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Pod De Deux » Pod de Deux podcast episodes
54 minutes | Mar 8, 2021
ON BEING THEIR FULL SELF: Dance Now Chapter 5 w/ Jasmine Hearn
In this installment of PDD’s fall/spring series covering the Dance Now 25th anniversary season, Paul Hamilton speaks with the intrepid Jasmine Hearn, one of the commissioned artists in the March lineup! The March lineup also includes Megan Williams, Ruben Graciani, TSIAMBWOM M. AKUCHU, and Brendan Drake. During this interview, Jasmine shared: “As an artist, I aim to cultivate new connections while strengthening existing relationships to who and how I have learned with the intention to preserve and expand lineages of learning by naming, practicing, and integrating a multitude of lessons.”You can purchase a ticket here and use code PDDCH521 for 30% off Chapter 5 Digital Content & Watch Party Tickets! Or check out the full season and ticketing options at https://dancenow.online/!Jasmine Hearn is from the occupied land of the Karankawa and Atapake people, now known as Houston, TX. A performer, director, choreographer, organizer, teaching artist, and a 2017 Bessie award winning performer with Skeleton Architecture, they have crafted and shared solo and collaborative dance theater performances rooted in identity, memory, and the facilitation of creative space for feelings and fantasy. Jasmine’s commitment to dance is an expansive practice that includes performance, collaboration, sound, and garmentry. They are currently a company member with Urban Bush Women and a 2019 Jerome Foundation Jerome Hill Fellow.
77 minutes | Feb 9, 2021
Maleek Washington: Dance Now Chapter 4
Photo Credits Damian Tierney, Andrea Mohin *PDD listeners receive a discount on tickets to the Dance Now February chapter with code PDDCH421 – see below for details! In this installment of PDD’s spring series covering the Dance Now 25th anniversary season, Paul Hamilton speaks with the extraordinarily talented dancer, choreographer and teacher Maleek Washington. Maleek is one of four commissioned artists presenting works in February’s chapter (#4), along with Alice Shepard, Subject: Matter, and Kate Landenheim. The lineup also includes archival works from Mark Gindick and Adam Barruch. In the interview Maleek shares his thoughts about navigating a path in the dance profession. He covers everything from working with brilliant choreographers Camille Brown and Kyle Abrahams, to how the ongoing pandemic has affected his career, to his newly commissioned work for Dance Now. You can find more information about the Dance Now season here or check out the full season and ticketing options at https://dancenow.online/! Dance Now is offering Pod de Deux listeners a discount on tickets to Chapter 4 of the DANCE NOW Story! For just $7 (regular price is $10), PDD subscribers will have access to Chapter 4’s new and archival dance pieces until June 30, 2021. You can watch the digital performances at your leisure or join the Watch Party on Thursday February 11 at 6pm EDT. The PDD subscription offer is good starting TODAY (Feb. 9th) through Feb 16th! For more info and to purchase a Chapter 4 ticket, visit: dancenow.online. Use the code: PDDCH421 A native New Yorker from the Bronx, Maleek Washington is a performer, choreographer, and teaching artist. Washington began his dance training at Harlem School of the Arts, Broadway Dance Center, and LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts. He attended Boston Conservatory on a full scholarship and began his professional career with Commonwealth Ballet, CityDance Ensemble, and Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M. for four seasons. Following that, Washington performed with Punch Drunk’s “Sleep No More” as the first African American male performer. He is currently in his third season with Camille A. Brown & Dancers.
