We are keeping the ball rolling with our fabulous Choreographer interviews. Not only are we learning about these wonderful artists living in San Diego, but it seems that a couple of our contestants have their own companies as well. First Keely and Deven of DK Dance, and now Gina with somebodies dance theater. It is so exciting to have so many resourceful, innovative, and motivated artists working for this prize. The performance should not be missed by any San Diego Dance lover.
Here is what Gina had to say in response to our questions:
Q: Tell us a little bit about your history in Dance.
A: I was fortunate enough to grow up in a household of art lovers. My mom is a musical theater dancer and choreographer, and my dad is a vocal music director. My parents were very influential as I began to develop my own interests in the arts. They were supreme examples of creativity, intellect, and active advocacy. Though I danced throughout my youth, it wasn’t until my senior year at UCLA that I decided to take dance seriously. I put my Communication Studies and Political Science diploma in my pocket and bought my one-way ticket to New York. I spent a year dancing and working in New York, and then followed that with a year dancing and working in San Francisco. In 2005, I began a Master of Fine Arts program in Dance at the University of Oregon, where I was a Graduate Teaching Fellow and the recipient of two grants to study Bharatanatyam in India. Upon completing the MFA, I moved back home to San Diego and launched the modern dance company somebodies dance theater with my then-boyfriend-now-husband, Kyle Sorensen (www.somebodiesdancetheater.com).
Q: Why do you believe your work should win this competition?
A: I am thrilled to be in the company of the other 10 choreographers. This program promises to present choreographers who are taking evocative risks in their work, and I feel honored to have been selected to participate. I have an indefatigable interest in finding new ways to move, and new ways to bring movements together. My work often ricochets from a big, sweeping body to a small gesture, and from serious inquiry to outright humor. This new work is no exception. I am working with a unique movement vocabulary in an engaging exploration of human experience.
Q: What are the themes involved in your piece? Is this a new exploration for you?
A: I am presenting a new solo entitled “Wallƒlower.” In the dance, a woman is constantly challenged by her relationship to her environment, and her personal obsession with distinction. When her environment seems to swallow her whole, she does everything she can to stand out against it. I’ve been playing with the natural human response to interruption as a form of structure in this piece. Extracting the structure out of a human experience and using it as an architecture for choreography is a new exploration for me. The piece features the video projection work of Maria Juan, costumes by Reina Bolles, and a sound design by Kyle Sorensen. I feel privileged to work with such a talented and adventurous group of collaborators.
Q: What do you want your audience to know coming into the performance?
A: There is no reason to feel like you have to “interpret” the dance that I intended. I am much more excited by the way dance means different things to different people. Once you see it, it’s yours.
Thanks Gina! We are really excited to see what you bring to the competition on the 19th!
If you want to learn more about ‘sombodies dance theater’ you can visit the website HERE.
We also stumbled upon some great videos of Gina at work on her site. Check them out: