Category: ballet

Interview: Imogen

Today we’re joined by Imogen. Imogen is a phenomenal performance artist from New Zealand. She does a bit of everything: acting, singing, dancing, and was even in orchestra for a bit. When she’s not performing, Imogen loves to write. She’s currently writing a novel and recently, a play that she wrote and directed was performed. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated artist who loves to create, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I suppose
that my art is in storytelling, or presenting. I am a performer, in all areas.
I did ballet for 12 years, did singing, was involved with the school choirs and
orchestra and I am currently writing a novel.

I act
whenever possible, and often say that ‘I am most myself when I am on the stage,
pretending to be someone else.’

Recently I
wrote and directed an original play called “Evil Con!” It was fun play about a
bunch of villains hanging out, and a henchman (Bob) who ruined their time.

What inspires you?

Death.  Both the character (mainly the Discworld
version) for his … belief in humanity for lack of a better description, and the
act itself. We are all going to die eventually, and this life is all we have,
so we should try and make it to our deaths alive.

It sounds
contradictory, but that is what inspires me. The fact that we will one day die
inspires me to live, and to do what I love – Reading, Writing, Shopping, Dancing,
Singing, Acting.

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?


Everything I suppose.

I’ve always
loved performing, and when I started dancing; I fell in love with the
discipline it requires and the freedom and emotions it allows you to express.
The same with writing. You have to be disciplined to keep writing, and writing
allows you to explore and understand everything that there could possibly be.

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

I’m not
sure if anything I do is unique or special, but I suppose that there are
constants of my works. My writing is very character driven with simple
plot-lines. My movements are infused naturally with the twelve years of ballet,
I find it very challenging to NOT have perfect posture.

I also like
to use and mock clichés. A friend once said “Clichés are cliché for a reason;
it’s because they work.” She was right. I like using clichés because they do
work, but I also like to mock clichés … because they are cliché. It makes for
an interesting balance within my work.

I don’t
want to mock too much to make my art into a parody, but nor do I wish o be too
serious in my use of clichés as that could take away from the worlds I’m trying
to create.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

The same
advice that any artist gives. “Don’t give up” and “Create the Art you want”.
Write the stories that you want to read, draw the images you want to look at,
make the music that you want to hear, produce the shows that you want to see.
And whatever else you do; don’t give up. This is the advice given by any
successful artist, and it is true.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Greysexual.
I think of it as – on a scale of 1-10 (0 being absolutely Asexual and also
Sex-Repulsed, and 11 being Nymphomaniac/Sex Addict) I am a 2; occasionally a 3.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I am quite
lucky in that I haven’t personally had ace prejudice directed towards me. I
actually believe that everyone should be involved with community theatre at
some point in their lives; yes, there are a couple of divas, but most people
are really awesome, open-minded and accepting of everyone else. It’s definitely
a place where you can be free to be yourself.

I have felt
prejudice in life though.

Whenever I
see those arguments online about “Girls do actually only wear make-up and
form-fitting clothes because they do actually want attention – even if it’s
only subconsciously.”

Those
arguments are completely frustrating. They infuriate me – not just as a girl
who likes to wear makeup, but also as someone on the ace spectrum. It
completely disregards the fact that some of us have no interest in finding a
‘sexual partner’ but like to look nice – I don’t wear makeup and formfitting
clothes because I’m “trying to find a mate”, but because I’m Vain, and I like
looking at myself in the mirror! I don’t need to be interested in sex to be
pretty.

I usually
deal with it by trying to ignore it, and by remembering that there are
intelligent people in the world who don’t share the above opinion.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Possibly
the whole ‘just need the right person’ thing.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

The same
advice I’ve seen on these awesome interviews. That you’re not alone and that
you are definitely not broken. You are you, and as long as you are okay with
that, then that is the only thing you need to be.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

Unless in
NZ people probably won’t be able to find my work, but I do have a couple of
fanfictions written under the name ‘Aslansphoenix’.

Although if
you give me a couple of years and hopefully my novel will get published and
enjoyed.

Thank you, Imogen, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Freya Murphy

Today we’re joined by Freya Murphy. Freya is a phenomenal dancer from England who does ballet with a bit of contemporary thrown in. She has been dancing ballet for fifteen years. When she’s not dancing, Freya enjoys doing visual art and has worked in a wide variety of mediums. She mainly does charcoal drawings, oil paints, sewing, and ink painting but has also recently gotten into nail art. It’s clear she’s an extraordinarily passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is
mainly twofold: dance and the more traditional art of creating physical
pieces.  When it comes to dance, I’m
mainly a ballerina with a little bit of contemporary added in here and
there.  My physical art is a mixture of
all sorts – charcoal drawings from Life Class, clay sculptures, ink paintings,
and some sewing.  My main and most favourite
medium however is oil paint.  Oh, and I
love doing my nails – I’ve done the ace flag on my nails several times whenever
I’m attending LGBTQ+ events.

