You are an experienced performer, how do you keep challenging yourself? How do you make each performance new?
I always want to work with new and younger choreographers. And I keep wanting to try new styles. I’m still very curious, physically. I’m more interested in doing than watching dance. It’s the possibility of trying out the new in dance that keeps me going.
You’ve danced and performed works by legends of dance and theatre — Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ballet X, Michael Clark Company, and Paris Opera's Incidence Choreographique to name a few.
Icons such as Judith Jameson, Mauro Bigonzetti, Robert Battle, Franco Dragone, Twyla Tharp, Michael Clarke, Matthew Neenan, Alvin Ailey, Ulysses Dove, Maurice Bejart, Alonso King, Karole Armitage, Rennie Harris, and Gregory Dolbashian. Some of the work was passed on, some created with the original source, and others created on you. What can you tell us about effective mentoring?
I learned there was always a common denominator. There has to be a passion. Who ever has become a coach has to be so passionate about sharing their knowledge and removing themselves from the equation. It’s all about giving. It’s not so much what your going to keep for yourself for your memoir thirty years from now. It’s about how fast you can spread this wisdom and experience you've had. That's generous coaching. Generous artists train generous dancers that will become generous coaches. I think there are too many frustrated people out there. You have to be responsible with what you say to young dancers and how you communicate. It’s bigger than you. This idea will remain present through the rest of my career.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Yeah I do. I’m a kid of my generation. I love pop culture, TV. I’m addicted to anything visual that I can taste with my eyes. IG is my go to.
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At what point did Film making start to play a role in your career ?
From the beginning really. I discovered dance through film, musicals, music videos. There’s always been a lens in my eyes somewhere watching dance, filming dance. Also, in your relationship with the mirror. It always translated very easy into film, because in dance your constantly forced to watch yourself. When I was younger I was curious to see myself dance more, because in the 80’s we didn’t have a cell phone with a camera. I didn’t have opportunities to watch myself dance that often. I always thought, if I could only watch myself in class more, I would be able to correct myself even faster. I always felt like I wasn’t getting enough correction, and I wanted to do the coaching myself as well. So, these images have always been a part of dancing and this aspect of art.
What is the most unexpected thing you've experienced choreographing ?
That other dancers end up enjoy dancing my work. I've always seen it aesthetically interesting from the outside, but it takes a while to warm up to it and find yourself in it. But I was happily surprised to hear that other dancers say that they actually fall into my movement, and after a while it just starts to feel right. I was happy to hear that.
At what point did Fashion start to play a role in your career ?
As soon as I realized that my mom was dressing up. As soon as I realized there was a code and a language out there. I loved the costuming of it. The extravagance of it, the glamour of it. I’m a kid from the 80’s in Paris, so Jean-Paul Goude commercials and Yves Saint Laurent; very strong visual directors that have very bold identities. So, I remember fashion was like using words in a poem. Visually you have to use fashion, it conveys the message.
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