Getting to Know Ashley Chandler

 I am excited to share with you a conversation between two of last week's Against the Odds Rockstars of the Day, Sarah Friswell and Ashley Chandler.  Ashley will be joining us as the guest artist for this Friday's performance.  If you haven't got your tickets yet, you should!

Against the Odds: 
Stories of Adaptation, Translation & Survival
March 18th-April 15th
Springstep, 98 George P. Hassett Drive, Medford, MA
For more information and to purchase tickets please visit our website!

SF:  Are you excited to be a guest artist this coming weekend?
            AC:  Yes! I am so excited to be back in Boston dancing and visiting with my friends and family.

SF:  What is your history with Monkeyhouse?
AC:  Well, Karen would say it started back in her beginner jazz class… but I like to remember the start when I was older and wiser in my teen years when I studied modern and improv with Karen and Monkeyhouse. In my senior year I also had the opportunity of working with the company through an internship.

SF:  What was it like working with Nicole to choreograph Fidelius originally?
AC:  It was so great to work with Nicole again, we fell right back into the familiarity of working with one another which is why I think the creative process with Nicole is so unique.  We have danced together for years and have a great chemistry for moving together so it was really interesting to put the music on have, an idea and see where the movement would take us.  Sometimes it took me face first to the floor…but all in the name of art! And look at where it has brought us!

SF:  How has the piece changed for you since then?
AC:  The most obvious difference for me when I came back to the piece was the transformation of the characters, and how Caitlin and Nikki adapted it.  When I stepped in and danced with Caitlin, it allowed me to explore and play with the movement in ways I hadn’t done before. This is what is so exciting about dance four dancers do the same piece and no two moments in the piece are ever the same. 

SF:  Ashley, tell us a little about yourself, where have you received your dance training from?
AC:  I started dancing at Impulse Dance Center at age 3 and never stopped.  I trained in anything and everything I could while at the studio.  After a couple years of modern training and a conversation with Karen I realized I could pursue a career in professional dance.  I attended Adelphi University under the direction of Frank Augustyn where I received a B.F.A. in dance performance, and had the honor of working with some fantastic artists. 

SF:  What are you doing now since you’ve graduated?
AC:  I currently am a member of the Circle of Dance repertory, a dance company based out of Long Island. We perform original and restaged works at local events on Long Island. To keep on top of my training I study at the Taylor School, as well as with Heather Berest, a former Paul Taylor dancer.  I also have the pleasure of working with my girls at A Step Above Performing Arts Center as the ballet, modern, and lyrical teacher.  I wake up every day excited and in love with what I do, I am so fortunate for the all the opportunities that have come my way in my first year out of school.

SF:  What advice do you have for young dancers who would like to dance professionally?
AC: Create the possibility that you can and you will dance professionally! Don’t give up, if that passion is inside of you, all you have to do is let is guide you and it will be enough.  Expose yourself to every technique, style, and teacher you can. Find what you love about the way you move and let that lead you to your niche in dance.

There will be cuts at auditions, not so nice choreographers, smiles and lots of tears, but at the end of the day how many people can say that followed their dream and love what they do?

SF:  What are you plans now?  Do you have any other performances coming up? Performance goals? Working goals?

AC:  March is busy month for us dancers! Besides performing in Against the Odds, I am performing with Circle of Dance at the Long Island Dance Consortium March 26th.  I will also be making a guest appearance with my Step Above girls in one of their upcoming performances. 

My immediate performance goals are to continue on the path I’m on, keep performing and take on different projects and experience the NYC dance scene from different angles.  As far as working goals, I am working towards a full time company position with a touring company, as well as continuing to work for lululemon athletica. I love working with people who are committed to living full and healthy lives, the company is teaching me so much and I’m excited to see what opportunities can come my way!

1 comment:

j are is said...

Great questions, Sarah! Looking forward to working with Ashley again. I wonder if she knows I'll be giving her a pop quiz on lighting equipment from her internship? Hope she doesn't read this comment. That would ruin the surprise!


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