professional dancers but I’m also interested in training dancers to be professional. Professional dance only comes from proper training, so I’d like to work in that as well.Photos of Junichi by Brianne Bland
Dancer Tiffanie Carson was able to snap some photos from yesterday's
tech rehearsal of Limited Visibility at the Alden, the only problem is,
she's not in any of them. Get your tickets now so you can see her too!
Pictured above are company members Shannon Braine, Junichi Fukuda, Christopher K. Morgan, Meghan Pilling and Daniel Zook
1. As a new company member, how does working with CKM&A compare with your other professional experiences?
From the beginning, everyone in CKM&A has been so friendly and welcoming. Even little things like Daniel being silly and sassy has made me more comfortable with sharing myself. The atmosphere at CKM&A has been so open it’s been easy for me to just be myself, I can be silly.
2. What is an experience that has shaped your life into what it is today?
I would say the three years between undergrad and graduate school are when I learned the most about myself. I became an educator and learned a lot about my own dancing through teaching. I became a mentor for young dancers and they taught me a lot about myself. I learned that I need a balance between performing and teaching, I can’t do one without the other. They go hand in hand.
3. Who is your most significant dance inspiration?
One of them has to be my former teacher and now colleague, Mike Esperanza. I grew up taking class from him as a teenager and in college we became friends. I eventually danced in his company. He’s a really nice person, always took care of me like an uncle. He’s incredibly talented. He composes his own music, is a graphic designer and photographer so his work encompasses all of that. I’m also inspired by the dancers at Cedar Lake. Their physicality and the way they shift and move their bodies are really inspiring.
4. Do you have any quirky habits?
Well, I lint roll myself about ten times a day, basically 24/7. I constantly lint roll my clothes because I have 2 white, fluffy dogs and a cat so when I’m wearing black…yeah.
5. Have you always wanted to dance professionally?
YES, always! There was never anything else I wanted to do. It’s sometimes really annoying when you’re trying to make a living and make money to save for your future but dance is the only thing I want to do, that and teaching. Sometimes I think…I should get a 9 to 5 job but that wouldn’t make any sense in my life and I would be incredibly unhappy.
Studio Portraits of Tiffanie by Brianne Bland
Photo at DeSales University by Christopher K. Morgan
While on the road creating a new work at Radford University last week, I had a late night chat with an old and dear friend, who asked me if I could express in words why I dance. I was surprised at how quickly the words flowed from me. Like late night conversations sometimes do, it has stuck with me the past few days. As I've debated over and over the last several months about starting a blog, I finally realized I was waiting for the perfect first entry. So from a late night chat with a fellow dance fanatic, written in a hotel room with an empty beer on the night stand and the cat in my lap...
In many ways, the reason why I dance is actually very simple.
When I dance I feel the most free,
the most myself,
and the most at home.
I find shelter on stage.
I can allow people to look at me honestly and openly,
in a way I can't always find I am able to in day to day life.
I can say things in movement that words fall short of.
I can make people feel things without having to tell them.
I can look in someone's eyes while I'm dancing,
and if I'm doing my job right...
they feel what I'm feeling...
they know who I am...
and they know something more about themselves.
Dance is a form of communication that is older than time...
that transcends language, and most cultural barriers...
Dance is crystal clear pure life,
and drinking it tastes too good to pass up.
It is the cup that makes you high,
but brings nothing but light to everyone who sees it.
That is why I dance.
Christopher K. Morgan