84 minutes | Dec 19, 2020
LLAB Ep 5: The Front of the Room Pt I – w/ Tiffany Rea-Fisher & Jonathan Alsberry
Photo Credits: Tiffany Rea-Fisher by Ayodele Casel / Jonathan Alsberry by Steven Truman-Gray In our last episode, we had a great conversation with two dancers about their experiences navigating the professional commercial dance field while Black. In today’s episode, we’re continuing this dialogue, talking to people whom we often call the “front of the room.” We didn’t want to stop the conversation with the experiences of those in the classrooms and on stage; we also wanted to include those at the audition tables and in the casting rooms – those who wield decision-making power and influence. This episode spotlights the experiences and challenges of Black dance leaders that we don’t often get to discuss. Tiffany Rea-Fisher is a writer, choreographer, collaborator, and teacher. After performing for many years as a principal dancer, she is now the Artistic Director of Elisa Monte Dance Company. Jonathan Alsberry is a dance educator, creator, and coach who works with renowned artists such as Lar Lubovitch and Aszure Barton. He is also the Artistic Liaison for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. Tiffany Rea-FisherIG: @treafisher, @elisamontedanceFB: @elisamontedanceTwitter: @treafisher, @elisamontedance Jonathan AlsberryIG: @jojodanzerFB: facebook.com/iDancer
56 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
LOOKING FOR A WAY BACK: Orlando Hernandez – Dance Now Ep. 4
In the 4th episode of PDD’s coverage of the Dance Now festival’s 25th anniversary season, new host Paul Hamilton talks with the talented tap dancer Orlando Hernandez, who has a new digital commission premiering online on Thursday, November 12th as part of the Dance Now November Chapter. (Tickets and additional information are available here!) In this interview, Orlando talks about his work, his Dance Now commission, opportunities available to artists during and prior to the pandemic, and the importance of Dance Now and their mission for artists. Check out Dance Now’s full season virtual offerings at https://dancenow.online/. Orlando Hernandez is a tap dancer based in Rhode Island. He has presented work at On the Boards, SPACE Gallery, the Granoff Center at Brown University, Movement Research at the Judson Church, DANCE NOW at Joe’s Pub (2019 Festival and Festival Encore), and La Casa de Cultura Ruth Hernández Torres (Río Piedras, Puerto Rico). He was the 2019 recipient of the Fellowship in Choreography from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, and a 2019 recipient of the Rebecca Blunk Fund Award from the New England Foundation for the Arts. You can find him at www.orlyhernandez.com or on IG @pineappleju_icefrog
82 minutes | Oct 27, 2020
LLAB Ep 3: Navigating the Professional Field while Black Pt I – w/ Rena Butler and Maleek Washington
In our previous series on the LLAB, we spoke with Black dancers about their experience as dance students in undergraduate and graduate programs and the challenges they faced being minorities in those spaces. This week, we started a new two-episode topic, re-centering the conversation on what it’s like to be a professional dancer while Black. We meet concert dancers Rena Butler and Maleek Washington, and talk about their unique experiences dancing with both predominantly Black and non-Black companies, as well their experience of being overqualified. Rena is a dancer, director, and choreographer dancing with Gibney Dance Company. Maleek is a dancer, choreographer, and educator dancing with Camille A. Brown and dancers. This is the 3rd episode in our new fall series, The LLAB with Antuan Byers. LLAB stands for listening, learning, and building. The overall goal of this series is to create a space to share marginalized Black voices, to learn from their experiences, and dream for ways in which we can move forward.
53 minutes | Oct 5, 2020
GIVE SPACE FOR OTHER VOICES: Jamal Jackson & Nicole Wolcott – Dance Now Ep. 3
Photo Credits: Matt Murphy, Nicole Wolcott, Jonathan Hökklo & Antoine Tempé In the 3rd episode of PDD’s coverage of the Dance Now festival’s 25th anniversary season, new hosts Paul Hamilton and Sabrina Karlin interview Jamal Jackson and Nicole Wolcott! Digital commissions from both artists premiere as part of Chapter 2 on Thursday, October 8th. Tickets and additional information are available here. Check out the full season’s offerings at https://dancenow.online/. In today’s interview, Jamal and Nicole discuss pandemic parenting, giving space to marginalized voices, and the challenges of empowering new audiences to interact with dance. The artists also look back on the importance of DANCE NOW in developing their respective choreographic voices. Jamal Jackson, born in Brooklyn, graduated from Brown University and performed as a principal dancer with Ballet International Africans for two seasons. In 2004, he founded the Jamal Jackson Dance Company with the goal of fusing traditional African styles with modern and hip hop techniques. The company maintains a strong presence in the dance community through outreach and performances in festivals and venues such as Jacob’s Pillow, Summerstage and DANCE NOW. His work focuses on themes of identity and community. Nicole Wolcott is a Brooklyn-based performer and choreographer who co-founded KEIGWIN + COMPANY with Larry Kiewin in 2003. Both in collaboration and independently, she has since created and performed across the lines of concert dance, film and theater both on and off Broadway. She continues to experiment with space and medium while choreographing and teaching at many notable universities. Her work with DANCE NOW spans over 13 years.
