Here is the second installment of Artists Talking to Artists! We are excited to share a chat with Monkeyhouse's Nikki Sao Pedro Welch and Against the Odds Artist Janelle Gilchrist!
NSPW: I noticed in your bio that you have a BFA in dance, which is wonderful! Do you feel it is important for dancers to continue their training in higher education?
JG: Yes, I think it is important for dancers to continue their training in higher education. We can not dance forever and it is important to have an education to fall back on. When the dance gigs are not coming in, or when it is time to retire from performing, having an education can help you land decent dance teaching jobs, or arts related jobs.
NSPW:You have such an extensive background with choreography working with Flash Mobs, dance studios, and companies. How do you stay inspired?
JG: I stay inspired by attending various dance performances throughout the year. I also see plays and go to art museums when I have time. I try to stay up to date on dance and music trends in pop culture as well.
NSPW: In speaking of Flash Mobs, can you elaborate on your experience with casting and choreographing for Flash Mobs?
JG: I choreographed 2 flash mobs. The first one I did was in Boston. I was asked to organize a flash mob in 4 days. The production manager told me that at the last minute, her choreographer bailed out on her and she needed me to find 30 dancers, choreograph, and teach them a 3 minute dance. She asked me could I do it. I said yes I could. So through my network of dancers, and dance action network, I found 30 dancers. I had 2 rehearsals that were each 2 hours long to teach the material. The dancers were allowed to come to the first rehearsal, the second rehearsal, or both. Then all the dancers arrived on the day of the performance. It was a success. Because the Boston flash mob went so well, I was asked by the same production company to do it again. This time it was at the Bellagio hotel in Vegas for the Jim Beam liquor company. I was given a lot more time. I had about 2 months to prepare. A friend of mine who was a dance colleague when we worked on a cruise ship together, was living in Vegas at the time. I asked him if he had any dancers out there who would do the show with me. Also another friend who used to dance in Vegas, gave me some names of some dancers out there. So without posting on any dance audition website, I was able to get 30 dancers. I had each person send me a résumé and a video of them dancing so I could see their dancing ability. The production company flew me out to Vegas and put me up at the Bellagio. I had one 2 hour rehearsal with the dancers and then the following day we performed. It went extremely well. One of the dancers told me it was the most organized flash mob they had ever been apart of. I was glad I had the opportunity to work on that project.
Do you have a question for Janelle that Nikki didn't ask? Well then, why don't you ask her here!? All of the Against the Odds artists and everyone at Monkeyhouse wants to know what YOU are thinking, so let's keep the conversation going!