Trolley Dances 2012 Choreographer’s Corner: Greg Sample

For this installment of Choreographer’s Corner, we are pleased to share an interview with the one and only Greg Sample!  Greg is a renowned choreographer, dance teacher, dance juror and performer.  Dancing for about as long as he could walk, Sample was born in Louisville, Ky., where he graduated from the Youth Performing Arts School and earned his BFA in Contemporary Dance from the North Carolina School of the Arts.   He has been a featured dancer in companies  such as Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, and has performed alongside Celine Dion in A New Day and Criss Angel in Believe. I has also been a solo dance artist for Phantom and Cirque du Soleil’s Viva Elvis.  Among other accomplishments, in 2006 and 2007, Mr. Sample was honored with the Grand Prize Award and the Paid Engagement Award in the McCallum Theater’s Dance Under the Stars choreographic competition.
We are anxiously awaiting the unveiling of his Trolley Dances work which he set on the beautiful dancers of San Diego Dance Theater!  Read on to gain some insight into Greg’s Trolley process and come check out his gorgeous work at Trolley Dances 2012!  For ticket and performance information visit: sandiegodancetheater.org.
Q: What excites you as a choreographer about working on Trolley Dances?
Specifically, working with this particular group of professionals. I’ve admired most of them from a distance, and to set movement upon them now has been more than rewarding. 
Q: What is exciting about site-specific choreography to you?
I’m extremely familiar with works on the stage, so this was a completely new experience for me. On my site, there are two large circles (a fountain and a fire pit) that served as my initial inspiration. My choreography also “lends” itself to those circles, as it is often rounded, flowy and transitionally continuous. Having the use of the fountain was especially inspirational, and a catalyst for my thematic choices.
ImageQ: What is challenging about this work? For you? For the dancers?
My greatest challenge was remembering sunscreen!  To be honest, this particular process with this particular group remained organic. They were receptive, collaborative and great about applying that which I was asking. 
Q: What themes are you exploring while creating your new piece?
The general concept found itself more solid when fabric and water starting taking a greater role. Also, I explored 5 different aspects of relationships on 5 separate couples. Watching how those mini-themes grew was exciting too.
Q: What would you like audiences to know about your piece coming into Trolley Dances?
That I am grateful for their interest!
Q:Where do you find your inspiration for new work?
Normally, music dictates my movement, but this time, the actual site had a lot to do with my inspiration.
Q: What is your favorite part of the choreographic process? I love being in the movement creation process! Having the ability to explore new ideas and seeing them unfold thrills me, as I visualize a finished product through the moments of infantry.

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September 29 & 30 and October 6 & 7
2 hour tours leave every hour from 10 am –3 pm.
6 Tours Daily – On the hour: 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, 3
Starts at Grossmont Transit Center, La Mesa
Tickets are available at: sandiegodancetheater.org/trolleydances2012.html

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