69 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
LLAB Ep 2: White Supremacy in Dance Education Pt II – w/ Michelle Gibson, Sydnie Mosley & Iyun Harrison
Photo credit for Sydnie: Jamie McClean @jmxcleanPhoto credit for Michelle : Jonah Pester In our previous episode of the LLAB, we spoke with three Black dancers about their experiences and challenges with navigating undergraduate dance programs. This week, we wanted to take it a step further. We expanded our dialogue to the often overlooked subject of being a Black dancer in a graduate program. Our guests, Michelle Gibson, Iyun Harrison, and Sydnie Mosley, share stories, lessons, and laughs on what it was like pursuing their Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA); they also provide advice for others interested in pursuing an MFA. Michelle Gibson, MFA, is a cultural ambassador, choreographer, educator, and performing artist, as well as a faculty member at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Iyun Harrison, MFA, is choreographer, educator and the founder and creative director of Ballet Ashani. Contribute to the GoFundMe for Iyun’s Doctoral Program Fundraiser here! gf.me/u/yqzvwn Sydnie Mosley, MFA, is a performer, choreographer, artist-activist, and educator, and artistic director of Sydnie L. Mosley Dances (SLMDances). This is the 2nd episode in our new fall series, The LLAB with Antuan Byers. LLAB stands for listening, learning, and building. The overall goal of this series is to create a space to share marginalized Black voices, to learn from their experiences, and dream for ways in which we can move forward.
59 minutes | Sep 21, 2020
DANCERS ARE FIGURING IT OUT: Gus Solomons jr. – Dance Now Ep. 2
In the 2nd installment of PDD’s fall/spring series covering the Dance Now 25th anniversary season, new hosts Paul Hamilton and Sabrina Karlin interview the iconic Gus Solomons jr! Gus will be honored in Dance Now’s Chapter 1 virtual celebration on Thursday, October 1st at 7:00pm EDT. You can find more information and purchase a $20 ticket here, or check out the full season and ticketing options at https://dancenow.online/! In this interview, Gus gives us a fascinating overview of his career, including how he made his way from an architecture degree at MIT to Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham and many more luminary choreographers. Along the way, he emphasizes the resilience and ingenuity of dancers and the dance community at large – an important message and reminder for all of us in these challenging times. Gus Solomons jr. is a vital and essential part of American dance history. As a dancer, he drew and captured the attention of Martha Graham, Merce Cunningham, Pearl Lang, and Donald Mckayle, to name just a few. He created Gus Solomons Company/Dance in 1972, and the dance collective Paradigm in 1996. As a choreographer, he has created more than 170 works that have been performed on stages around the world, in art galleries and museums, in warehouses, and on film. As a teacher, he has motivated and mentored dance students for over decades. As a writer, he is creating literature that will hold true as the genre evolves. Yet, he continues to challenge himself, shifting seamlessly between these roles and creating new forms and new understandings of the art form that has given him so much.
68 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
LLAB Ep 1: White Supremacy in Dance Education Pt I – w/ Morgan Burns, Runako Campbell & Ricardo Hartley
In the first episode of this fall PDD series, The LLAB, new Host Antuan Byers talks to a recent grad, Morgan Burns, and college seniors, Runako Campbell and Ricardo Hartley, about their experiences navigating the world of dance education as Black students at predominantly white institutions. Although all three of these guests attended different colleges and conservatories, we quickly learned how their experiences as minorities in their programs have been very similar. We discussed our concerns with the lack of representation in our field, the importance and difficulty of finding mentors that look like you, and the challenges of accessing Black dance history. We also shared stories and experiences about how our dance spaces are eurocentric – not leaving room for other aesthetics, techniques, and cultures. Morgan talked to us about what sparked the idea for her new organization, the Collegiate Association for Artists of Color (C.A.A.C.); Runako caught us up on what she will be exploring in her senior thesis that focuses on Black girls, women, and femme-identifying dancers; and Ricardo gave us the inside scoop on his new journal created specifically for queer artists of color. Morgan Burns is a recent graduate of New York University, and is the founder of Collegiate Association for Artists of Color (C.A.A.C.). Runako Campbell is a current senior at Princeton University, who has been an active member within their dance department, acting as an Artistic Director of their dance company, DiSiac, as well as dancing with the Princeton University Ballet. Ricardo Hartley is a current senior at the Juilliard School, and founder of the dance workshop, The Audition. This is the first episode in our new fall, series, The LLAB with Antuan Byers. LLAB stands for listening, learning, and building. The overall goal of this series is to create a space to share marginalized Black voices, to learn from their experiences, and dream for ways in which we can move forward.
