1. able to adapt or be adapted to many different functions or activities
2. having or capable of many uses
We hear this word a lot in today’s dance world. Versatility. The hottest commodity around. Dancers are expected to have the ballet technique of a “trina”, the grounded sensibility of a classic modern dancer, and the creative spark for improv… oh, and don’t forget to “show yourself”! These standards are especially true when working in a repertory company.
Of course you need the physical understanding of each genre, but more than anything, I find it is the mindset that needs to be a master of focus and transitions. For instance, we recently finished an artistically abstract process with Mike Esperanza, during which we had to go back and forth between Esperanza and Bradley Shelver’s new work, “Le Monde”. If any of you know these two choreographers you would understand this struggle; they could not be any more different.
For Mike, we were asked to be cool, calm, and grounded. Bradley on the other hand asked for PANIC! A dancer’s mindset is crucial in making this switch capable. It is not easy, and it is definitely not for everyone, but throughout all of it we have gained so much knowledge and so many tools to enhance our artistry.
It truly is quite exciting that we get the opportunity to work with all these different people. It is an amazing time in our lives and we get to spend it at one of the most important centers for dance in New York City, Steps on Broadway.
My experience thus far in the Steps Repertory Ensemble has been just what I have needed. I love being able to tackle all different genres of dance. Having the environment to make my own artistic choices and see what works and what doesn’t — it is a luxury that I do not take lightly.
Every season is a new experience for all of us and although it is my first season with the Ensemble, I have already grown to see them as my family. We are a small group that continues to push each other everyday. As we look forward to performing our New York Season April 30-May 2 at Ailey, The Steps Repertory Ensemble has many new pieces to learn and shows to perform. We hope to see you all there!
-Allie Mae Gee
Photo: Paul B. Goode
For information on our upcoming performances click here