The Problem With the Informal Referral System for New Choreographers – Men “Asking Around” = More Men Are Hired
TulsaPeople: Remember our song
By Anna Bennett
“It’s 1940, and you just took a boy home.”
In reality, it’s 2018, an early afternoon in a Tulsa Ballet studio. Choreographer Andy Blankenbuehler is probing for the meaning behind a moment of movement that’s not quite working.
“Who should make the move? Who has the power?” Blankenbuehler asks Daniel Van De Laar and Maine Kawashima, the Tulsa ballet dancers cast in this duet.
The dancers look at each other, unsure of the right answer. But Blankenbuehler doesn’t have the answer either — it’s something they’ll all have to figure out together, from the top, once more.
Everyone resets to the beginning of the phrase, does it again, shifting the emphasis, pausing a little longer on this moment or that. The second cast for the duet, Minori Sakita and Jonathan Ramirez, shadows the action.
For Blankenbuehler, creation is a conversation, one that takes place over hours and days in the studio with the dancers, and continues even after he has left. At that point, his assistant, Cindy Salgado, stays to continue working and polishing the piece while he jets off to his next commitment (in this instance, off to London to choreograph the upcoming film adaptation of the classic musical “Cats”). But the Tony award-winning choreographer, whose credits include “In The Heights,” “Bandstand” and a little show called “Hamilton,” has never choreographed for a ballet company before.
Read the full article in TulsaPeople.
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