Choreographer’s Corner: Patricia Sandback

Trolley Dances 2010 begin tomorrow!  We have only two more choreographers left to interview, so we’re adding another interview this week, you lucky dance-lover you!

We had the opportunity to chat with the Patricia Sandback, a dance performer, choreographer, and educator- currently working with the SDSU Dance department.  Here is what she had to say:

Q: In your career you have created over 130 original dances.  That’s amazing!  Where do you find your inspiration for new work?

A: I find my inspiration from a variety of sources, something I see on the street, a picture in a magazine or a moment in a film, a museum visit, a line in a book.  I am particularly attracted to poetry which I feel is the art form closest to dance because they are both so rich in metaphor and symbol.  The power in both lies beneath the simple meaning of the word or gesture.  I sometimes look at choreography as research into a particular element of dance, try to figure it out.  Other dancers/dances can inspire me, not literally but more when I see someone taking a big risk.

Q:  What is different about site-specific dance comparatively?

A: Well, there are limitations.  There usually is so much visual (and probably aural) competition in a site specific work, at least if it is outside and/or a public place.  Also you need to take floor surface into consideration.  These limitations will affect many of your choices and therefore the dance.    On the other hand, the site can serve as inspiration as to theme, movement vocabulary, structure, costume, and performance style, providing the stimulus for new ideas.

Patricia chatting with her "Trolley" dancers.

Q: You choreographed trolley dances  years ago.  What made you come back now after all this time?

A:I don’t think I choreographed for the first trolley dances, rather somewhat later.   I came back because I was invited by Jean, and thrilled to have the opportunity.
Q:Is there anything you’d like the audience to know coming into your piece?
A: That I love working collaboratively with the performers and the piece was enriched by input from the dancers and the musician.  They contributed generously of their talent, skill, and ideas.
Here is a short clip of Patricia’s 2010 Trolley Dance from the “Kid’s on Board” Performance.  Check out the whole thing this weekend and next!


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