Choreographer’s Corner: Randé Dorn

Another day, another Choreographer’s corner!  Excitement is in the air at SDDT.  It is so wonderful to be part of something special, and we believe “The Young Choreographer’s Prize” is going to be just that.

Today’s interview is with the beautiful Randé Dorn.  Who is another competitor with her own Dance Company: The Randé Dorn Dance Company.  Here is what she has to say about her piece in the competition:

Q: Tell us a little bit about your history in Dance.

A: I am a Los Angeles based Choreographer and Artistic Director of Randé Dorn Dance Company. My work builds on my personal experience as a black, female, artist and now mother engaging the body in gestures that build a richly layered dialogue between dancer and viewer. Reflecting a multitude of cultural influences from British pop music to Latino surrealist painters, my choreography has been presented throughout Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Diego. I am an alumni of both UCSD and The California Institute of the Arts for theater and choreography. I have been the recipient of the Stewart Award at UCSD and nominated for a Horton Award for Outstanding Choreography in Los Angeles. In 2003 I was the recipient of the Irvine Foundation DanceMaker Grant for the development of new work which I premiered in San Diego in 2004 at SDSU.  Randé Dorn Dance Company was last seen performing in San Diego’s Annual Trolley Dances in 2007, a week before my son was born. The San Diego Young Choreographer’s Prize will be my 1st premiere of new work since becoming a parent in 2007. I am honored to have also been chosen to participate in this season’s A.W.A.R.D.S! Show in Los Angeles hosted by REDCAT and produced by NY’s Joyce Theater.


Q: Why do you believe your work should win this competition?

A: That is a hard question.  I guess I believe my piece should win if on that night, in that moment, I have the better piece. Of course it is all purely subjective, but as judges and as an audience you are choosing whether or not to support the continued development of the artist by giving her or him money to either pay for dancer fees, rehearsal space, costumes etc.


Q: What are the themes involved in your piece?  Is this a new exploration for you?

A: Building on two solo pieces, “While the Babies are Sleeping” will be an examination in solo and duet, of the solitude, surrender, and strength women experience while in the mist of early parenthood. After becoming a parent of two children in less than two years I am sometimes struck by the profound sense of isolation from one’s own body and thoughts. It is about that moment of freedom, when the children are finally asleep that the woman can extract herself, perhaps for only a moment, from the boundaries of motherhood. That moment of liberty can often be powerful and aggressive, visceral and awkward as the “old self” attempts to reclaim some part of you that has been hopelessly lose to the exquisitely, beautiful, uncertainty of life unfolding.

The creation of this piece was a new exploration for me. I wanted to work using improve as the impetus for new material. I wanted to work with more organic, nameless movement in an attempt to find new vocabulary and to breakout of old choreographic habits. My movement has always been very dance-y, but  also very staccato, movement interrupted. I wanted to enrich the dance with more flow and extension while still holding on to the gestural tension. I am trying to challenge myself as a choreographer and artist by attempting to get closer to the bone, giving myself the time and opportunity to express this new body that has gone through pregnancy and is no longer an active performer. I spent a lot of time studying the technique of dance and would like to now marry that knowledge with the fearless naiveté of my early work at UCSD.


Q: What do you want your audience to know coming into the performance?

A: I want the audience to know that I am really excited about participating in this event and feel very honored that I was chosen to present with such an esteemed group of choreographers. I haven’t made work in about three years so for me this show is really about re-introducing myself to the San Diego community and building a relationship with the other dancers and choreographers performing in the show. I am grateful that in these economic times someone still believes that choreographers and dancers need to have a voice.

Thanks for your time Randé!  We are so excited to see your piece!  Check out Randé’s dance portfolio, to get an amazing idea of her work.

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