We are only a little over a month away from from ‘The Young Choreographer’s Showcase’ performance and things are getting exciting! Every day we see different finalists working in our studios, and we continue to gather these fabulous interviews to share with our audiences! Today’s interview features our second collaborative group that submitted to the showcase: Gina and Kyle Sorensen. This couple participated in the performance last year, and won the runner-up title. We know what they contribute this year will be just as fantastic! Here is what they had to say in response to our interview questions:
-Tell us a little bit about your history in Dance.
I come from a long line of art-makers. Raised by a choreographer and a choral director, I was surrounded by music and dance starting at a young age. Though I danced throughout my youth, it wasn’t until my senior year at UCLA that I decided to pursue dance seriously. I danced professionally in New York and San Francisco before going back to school for a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dance at the University of Oregon. I have been the recipient of two grants to study the classical Indian dance form Bharatanatyam in India, and have published original research in the Journal of Dance Education. Since moving back home to San Diego, I have taught dance and related subjects at the Coronado School for the Arts, the Chula Vista School for Creative and Performing Arts, UCSD, SDSU, and APA Studios.
I started dancing when I was 13 when I joined two of my passions at the time, athletics and percussion. I have trained with artists including Wade Robson, Mandy Moore, Bebe Miller, K.J. Holmes and members from the Batsheva Company, and have studied the work of Pina Bausch and Tere O’Connor among others in my graduate work in Dance Theatre at UCSD. My physical training and conceptual research on these artists have informed the way that I create and structure dances.
As a duo, our diverse experiences often coalesce into a truly unique movement vocabulary. Our company, somebodies dance theater, has had the tremendous pleasure of presenting work in California, New York, Texas, Washington, Oregon, North Carolina, and Mexico, and making three dance films, the latest of which was shot in Barcelona, Spain. Dynamic and experimental, we ricochet from the big, sweeping body to the quirky, pedestrian gesture, and from serious inquiry to outright humor.
-In 100 words or less, why do you believe your work should win this competition?
This program promises to present choreographers who are taking evocative risks in their work, and we feel honored to have been selected to participate! We have no doubt that this will be a tough choice for voters. We are simply excited to show San Diego audiences the new direction that our work is taking. In the event that we win, we will use the money to pay collaborators for future works. These are dancers and artists who are invested in continuing to evolve San Diego’s dance scene and deserve a fee that adequately illustrates the value of their art.
-What are the themes involved in your piece? Is this a new exploration for you?
Our new work, “left Field,” is a giant intersection of ideas. In the duet, text mingles with movement, and the line between factual and fictional storytelling is blurred. Lately, we’ve been interested in Umberto Eco’s notions of “opera aperta”, or open work. Instead of “illustrating” a simplified or singular narrative, we are working to evoke multiple experiences in the bodies, hearts, and imaginations of the audience. We imagine that this work will be a part of a larger piece that we’ve been developing in collaboration with violinist Kristopher Apple.
-What do you want your audience to know coming into the performance?
We encourage you to release the need to “figure it out” from a logical point of view. Rather, we encourage you to “feel it out” intuitively. Allow your perceptions, sensations, and imagination to play an active role in how the work affects you. Whatever you imagine, or perceive, or believe is happening onstage, we want you to take ownership of your thoughts and interpretations.
Big thanks to both of you for your wonderful responses. We can’t see your work! Get your tickets to the showcase today so you can support Gina, Kyle, and all of your favorite choreographers!