Andrea Gise & Dancers
I wanted to begin this article with some sort of inspiring quote or notion about the relationship between hard work and success; however, I truly think after reading about the many accomplishments Andrea Gise & Dancers have achieved, the ties are quite obvious; success cannot be handed to you. This week I had the pleasure of interviewing the owner and creator of Andrea Gise & Dancers, Andrea Gise.
Getting her start at Carver Center for the Arts and Technology in Baltimore was only the beginning. After graduating from Carver, Andrea attended Marymount Manhattan College and earned a BFA in Dance with a concentration in Choreography. The change in location had me curious about the difference between the dance scenes in Baltimore and dance scenes in New York City.
"Here is the big problem that exists for dance right now, as I relate Baltimore back to NY. There is a music scene in almost every small city and large town across America. You can take lessons, perform, see others perform, and get written about. The same unfortunately is not true of the dance scene (let alone the modern dance scene). I'm here in New York out of necessity, just to be around those things. Although modern dance does happen in Baltimore, Philly, and D.C, it's not nearly as available or frequent as it is New York."
As this interview continued, I realized that all of this information was new to me. I along with many other people are not aware of the behind the scenes aspect of what it takes to own and run a dance company. I am grateful to shed some light and expose this type of art, especially a company with fresh yet distinct characteristics of it's kind.
"One of people's favorite questions is "What comes first, the music or the dance?" I often collaborate with amazing musicians, and so people are surprised to hear that I make the dance in silence and then layer in the music afterwards. It's a personal choice that I don't see many other choreographers making, and it's in attempt to give the dance it's own set of unique rhythms, dictated by the body, and not the beat of the music. In this way, when the music and dance finally meet, it truly is a merger of equals, in which each element can hold it's own. I think the texture, timing, and rhythm is richer for having worked this way."
Currently, Andrea is working on a collaboration with Justin Levy of Baltimore's Eureka Birds. The new piece includes six dancers and clocks in at just about 18 minutes long. "We have been going back and forth trading dance and music clips along the way. A few years ago, I may not have worked over the internet with a musician in another state, but it is now so easy to stay connected in real time, it's truly been a seamless collaboration. The dancer who the work is for, is shortly relocating to Berlin. It is our hope that she will be an ambassador for our work and perform it in Germany."
The future is looking extremely bright for Andrea Gise & Dancers. Expect big things to come from them. A huge thank you to Andrea Gise for taking the time out of her busy schedule to set up this interview.