What inspires you?

Mainly my
problems or difficulties in life haha.  I
find it so much easier to create based upon my own personal experiences, as I
find it more interesting and like it’s my own.
So far, I’ve done projects on insecurities (more as a concept than any
one specific insecurity), my eczema, my less than usual sleeping position (and
my lack of sleep), and my bad eyesight.
Seeing all of the amazing art that other artists have created and seeing
what new and exciting directions that they have managed to push their art,
certainly inspires me to try ideas even if I’m not certain of the results.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

When it
comes to ballet, I’ve been doing it for just over 15 years, since I was three
years old.  Over time, I’ve come to
realise that it helps me with my social anxiety – I can perform in front of
anywhere from 3 people to 400, and I only get the normal nerves, rather than
the crippling anxiety I would normally get doing anything in front of any
number of people.  I also just love the
beauty of ballet, and the free feeling I get when dancing.  It has become such an intrinsic part of me.

For my
physical art, I have taken it throughout school, all the way to A-level.  It was only at GCSE that I realised I had such
a love for it, as that was when we were given so much more freedom to do what
we wanted and make it very personal.
However, looking back, I’ve always been creative in some way, and I have
a very vivid imagination – often too vivid!
I’ve also loved museums for as long as I can remember, always needing to
visit at least one museum whenever I
went to a new place.  In the past four
years or so this has expanded to include art museums and galleries as well.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature,
symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not so far,
as I’ve just started to explore all the many possibilities of art that are out
there, when you’re not restricted by trying to get the most marks in the exam!  I’m excited to find out where it goes next.

What advice would you give young aspiring
artists?

Experiment!
Try things out! Art is one of those special places where you can try whatever
you want, just to see what happens! Also, write down any ideas you have, or
anything you find interesting.  In school
we were given ‘visual diaries’ to write down anything relating to our art.  I have found it massively helpful, sometimes
to just visualise your ideas, or sometimes to come back to when you’re
struggling for an idea, or just to be nostalgic. I write everything in it, from
the numbers of photos I want to print out, to artists I want to research or
just like, to sketches of final pieces or about what materials or techniques
did or didn’t work.  When your brain is
always going 1000mph like mine and many others’ are, it helps to have something
written down that you can physically flip back to, so that you don’t have to
stress about forgetting it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a
biromantic asexual.  I’ve identified as
asexual for the past three or four years, but only just discovered about myself
that I was biromantic in the past two or three months, so that part of me still
feels very new to say and acknowledge.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice
or ignorance in your field?  If so, how
do you handle it?

I’ve never
experienced any when it comes to my art, thankfully, but then again, my work
has never involved my asexuality – maybe that could be what my next project is
about…

In my
personal life I’ve experienced more ignorance than prejudice.  Most people tend to be accepting once they
understand it, but it takes some people a while to wrap their heads around the
idea for some strange reason.  Luckily
close friends who don’t understand it have been accepting straight away, even
when confused!  And I encourage them to
not be afraid to ask me questions about it, as I always love to help people in
any way – and I’d rather they asked me, than sat there confused and accidentally
said something rude or ignorant to someone else.

What’s the most common misconception about
asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That we
don’t want romance, or that a romantic relationship with me would be ‘boring’
(direct quote from a close friend).  Not
all asexual people are aromantic, just as not all aromantic people are
asexual.  Actually, a lot of people don’t
realise that your romantic and sexual orientation can be different, and not
just amongst aro/aces.  I should hope
that a relationship with me isn’t boring (my boyfriend seems perfectly happy!),
or if it is, then it’s due to my personality or something, and not my
asexuality.  

What advice would you give to any asexual
individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

I’m still
relatively new to discovering my asexuality, so I don’t have any major advice,
but probably never let anybody tell you who you are, or that who you are is
wrong.  Only you truly know who you are, better than anybody else, even if you’re
still figuring it out.  They can help you
on your journey by providing advice and support, but at the end of the day it’s
yourself that you’re figuring
out.  Oh, and don’t be afraid to try out
different labels to work out which one fits you best – AND you don’t have to
end up with any labels at all, if that’s what feels right to you! I went
through a period of about half a year where I tried out different labels
internally to figure what felt right, from homosexual to bisexual to demi
sexual, to homoromantic to heteroromantic before I finally settled on
biromantic asexual, and that might even change in 10 years’ time once I get to
know myself even better than I do now!  It’s also fine if it takes you time to figure
out who you are, as it can be a complex thing – we are all complicated simply
by being human!

Finally, where can people find out more about
your work?

Well I’ve
just set up a new Tumblr blog for my art and ace things (along with newbie
witch things and the occasional jacksepticeye reblog) where I’m going to start
posting my art in the next week or so. It’s called freya-the-ace-artist.

My art
account on Instagram is also very very new, but it’s called freyas_ace_art.

