DDP Talks to Robert Curran
Artistic Director of Louisville Ballet
What is your concept of the role of Resident Choreographer?
I believe that a resident choreographer has the opportunity to get to know a company, both in the sense of the dancers AND the organizational/community culture, which allows for a deeper exploration of subject matter, a level of comfort in risk taking, and a vocabulary development, that isn’t as easy to achieve in a one-off creative process. Also, there is a greater opportunity for reflection on what has been achieved over the years and that brings great insight for a choreographer.
Beyond the benefits to the actual art, working with a resident choreographer like Andrea Schermoly influences and secures the future of the art form. A deeper connection to the artists and the audiences, through the art, connects to the Now and dreams for the future. The constant renewing of energy and vocabulary and content that comes with investments like resident choreographers will keep dance relevant, and inspirational, and irreplaceable.
Robert, Andrea is Louisville Ballet’s third RC and first woman, so congratulations..how did you two meet, how did you get to know her work?
Andrea and I ‘met’ for the first time through social media (actually with a funny autocorrect mishap!) which is where I first became aware of her work. I was instantly attracted to her movement vocabulary, and was so impressed with the variety of companies and creatives she had worked with as a dancer. In general, I am very much interested in finding choreographers who have a unique perspective, and the drive to create, but have not yet had the chance to develop as creatives. I am interested in investing in the dancemakers of the future, hence my connecting with Andrea all those years ago.
What are the most important qualities for a Resident Choreographer?
Bravery – because the opportunity to be a resident gives you the freedom to be.
Honesty – because this brings authenticity to the work, which is what 21st century audiences demand.
Tenacity – because so many creative darlings need to be sacrificed to arrive at the ‘real deal’, and that takes serious commitment and strength.
Does Andrea do any community work? Teach in the school? Interact with the young students, talk in high schools?
Andrea does work with the School. She teaches in our Summer Intensive, she choreographs on our Youth Ensemble (L3-6 of the Pre-professional Program), and she teaches classes for the School, Studio Company, and Company. Andrea has been very influential on the number of young female dancers that step up to try choreography, in our School and Company.
Any final thoughts?
DDP is doing such a great job keeping our industry aware of the facts around gender equity in the art form. I am glad to be held accountable. All the resources that DDP offers to our industry are also fabulous and appreciated!
I am also simply grateful for the way DDP is lifting up Louisville Ballet as an example of a Company that is doing good work in celebrating female creatives in the industry.