Getting to Know Angela Gallo!

We have loved getting to know so many artists from the CoolNY 2014 Dance Festival!  Today we'd like to introduce you to Angela Gallo of Sapphire Moon Dance.  You can catch her piece Friday, February 7th at 7:00pm & Saturday, February 8th at 9:00pm.  All performances are held at the WHITE WAVE John Ryan Theatre, 25 Jay St., Brooklyn, NY and are FREE!

Photo by Yi-Chun Wu
N:  It sounds like your work crosses a lot of genres.  Can you talk about specific ways you've integrated multimedia elements into your work?
AG:  I have done this in a number of ways. Some works use text either pre-recorded or with the dancers speaking as they dance. In terms of more multimedia effects, some of my work simply uses pre-recorded video projections but others use more interactive video work. I use the program Isadora, developed by Troika Ranch, to create effects in the video or the sound score that can be manipulated my my self or the dancers in real time during the performance. 

photo by Miguel Anaya
N:  This isn't your first time at the CoolNY Dance Festival.  Can you talk a bit about the piece you'll be performing this year?
AG:  This year I am performing a duet with a colleague that I have danced with for many years, Eric Blair. He and I attended graduate school together and have danced together numerous times since then but it has been a while since our last work and I am very happy to be in the studio creating and performing together again. The work itself deals with cycles and patterns that we get stuck in both individually and in relationships. 

N:  Festivals like this bring together a wide range of performers from across the globe and create opportunities for artists to expand their communities.  How is Sapphire Moon Dance developing the community in Columbia, SC? 
AG:  The arts community in Columbia is a pretty exciting one for such a small city. There are a number of really talented artists to work with here. The work that we do tries to expand what people in this area are comfortable with. It is a much more conservative city than where I am from so I am trying to expand the knowledge and comfort level with contemporary dance and dance installation type projects. 

photo by Yi-Chun Wu
N:  People in the arts often develop strong mentor/mentee relationships.  Did/do you have a mentor throughout your career? 
AG:  I am not sure if I have had a true mentor. I have people that have inspired me as an artist, educator, choreographer and dancer. Different people for those different roles. Some of my faculty from graduate school have been mentors for me and I still write then when I have questions or concerns. Some of my friends from when I lived and danced in NYC are definitely mentors/inspiration for me. There are a couple professional dancers and choreographers that I have worked with over the years that have continued to inspire me and also have great advice though some difficult times.

N:  Do you have a person or people that you have taken the mentorship role for now that you're a more established artist?  
AG:  I hope that I can be a mentor for my students. Many of then dance in my company after they graduate and its really nice to see how they continue to grow after college.

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