74 minutes | Sep 13, 2020
WE’RE IN AN OPEN INQUIRY: Devon Bandison
Personal & Business Coach Devon Bandison joins new PDD Host Antuan Byers, as well as Jessica and Clara, to help the PDD team prepare to integrate racial justice conversations into our work. This work will begin with Antuan’s upcoming series called The LLAB (Listening, Learning and Building), which will create a space to share marginalized Black voices, to learn from their experiences, and dream for ways in which we can move forward. In preparation for this and more, Devon helps us understand how to approach racial conversations and our own contributions as individual members of society. Devon Bandison is one of the most sought-after personal and business coaches in the world. He works with Fortune 100 Companies and people from all walks of life, including professional athletes, CEO’s, salespeople, small business owners, filmmakers, producers, parents, and more. Devon was born and raised in New York City, where his love of sports and hard work resulted in him receiving a basketball scholarship to Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina. After graduating, he spent years working on the front lines in NYC with an organization responsible for developing behavioral health programs for youth, families and first-time fathers in some of the toughest neighborhoods throughout the city. As Director of this organization, he was responsible for the clinical and leadership development of social workers, psychiatrists and managers. He now serves as the Director of Children’s Services for the Community Mental Health Services division, in addition to running his coaching company and keeping up with numerous coaching and speaking engagements.
55 minutes | Sep 7, 2020
WE WILL REINVENT & REIMAGINE: Robin Staff – Dance Now Ep. 1
Robin Staff, Founding Executive Artistic Director of Dance Now, sat down with Clara and new PDD host Paul Hamilton to discuss Dance Now’s 25th anniversary season that kicks off on September 10th! Dance Now, which traditionally opens the NYC performance season with a week of shows at Joe’s Pub, is charting new territory by hosting a completely virtual season with performance and celebration chapters spanning September 2020 to May 2021. Pod de Deux will be covering the whole season! We chatted with Robin about the process of going virtual, presenting artists with the challenge of creating work remotely within the dimensions of the Joe’s Pub stage (fitting for quarantine!), and her own personal history in the dance world. Purchase tickets to individual events or a season pass at https://dancenow.online/! Don’t miss these videos of creative approaches to dance in pandemic times that Robin mentioned enjoying! Keigwin & Wolcott work: Juilliard students perform to BoleroBlack Men of Concert Dance passing ballet shoes (under “Slaying on Social”) The daughter of a painter, Robin went to Goucher College to study visual and creative arts and graduated as the first dance major, charting the development of one of today’s most vital college dance programs. She continued her career as a dancer at an age that was then considered ‘too old’, creating a small repertory company to sustain both a love of neo‐classical ballet and an eagerness to explore new and contemporary movement styles. Robin was inspired by unusual urban spaces and created her first gallery performance at the Wooster Street Gallery in Soho in 1993. The intimacy and enormous enthusiasm between the artists and audience members at this first performance predicted DANCE NOW’s artistic direction. Over the past two decades, DANCE NOW has worked to make dance accessible and welcoming, bending the rules to offer artists a new way to think about creating and audiences new ways to experience dance. As DANCE NOW moves into its third decade, Robin’s vision continues to encompass the untraditional, the unconventional and the unknown. As an administrator, she is directed by her concern for the survival of dance makers, particularly young artists and BIPOC dance artists. She remains steadfast in her commitment to providing opportunities that present new choices, stimulate creativity, advance careers, and encourage exploration of the untried, while defying the archetypical and carving a path to new means of expression.
