Getting to Know: Dana Foglia!

I had the pleasure of meeting NYC-based teacher and choreographer DANA FOGLIA through Mishay Petronelli, a fellow member of Dorrance Dance. I watched her in Dana’s full-length show, “Vatic,” at the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center in 2011 with my jaw on the floor. The performance was futuristic, sexy, acrobatic, daring, edgy, and astounding. Dana, a popular teacher at Broadway Dance Center who has performed with the likes of BeyoncĂ©  and Janet Jackson, is now developing her unique choreographic voice with her company, Dana Foglia Dance, which has already performed internationally.

            What I love about Dana’s work is how she fuses contemporary and hip hop styles; how she has created a sharp, cool, erotic style; how she displays incredible musicality and understanding of movement; and how she utilizes terrific music. She is one of my favorite choreographers, not to mention an incredibly sweet person, and so, as part of my unwavering support of her and her work, I thought I would feature her on the blog by showing some of choreography and letting her talk about her background, her inspirations, her company, and her goals:

I started dancing when I was three, and when I saw my “strawberry shortcake” costume I cried and told my mom I didn’t want to dance anymore. Then, when I was eight, I begged her to dance again. And I’ve been at it ever since.

I grew up on Long Island and danced at a competitive studio for about three years, then decided I needed more ballet. I went to a ballet academy for three years as well as a performing arts high school for my junior and senior years. After high school, I went to the Ailey School as part of the fellowship program for two and a half years. It was the best decision I ever made. I did everything – African, Graham (my favorite), modern partnering, ballet.

What keeps me going is hearing from people that I have inspired them in a certain way, and seeing my students grow is something very special to me. One of my proudest moments was seeing my full-length show, “Vatic,” come to life. I didn’t think I could do something like that. A dream of mine is to see the show come to life again on an even larger scale.

My company, Dana Foglia Dance, was formed very naturally. I had been using the same dancers for a while to do my work, and it just fell into place. I hope my company can leave a legacy, travel the world, and inspire!


Rehearsing with Mariah

by karen Krolak

There's a Bar Mitzvah kicking into high gear across the hall and in an odd way it fits the mood of today's rehearsal. Like many young adolescents, Monkeyhouse is opening to new influences and looking to outside voices to guide us through the inevitable awkwardness of our second decade. In front of me, Mariah Steele is rapidly sketching out movement sequences involving Caitlin Meehan, Courtney Wagner, and Sarah Feinberg. It feels similar to watching an episode of Iron Chef. Although I am very familiar with all of her ingredients, I mean dancers, I am regularly surprised by how her she mixes them together. Her improvisations are similar to ones we have used a thousand times but they tease unexpected textures and flavors out of this ensemble. I love to watch her intuit her way from one idea to another.

My gut knew that Mariah would be a good fit for us but I could sense some hesitation and giddy edginess in all of us during her first Musing. She began by asking us to write about something. I can not recall anything I scribbled, but it reminded me of building pieces with Baubo Performance Project in Chicago. By the time I filled the page,

Sorry, I just got distracted - as Caitlin started coaxing Sarah and Courtney into action, the trees outside the window started swaying in unison. Caitlin really appeared to have supernatural powers for a second. (I am actually dancing in this section but Sarah Friswell, who is also learning my part, is filling in this time.)

Speaking of Ms Friswell, she just said "Imagine if I were wearing a water balloon jumpsuit, how would you jump up on me?" That must be my cue to turn my focus back to moving.

I am so eager to hear how people respond to this piece in progress at the SKORT tonight. Feel free to join us from 7-9 at the Cambridge Center for Adult Education.


Join Us for Against the Odds!

Are you a choreographer, photographer or artist who is interested in an exciting opportunity this fall?

This year's Against the Odds festival is based around the idea of (Imperfect)ive Experiments.  Against the Odds celebrates artists who investigate how to overcome obstacles. Over the past year we've been inspired by Monkeyhouse dancers who struggle with uncommon health issues. We wanted to show how people can make physical poetry out of imperfect bodies.

We are looking for artists interested in joining us as we explore these ideas, whether in performance or photography.  There may be other opportunities to participate, so please visit our website for more information!

Apply TODAY!


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