You’re
welcome to have a look, it would be greatly appreciated

Thank you, Freya, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Phoebe

Today we’re joined by Phoebe. Phoebe is a phenomenal dancer who both dances and choreographs. She has danced regularly throughout school and with companies, but lately has mostly been dancing for herself. Phoebe has also recently taken up cooking and baking. She cooks both for baking and presentation. It’s clear she’s an incredibly passionate artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am a dancer and choreographer, mostly just for myself
these days, but in the past I have choreographed and performed with college
dance clubs and teams, and companies affiliated with my dance studios before
that. I’m not amazing, but I don’t think I’m terrible, either. When I’m not
dancing, I love cooking and baking, both in terms of flavorful and
presentational aspects.

What inspires you?

Is it cliché to say that music inspires me most of the time?
I have what I affectionately call a “bad habit” of dancing to just about
anything, especially if it’s something I hear often, including but not limited
to TV show and podcast theme songs. If you pull up next to me at a stoplight,
there is a 90% chance I’ll be choreographing to the radio. I love getting
hooked in by a beat or a lyric and seeing what my body comes up with, or how I
can express a feeling evoked by a song.

I am also constantly inspired by other dancers, both my
friends and on YouTube, though I avoid watching any one video repeatedly when
choreographing in an effort to avoid plagiarism. I am also inspired by figure
skaters, especially since I took skating lessons myself for several years.

Alternatively, sometimes it helps me to start with an
overarching theme and go from there. To give an example, my senior year of
college my dance composition class put on a concert where the theme was The
Four Seasons, and I was in charge of Autumn, so I was inspired by images of
falling leaves, harvest, the idea of transition and change, folksy-sounding
instrumentals, and a general Halloween-y spookiness.

What got you
interested in your field?  Have you
always wanted to be an artist?

My parents put me in dance classes when I was three, because
I would dance all over the house. To the best of my knowledge, I started
choreographing when I was around eight, and since then I’ve always loved
putting a dance together and seeing it come to life onstage. For a long time I
wanted to be a professional dancer, until it became clear for multiple reasons
why that wasn’t going to work out.

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

If it’s a solo, there’s a 90% chance I will either: a)
forget my own choreography and have to make something up on the spot, or b)
realize about 2/3 of the way through that I made this too hard on myself and I
have reached the limit of my endurance, but must power through anyway.

On a more serious note, I think that I tend towards big,
more dramatic movements in my choreography. I also like incorporating visually
interesting formations in my choreography whenever possible.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep practicing – even if you think you suck! Chances are
you don’t suck nearly as much as you think you do, and you can’t improve unless
you keep practicing. It also helps you stay in shape, so that when you finish a
dance and want to record it, you can look your best doing it.

Also, do it for yourself, even if you’re not doing it for
anybody else. Find studios and companies and communities where you feel
supported and welcome, and that you genuinely love both the dances you
choreograph and the ones you’re just a dancer in. Don’t try to imitate anyone
else too closely, but make sure your dancing and your choreography feels true
and authentic to you.

image

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual. I haven’t totally figured out my
romantic orientation, but demiromantic is feeling like a good place for right
now.

Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I haven’t encountered any because I haven’t been out to many
people yet, and even fewer among people I’ve danced with. I have felt
personally uncomfortable performing more overtly sexual choreography, so I’ve
handled this by being selective about the choreographers I work with, and if an
explanation is necessary, I’ll just respectfully say that while I like their
style, I just don’t think it’s for me. So far, no one I’ve danced with has been
offended.

I do worry that sometimes I use movements that I might see
as sensual, but others might see as more sexual. The best advice I can give
here is to be comfortable with yourself and your body, do what feels right for
you, and remember that whatever behavior you decide to engage in in your
personal life doesn’t have to be reflected in what you decide to do onstage.

What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That just because I’m not sexually attracted to someone,
doesn’t mean I can’t love them deeply, or that I hate sex/would treat it as a
commodity or something to be “earned” in a relationship. This mostly stems from
past relationships.

What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
orientation?

I don’t know that I’m the best person to be giving advice on
this, but I will say this: you know you best, and you’re the only one who can
decide what labels work best for you, or if you want to have labels at all. And
anyone who doesn’t respect your orientation and what you are and aren’t
comfortable with isn’t worth it.

Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?

I have a small YouTube channel where I occasionally post
videos of my work. It’s very sporadic because I’m no longer part of a studio or
a company, but I upload when I can. This is my favorite solo project
I’ve done so far, this is
my most popular dance that I’ve ever choreographed, although I don’t dance in
it, and this is my
personal favorite group dance that I am also dancing in (kind of my baby from
that year).

image

Thank you, Phoebe, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

moodboardsforalltheaspecs: Demisexual + Ballerina for…

moodboardsforalltheaspecs:

Demisexual + Ballerina for @stardustspiller

Hope you like it 🙂

– Mod Dess

sources:  x  x  x  x  x  x  x  x