Monkeyhouse is delighted to have our first ever summer intern, Gaby Mervis! Be on the lookout for this talented young dancer if you swing by the Monkeyhouse office for any reason. To help you get to know her better, Artistic Director, Karen Krolak, interviewed Gaby on her first day in the office.
KK: Gaby, why don’t you tell us why you wanted to intern for Monkeyhouse this summer?
GM: As a previous student of yours at Impulse Dance Center, daughter of former board president, and consistent audience member, Monkeyhouse has presented itself throughout my life from many different angles. Being a constant supporter of Monkeyhouse, I have always volunteered to assist the company in any way from publicizing to fundraising to even theater ushering. After discussing with Karen the possibility of interning for the company, I realized how connected I felt to it, both with its members personally, and to its intriguing choreography. I admire the company’s many community outreach projects and after about two seconds of thought, I recognized much I wanted to continue to help. I also feel very privileged that I have been selected to intern with the company. I currently attend Goucher College in Baltimore and am studying both business and dance. Being around a dance company for the summer seemed like a clear fit for those two educational endeavors. I hope to learn a lot about non-profit organizations in general, as well as how a dance company, specifically, works, including all of its components like performance spaces and costuming.
KK: How long have you been studying dance?
GM: Dance has always been my passion. It is what gets me through a difficult day, and it is what energizes a wonderful day. As a young child galloping through my hallway fashioning a skirt that I envisioned was a stiff pink tutu, my parents knew that they had to put me into dance classes. From the moment I walked into the studio on my first day at age three, I knew that that was where I belonged. Ever since, I have studied a large variety of dance styles with many different teachers. Probably most naturally talented in the freer movements of modern, I love the structure and discipline of ballet. I have yet to decide where my dancing will take me, however, I know that it is makes me incredibly happy so it is what I continue to study.
KK: Who are some of your favorite choreographers?
GM: I tend to go through phases and fall in love with a choreographer for a short period of time and I do not really know who my all-time favorite is. However, the Alonzo King Lines Ballet Company performed at my school this March and I was in shock. The use of the stage space and the formations that he used were truly intricate. They performed one piece where every dancer represented a bird. What was so amazing was that not only could you tell that they were birds, but you could tell which type of bird they were, simply based on the way that they moved. I also love watching pieces from the founding women of modern dance, especially Martha Graham. I love to think about how modern dance choreography has evolved and what I still see being used today. I enjoy the stiffness and tension of early modern dance because when watching the classical pieces, I really feel the pain through the movement.
KK: Who do you want to create a Wikipedia page for?
GM: I love when I see a performance and I also attend a lecture or commentary either before or after the show. I feel that when I know the choreographer’s history, viewpoint on dance, and goal for the show, I feel a greater connection with the performance and my experience is significantly enhanced. Therefore, ideally, I would love to be able to make a Wikipedia page for someone’s choreography I am going to see in the near future because then, I will be able to use my knowledge to understand and enjoy the performance on a higher level.