75 minutes | Aug 7, 2020
WOMEN OF BROADWAY: Sonya Tayeh
https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/08/sonya-final.mp3 The Pod De Deux Podcast team is back with a not-to-be-missed season finale episode in the “Women Of Broadway” summer series. This week, Emmy nominee Sonya Tayeh joins Michael, Ellyn, and Kevin to discuss what it was like to choreograph, not one, but two musicals slated for Broadway this past season. Tayeh not only choreographed Moulin Rouge!, which opened late in the summer of 2019, but was also set to choreograph the New York Theatre Workshop’s production of Sing Street when the musical made its transfer to Broadway this spring. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown, Sing Street had to halt production before it had a chance to be seen by Broadway audiences. In this episode, Tayeh talks about how her choreographic vision for both shows was born from the heart and soul of the stories themselves and how that process created a rigorous work for the dancers of Moulin Rouge!. She also lets us in on her early days dancing in Detroit’s underground rave scene, her incredible self-made trajectory into a choreography career, and the way her world changed when she booked a choreographic job on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance. We are even treated to an emotionally vulnerable look behind the scenes into the days leading up to Fox’s early 2019 production of Rent Live! Sonya Tayeh is a New York City based choreographer and director. Her work has been characterized as a blend of powerful versatility and theatrical range. Tayeh made her Broadway choreographic debut last summer when Moulin Rouge! opened at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre. Tayeh has also choreographed pieces for the Fall For Dance Festival at City Center, The Lucky Ones at Ars Nova, Kung Fu at the Signature, and many other projects for companies and venues like The Music Center in LA, New York Live Arts, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Martha Graham Dance Company, and The Joyce Theatre. She has directed and choreographed for world renowned music artists including Miley Cyrus, Florence and the Machine, and Kyle Minogue. Tayeh choreographed Fox’s Rent Live! in 2019 and has gleaned many accolades for her versatile work, including two Emmy nominations for her work on Fox’s So You Think You Can Dance, an Obie Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, two Lucille Lortel Awards for “Outstanding Choreography”, a Drama Desk nomination and a 2020 Drama Desk Award win for Moulin Rouge! In this series, veteran Pod De Deux host Michael Mahany (Rock Of Ages, Wicked) was joined by fellow performers Ellyn Marie Marsh (The Rose Tattoo, Kinky Boots) and Kevin Michael Raponey (Rock Of Ages, Radio City). The trio sought to speak with all nine of the female choreographers who were slated to bring musicals to Broadway in this unprecedented season. Read more about the unprecedented year for female choreographers in Michael Mahany’s blog post, “Broadway’s Remarkable Year For Women On Broadway.”
65 minutes | Jul 30, 2020
WOMEN OF BROADWAY: Lizzi Gee
https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/lizzi-gee-final.mp3 The Pod De Deux Podcast team is back with another episode in the “Women Of Broadway” summer series, this week featuring Lizzi Gee, the choreographer behind this past season’s production of A Christmas Carol. In this episode, the remarkable Lizzi Gee discusses what it meant to her to travel across the pond to bring A Christmas Carol to Broadway. She also gives us a peek into how she balances running her Gee-Force School Of Dance, working closely with the incredible Nkosi’s Haven in Johannesburg South Africa, serving as an associate of the Old Vic, and being a mother to two boys. On top of creating the choreography for the 2019-2020 Broadway production of ‘A Christmas Carol,’ Lizzi Gee is also a Movement Director, dance practitioner, and teacher whose work spans across all aspects of theatre, opera, film and television. Gee was nominated for a 2019 “What’s On Stage Award” for her work choreographing ‘Little Shop Of Horrors’ in London’s Regents Park Open Air Theatre. Her other credits include The National Theatre, the Old Vic, the Young Vic, English National Opera, The Royal Shakespeare Company, Chichester Festival Theatre, Sheffield Crucible, Nottingham Playhouse, and many West End and touring theaters. Gee was recently made an Associate at the Old Vic Theatre. In addition, she owns her own dance school just outside of London called the Gee-Force School Of Dance where she trains children and adults from the age of 3 on up. She is often a guest lecturer and dance coach for many theatre schools across the UK, and when she manages to find the time, she also volunteers at Nkosi’s Haven in Johannesburg South Africa, a home for children and mothers affected by HIV.
