“You have to need dance like you need to breathe, otherwise this career will never be worth how hard it is.” The director of my first professional company told me that, though I was already familiar with the reality of those words. I have spent my entire life developing my identity as an artist, consciously choosing dance as my career despite the physical and financial difficulties it presented. Every day I endeavor to find balance between the clean lines and technical precision my focused personality strives for, and the expressive vulnerability that makes an artist unique. Dance is as essential to my identity as it is to my livelihood. Being passionate about dance is not something I chose, more like dance chose me. But the decision to push myself physically, mentally, and artistically as a dancer is a choice I’m happy to make every day.
As a choreographer, I create landscapes. I prefer working on large groups, exploring the way different bodies perform the same steps. I push for complete synchronization among my dancers, so their individual physical differences and nuances are highlighted. My work is highly detailed and count-driven, with a strong emphasis on classical modern technique (even when women are en pointe). I focus intensively on the architecture of a piece; I want to see patterns being made on the floor with the steps themselves as secondary. For a number of my pieces I have collaborated with composer Max Wanderman, who takes my concept and translates it into an original score. His musical interpretation of my ideas inevitably influences my work and has allowed my to create richer and more dynamic pieces through collaboration with another artist. Learn more about my dance film Absolution, made in collaboration with Ballet Theatre of Indiana, producer Bryan Boyd, and musicians Caleigh Kilijonienė & Viktoras Kilijonas, and discover other works here.