Phew: He’s got a lot going on! An interview with Josh Beamish, Artistic director of MOVE: the company

Allemande

A DanceWorks CoWorks Series Event

MOVE: the company

Sun. Apr 17 – Tues. Apr 19, 2011 at 8pm at the Winchester Street Theatre, 80 Winchester Street

Tickets: 416 204 1082

Interview by Lucy Rupert

Lucy Rupert: Your choreographers are primarily from the ballet world: can you tell me what each creator uniquely brings to the choreography?

Josh Beamish: I’ve always loved ballet, as my mother is a ballet teacher. I’ve chosen each of these choreographers for their unique perspectives and innovative movement. Simone Orlando’s piece is accessible, poignant and humorous; Lara Barclay’s quietly breaks your heart; Matjash Mrozewski and I both tackle classical music, and while I’ve noticed that we share some common choreographic interests, the structure of our pieces could not be more different.

LR: I remember the last show you brought to Toronto and how I felt that it was strongly informed by social dance. Now Allemande, your piece, deconstructs Baroque social dance — is this a conscious influence in your work?

JB: I think it’s more a matter of coincidence; however, my first ballet commission was informed by tango, so I guess it does seem to be an ongoing theme. I think it would be more accurate to say that my work is informed by many dance genres. In each of my pieces you will likely notice elements of my ballet, modern, hip hop, folk, social and commercial dance training.

LR: I also remember you as a powerful dancer, will you be performing in any of the works coming to Toronto?

JB: I will be dancing in my new creation Allemande and will also reprise my original role in Simone Orlando’s Studies of Cash. This piece was made for an EDAM project with members of Ballet BC and myself. Four years later I’ve brought the work into my company’s repertoire and have enjoyed seeing it transformed by new bodies and personalities.

LR: What themes or ideas inspire you most as a choreographer?

JB: I’m definitely most inspired by music or by a particular musician. Music provides me with a window into my personal creative perspective. It informs my phrasing, which in turn informs the conceptual development and structure of my work. The absence of music does much the same.

LR: What are you doing next?

My next creation for MOVE: the company is entitled Atonement. I began early research for this piece at the New York Choreographic Institute on twenty-one students from the School of American Ballet. Atonement has since been commissioned by the Bangkok International Festival for Dance and Music and will premiere in October 2011. My company will expand to twenty-nine dancers for our fall season as we tour this piece throughout Asia and BC. Also on the programme are new versions of works I originally created for Ballet Kelowna and the University of Missouri.

This interview has been edited for length and content.

Buy tickets: 416 204 1082


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