Sunday is the big day, and we have only 4 more choreographers to interview for our blog! Today we are chatting with former “Trolley Dances” choreographer: Anthony Rodriguez. We had the pleasure of peaking in on Anthony’s rehearsal last week, and it was just fabulous. His group of dancers are able-bodied young movers who take on his modern/ hip-hop fused style with gusto and compassion for his vision. In other words, it’s fabulous so far! We can’t wait to see it under the lights on Sunday.
Here are his answers to our questions! Check out some of his videos of him teaching and dancing below as well, and you’ll see what we mean by his energy!
Q: Tell us a little about your history in dance:
A: I remember watching Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation video at 5 years old. I stood so still at the tiny t.v. in our living room and was captivated by the movement of the hip hop and jazz dancers. That was the first seed of dance becoming a part of my life… I began dancing at age 13 with the San Diego Dance Institute, an after-school dance program. I instantly fell in Love with Hip Hop dance. When the music spoke to me, I spoke right back with movement. I then got the amazing opportunity to be the very first recipient of the Carrie Anne Fipps Memorial Scholarship which began my 10 year training with Eveoke Dance Theater, a modern and hip hop focused company. I learned so much in those 10 years about dance, art, community and compassion. I feel very blessed for that experience. In 2006, I made my choreographic debut with Eveoke’s Hip Hop is Everywhere, an exploration of hip hop movement on a global and personal note. I also got the opportunity to choreograph San Diego Dance Theater’s Trolley Dances in 2007 and debuted the modern-hip hop fusion piece, Arrange i+n koncert, with Katie Griffin at Emerge in 2009. I have also danced with Culture Shock San Diego and Kruciaal Element, both local hip hop teams. Dance is what i know how to do best with my body, mind and spirit. I wish to share that with the world and make some more history.
Q: Why do you believe your piece should win this competition?
A: I believe my piece should win because i have really challenged myself along with my dancers as artists and movers. I am so proud of myself, my dancers and the piece I’ve created. This is an amazing opportunity to reward myself and my dancers for their Heart work.
Q: What are the themes involved in your piece? Is this a new exploration for you?
A: The themes in my piece are equality, intimacy, anger, protest and community. This is not a new exploration for me but it is a continuing story that keeps adding sentences of movement throughout my life.
Q:What do you want your audience to know coming into the performance?
A: The audience should know to have an open mind and gushing open heart. From that point, the dance speaks for itself.
Thanks for your time Anthony! We are looking forward to seeing you work it on the 19th!
Here is a little slideshow of Anthony’s work from Trolley Dances 2008. His piece was called “Alice Lost in Fire Escape Land!”