15 days and counting until the San Diego Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize kicks off! Our YCP interview today is with finalist Blythe Barton- one of our very own company dancers! She’s a choreographer/dancer extraordinaire as well as an all around superwoman! She has shared a little bit about herself for us today…
Tell us a little bit about your history in Dance:
I have been a mover as long as I can remember. Growing up in Juneau, Alaska, I started as a gymnast in elementary school and switched to ballet in middle school. My first semester in college (at Chapman University in Orange County) I fell in love with Modern Dance. Right away I began experimenting with choreography. My first piece was called “Intersection” and I explored the basic idea of lines coming together and crossing to find a new path through space. 13 years later I am still hooked and still discovering new ways of moving bodies.
Following a MFA in Dance from Florida State, I moved to San Diego to make my mark as a dance creator. I feel extremely fortunate to have the performance and training opportunities that I do, dancing with Jean Isaacs, John Malashock, Michael Mizerany and others in the this area has provided me with such a wealth of performance exploration and the chance to get to know the San Diego community of dancers.
Why do you believe your work should win this competition?
I love creating dances and I hope that my work resonates with the audience. Recently, I have been able to present work several times in the San Diego area with at the Vine with Mojalet’s Summer Dance Series and my first male duet in Hot Guys Dancing at(Diversionary Theater. After working in these smaller spaces, I am so excited to present on the big stage at Saville Theatre.
I have earned the nickname “Big Moves Blythe” because of my large expansive style of movement and my passion for pushing my dancers, taller, wider, faster and longer. I hope that the audience will feel this energy and appreciate the effort and flow of the dancers.
As a start-up choreographer, it is hard to find the funds to feed your art. With the prize money, I would be able to pay my dancers for all of their hard work and dedication to this dance and continue my quest for making and presenting new works.
What are the themes involved in your piece? Is this a new exploration for you?
I was extremely inspired by the music for this dance. Bach was such a complex composer that to meet his match on the stage with dancers is a huge challenge. I love the classicism of his music and am attempting to add a hint of ‘edge.’
I was also drawn to explore the word “mettle.” Mettle in the literal sense: “the stuff of which a person is made”. How can I portray this for the audience, all that is emotionally and structurally on the inside of a person? Another version of this word: the phrase “on your mettle” which means to do something as well as you can in a difficult situation. In this competition, choreographers are asked to push themselves and their dancers to the best of their ability. I hope to discover new patterns and sequences of movement and to draw the best of this exploration from my dancers. I want to put ‘Big Moves’ on a ‘Big Stage’ to ‘Big Bach.’
Sounds pretty exciting Blythe, thanks for sharing!See Blythe Barton’s Big Moves along with ten other spectacular new works on February 23rd! Do ou have your tickets yet? http://www.sandiegodancetheater.org/ChoreographersPrize2013B.html