Monday, October 25, 2010
Karole Armitage is an American dancer and Tony-nominated choreographer. Dubbed the "punk ballerina" in the 1980s, Karole spoke about her innovative vision and past collaborations with the New Vic Council (edited with permission). Members of the New Vic Council are ambassadors for The New Victory Theater, working to broaden the public’s awareness of the importance of arts education and championing the New Victory Theater Education Program and the New Vic/New 42 Youth Corps.
On Dance Connecting with People
I read an article, front page of The New York Times, about this discovery of mirror neurons, which are the way we look at other people and we read them; are they a threat, are they sad, are they happy, how do I interact with this person? So this is what we [as dancers] are trained to do. I’m sure back when we were hunting buffalo or bison or even mammoths we were attuned to all of that because we had to know who was the enemy and who was not, so we were very empathetic because we were reading people.
I think that dance really works with that tool, we as an audience look at somebody and we go inside their mind and experience. It’s this very archaic, primitive, but very profound way of communicating that I think will be here forever and perhaps will be even more and more precious in a world that’s more and more technological and where we are lonelier and separated from each other. I believe that now is a great time for dance to have resurgence.
There are 28 people doing different things, but they all have a common denominator, a common idea and they’re all doing their own interpretation. I’ve been doing that in dance with my company for ten years or something and no one in the dance community has ever seemed to notice it! Who’s written about it in The New York Times? Ben Brantley instantly got it and described it perfectly - that this was a principle that was really innovative and interesting. It took a Broadway show to have my most radical concept recognized.
Posted by Katie at 9:11 AM