54 minutes | Jul 16, 2020
WOMEN OF BROADWAY: CARRIE-ANNE INGROUILLE
https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/carrie-anne-ingrouille-final-1.mp3 The Pod De Deux Podcast team is back with another episode in the “Women Of Broadway” summer series, this week featuring Six The Musical choreographer, Carrie-Anne Ingrouille. In the episode, Carrie-Anne discusses the growth, inspiration, and magic behind the female-driven musical Six. She also offers listeners a glimpse into the evening of March 12th: the day that not only marked the beginning of the theatre world’s industry-wide shut-down, but also the evening that was set to be the opening night celebration of Six on Broadway Originally from Guernsey — an island in the English Channel — Carrie-Anne Ingrouille was nominated for an Olivier Award for her choreography for Six The Musical. She is also the choreographer of the Broadway transfer production of Six that’s made its way to the US, via stops at the Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, ART in Cambridge, MA, and the Ordway Center in St. Paul, MN. Also serving as the resident choreographer of Hamilton in London’s West End, Carrie-Anne began her early dance career at the Avril Earl Dance and Theatre Arts Centre. At 19, she moved to London to continue her training at The Centre Performing Arts College. Since 2005, she has been a core member of ZooNation Dance Company, where she wears many hats — including Associate Director, Resident Director, Choreographer and Teacher. Her performance credits with ZooNation include – Into the Hoods, Some Like it Hip Hop, ZooNation 10th Anniversary, ZooNation: Unplugged, The Show of Life, The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party, and the handover ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, 2008. Carrie-Anne’s other performing and choreography credit’s include Blaze, The Street Dance Sensation, Groove on Down the Road, Jeeves & Wooster in Perfect Nonsense, The Suicide ( at The National), “I Can’t Sing” The X Factor Musical (at The London Palladium), The 2012 International Olympic Committee Heads of State Performance, and Breakin’ Convention’s “Back to the Lab” at Sadler’s Wells. In this new series, veteran Pod De Deux host Michael Mahany (Rock Of Ages, Wicked) is joined by fellow performers Ellyn Marie Marsh (The Rose Tattoo, Kinky Boots) and Kevin Michael Raponey (Rock Of Ages, Radio City). The trio seeks to speak with all nine of the female choreographers who were slated to bring musicals to Broadway in this unprecedented season. Read more reporting about the unprecedented year for female choreographers in Michael Mahany’s blog post, “Broadway’s Remarkable Year For Women On Broadway.”
66 minutes | Jul 1, 2020
WOMEN OF BROADWAY: Lucy Hind
https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/07/lucy-hind-final-final-7-1.mp3 The Pod De Deux Podcast team is back with another episode in the “Women Of Broadway” summer series, this week featuring Girl From The North Country choreographer, Lucy Hind. In the episode, Lucy discusses the development of the Broadway musical ‘Girl From The North Country’ and the effects of halting performances due to COVID-19. She speaks eloquently about how the show mirrors our situation as a global society, in which “we’re all in the same storm but not in the same boat.” We also heard from Lucy about her start as a dancer growing up in South Africa before moving to the UK, her time dancing with the remarkable David Toole, and the inspiring movement work she’s done with Slung Low Theatre company. Born in South African, choreographer and movement director Lucy Hind brought Girl From The North Country — a musical in which she shapes dance to the music of classic Bob Dylan songs — to Broadway this year. Lucy has worked on the show since its world premiere at London’s Old Vic Theatre back in 2017, for which she won critical acclaim. She’s also responsible for shows like Sting’s The Last Ship (UK, Toronto, and the recent US tour), The Light in the Piazza (London, LA, and Chicago), Ugly Lies the Bone at the National Theatre in London, Miss Littlewood at the RSC, The Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare’s Globe and US Tour). Lucy is also an Associate Artist of Slung Low Theatre, works regularly on television for the BBC, and was the movement director for TRUTHSEEKERS for Amazon Studios. In this new series, veteran Pod De Deux host Michael Mahany (Rock Of Ages, Wicked) is joined by fellow performers Ellyn Marie Marsh (The Rose Tattoo, Kinky Boots) and Kevin Michael Raponey (Rock Of Ages, Radio City). The trio seeks to speak with all nine of the female choreographers who were slated to bring musicals to Broadway in this unprecedented season. Read more reporting about the unprecedented year for female choreographers in Michael Mahany’s blog post, “Broadway’s Remarkable Year For Women On Broadway.”
