For this week’s dancer blog, we introduce two newcomers! While Cara Steen has been dancing around San Diego for quite some time, Ariana Siegel just moved here from Boston. For both, this first Trolley Dances experience has already proven to be special!
What inspired you to audition for TD this year?
Cara: I have enjoyed being an audience member and this year, I decided I wanted to be on the other side of the scene. I heard that Blythe Barton was one of the choreographers this year and I really wanted to see how she took on the challenge of creating site-specific work. I have been in Blythe Barton Dance for 4 years and we have performed in many theaters but have never taken it to the streets, here we go!
Ariana: As a new resident of San Diego, I’ve heard lots about Trolley Dances. I was excited to participate either as a dancer or as an audience member.
Have you gone to TD before as an audience member?
Cara: Yes, what a fun event! How clever to have your audience members travel on public transportation from site to site. It encourages people to interact with each other as well as with the environment. It shows you that the possibilities are endless with what can be done in any space.
Ariana: Not yet! This is my very first Trolley Dances!
What has your experience been like so far?
Cara: The audition was a blast! The room was full of high energy, eager and excited dancers. I specifically remember the hip-hop section and how it brought a lot of classical modern dancers out of their comfort zone. People were just going for it, and it kind of rocked.
Ariana: Our piece feels like a trio: there are two dancers plus a wall. The wall is a surprisingly fun and challenging partner. We are investigating spatial patterns and puzzles inspired by the wall’s constraints. In a way, we are working with two different grounds – the usual one beneath our feet and this new perpendicular one!
What has been unique about the Trolley Dances experience so far compared to other experiences a dancer?
Cara: We are dancing outside in tennis shoes, running and crawling on stairs, and climbing on railings! Blythe is so much fun to work with and you can really tell that she is fully embracing this opportunity and enjoying the creative process.
Ariana: Each Trolley Dance is intimately tied to a specific location. The stage and set are unlike those in traditional performance venues. In our piece, we perform outdoors on concrete. There are no wings. Our lighting designer is the sun: the shadows change throughout the day, so each performance will be unique.
What do you hope to gain or experience through participating in Trolley Dances?
Cara: I want to bond with everyone in my group. It is such a great group of people and I am looking forward to sharing lots of good times together. The performing is so much fun, but the behind the scenes is where the real magic happens.
Ariana: I hope to enjoy the feeling of moving through this special space!
What advice would you give audience members?
Cara: Strap on your walking shoes, wear sunscreen, bring a water and an open mind and most importantly, have fun!!!
Ariana: How does viewing dance in a new context allow you to see the city differently? How does touring the city by trolley facilitate the way you see the dances and dancers?
Buy your Trolley Dances tickets and join in on this one of a kind experience with new and veteran Trolley Dancers on September 27 & 28, October 5 & 6
Photos (Top to Bottom)
**Ariana Siegel by Quinn Batson
**Cara Steen @ Young Choreographers Showcase and Prize, choreography by Rebecca Wilson, photo by Manny Rotenberg
**Ariana Siegel in Trolley Dances rehearsal
**Cara Steen in Blythe Barton Dance, photo by Sue Brenner