64 minutes | May 26, 2020
WOMEN OF BROADWAY: KELLY DEVINE
https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/kelly-devine-final.mp3 The Pod De Deux Podcast team is back with the second episode of the “Women Of Broadway” summer series! This week we’re featuring Kelly Devine, Choreographer of Broadway’s Diana: A True Musical Story. In addition to discussing her work on Broadway’s Diana, Kelly delves into everything from her start as a child dancer in Los Angeles to running auditions for adult dancers at age 13, to “trampolining” into Broadway choreography stardom with Rock Of Ages. She also reminds us how Come From Away serves as a poignant reminder of the beauty in humanity. In this new series, veteran Pod De Deux host Michael Mahany (Rock Of Ages, Wicked) is joined by fellow performers Ellyn Marie Marsh (The Rose Tattoo, Kinky Boots) and Kevin Michael Raponey (Rock Of Ages, Radio City). The trio seeks to speak with all nine of the female choreographers who were slated to bring musicals to Broadway in this unprecedented season. Read more reporting about the unprecedented year for female choreographers in Michael Mahany’s blog post, “Broadway’s Remarkable Year For Women On Broadway.” After working with Sergio Trujillo as the associate choreographer on Jersey Boys, Kelly Devine was launched into stardom when the Off-Broadway hit Rock Of Ages transferred to the Great White Way in 2009. On top of Rock Of Ages, Kelly has choreographed Broadway shows like Rocky, Doctor Zhivago, Come From Away, Escape To Margaritaville, and most recently, Diana: A True Musical Story. She’s earned Astaire, Chita Rivera, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and two Tony nominations and won an Olivier Award for her work on Come From Away in the West End. On television, Kelly choreographed for Amazon’s Mozart In The Jungle and is currently the series choreographer on the CW series, Katy Keene.
50 minutes | May 19, 2020
WOMEN OF BROADWAY: Lorin Latarro
Click to view slideshow. https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/05/latarro-final-edit.mp3 Episode 1 of the “Women Of Broadway” Series hosted by Michael Mahany, Ellyn Marie Marsh, & Kevin Michael Raponey In this first episode of Pod De Deux’s “Women Of Broadway” series, Broadway choreographer Lorin Latarro sits down with Michael, Ellyn, and Kevin to discuss her current Broadway show, ‘Mrs. Doubtfire,’ and much more! Lorin lets us in on how she was drawn to dance early on, her time at Juilliard (and how she skipped school to audition!), and her extensive resume as a performer, including 14 Broadway shows. She also talks about how the industry-wide pandemic shutdown has personally affected her and others in the Broadway community. In the “Women Of Broadway” series, Pod De Deux seeks to speak with all 9 of the female choreographers who were slated to bring 14 new musicals to Broadway in this unprecedented season.
57 minutes | Apr 15, 2020
WE’RE DRIVEN BY EMOTIONAL CONTENT: Kyla Barkin & Aaron Selissen
Click to view slideshow. https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/final_kyla-and-aaron_ml2.mp3 In this episode, recorded during the first week of NYC’s COVID quarantine, we spoke to Kyla Barkin and Aaron Selissen about their journey of building a dance company together, their latest project, Accidental Suite (which was scheduled to be presented on March 20th but postponed due to the virus), and the complex topics they explore in their work – including graduate-level mathematics! (You can see a documentary about the mathematics piece here and more dance films from their Titles Project on the Barkin/Selissen vimeo page!) We were particularly inspired to hear how Kyla and Aaron draw their audience members into an experience and create a sense of community that has in turn earned them a dedicated – and growing – base of diverse fans. Kyla Barkin was raised in Tempe, AZ and studied with “La Mariquilla” at the Academia de Ballet Flamenco in Granada, Spain, before receiving her B.A. in Dance from UCLA. She has toured and presented work internationally, and she is the recipient of multiple awards. Aaron Selissen is originally from Green Bay, WI and received his B.F.A. in Dance Performance from Butler University. His choreographic work has been presented across the U.S., and his teaching and performance career has taken him across the US and abroad. BARKIN/SELISSEN PROJECT (B/SP) is a New York City-based contemporary dance company that Kyla and Aaron founded in 2009 to present their choreography through live performance and workshops. The company strives to remove barriers and create a shared experience between the creative team and audience members, allowing for a more inclusive and memorable event. Kyla and Aaron have also created dance films. Accidental Suite premiered in June as 1 of 5 dance films in B/SP’s Titles Project, and the audience voted to have it expanded and presented live. The extended version was scheduled to premiere at Riverside Church on March 20th, but it has now been indefinitely postponed due to the Coronavirus. Featuring 9 dancers and an original score by Zac Selissen, it is a 75-minute celebration event including 30 minutes of live performance wrapped in a pre and post party. This performance installation evokes chance encounters, near misses, and the magnetic push and pull of relationships from start to finish.
18 minutes | Apr 8, 2020
PLEASE LOVE WHAT YOU DO: Richy Jackson
Click to view slideshow. https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/richie-jackson_ml1.mp3 In this episode of Pod De Deux, Michael Mahany speaks with Lady Gaga’s Visual Director and Choreographer, Richy Jackson! (Scroll down for extended video cut!) Jackson, who grew up in the California Bay Area, tells us all about how he came to find dance, the fateful day when he left Tuskegee University as a pre-law student to move to LA and become a full-time dancer, and dishes on creating, casting, and shooting his most recent collaboration with Gaga — her latest music video, “Stupid Love“! Find Richy on Insta and Twitter @richysquirrel ! Richy Jackson is a world-class Visual Director and Choreographer who has spent the breadth of his 16-year career working in counts of eight alongside the most influential recording artists in the music industry. He is responsible for the widely acclaimed Lady Gaga Super Bowl Halftime Show and a master at inventing her signature dance style. He has served as Lady Gaga’s Visual Director/Choreographer for most of her career, creating the majority of her music videos, live performances, and television appearances. Jackson has also worked with Katy Perry, Keri Hilson, Nicki Minaj, Sean “Diddy” Combs, and Brandy, to name a few. In addition to being one of the most sought-after choreographers in the business, Jackson displays superlative talent in stage direction, camera-blocking, and direction in narrative/character development. He has put his directional creativity into performances for some of the most recognized shows on television both domestically and abroad, including American Idol, Dancing With The Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Saturday Night Live, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Late Show With David Letterman, The Academy Awards, The Grammy Awards, the MTV Music Awards, the American Music Awards, the Billboard Awards, the BET Awards, and countless others. While Jackson has spent thousands of hours developing and perfecting his craft in the rehearsal room, he is also an established television personality – appearing on-camera during multiple seasons of the wildly popular MTV franchise “Making The Band”. In 2011, Jackson was featured as a series regular on two hit shows: “The Dance Scene” (E! Entertainment) and “Born to Dance” (Black Entertainment Television). Extended video cut:
47 minutes | Apr 1, 2020
I DID IT AND I ANALYZED IT LATER: Gabri Christa
Click to view slideshow. https://poddedeux.files.wordpress.com/2020/04/gabri-christa_ml3.mp3 In this second week of COVID quarantine in New York City, Michael and Clara had the privilege of connecting with multi-disciplinary art maker Gabri Christa over Zoom. Gabri is a dancer, choreographer, filmmaker, scholar and all-around artist with a rich history and intriguing body of work. She told us about the cross-roads culture she experienced growing up in the Dutch Caribbean island nation of Curaçao, where she took yoga with adults and absorbed cultural dance forms before encountering modern dance when she attended university in the Netherlands. Hearing Gabri’s story of choreographing and performing at a young age on the island was an inspiring reminder that the urge to create comes not from formal training but from a well of creativity within. Most recently, Gabri has been touring her multi-media project, Magdalena, which took shape in response to her mother’s dementia, and hosting/curating the second Moving Body-Moving Image festival of dance films at Barnard. The festival theme this year is aging. It will take place completely online on April 4th from 12-6pm – we hope you’ll tune in! https://www.movingbodymovingimage.com/festival You can see the film Gabri made with Kyle Abraham, QUARANTINE, on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/42853661 Multi-disciplinary and wide-ranging in form, Gabri Christa’s art-making spans film, choreography, performance, curation, writing, and more. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Professional Practice at Barnard College and a member of Mayor de Blasio’s Cultural Advisory Commission. Gabri has danced and choreographed with companies such as Danza Contemporanea de Cuba, DanzAbierta and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company. Awards include the Guggenheim for Choreography, and five Jerome Foundation grants. Her choreographies have been presented nationally, internationally and locally at Central Park Summer Stage, Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Symphony Space, PS122 and for five seasons at Dance Theater Workshop (now New York Live Arts).
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