Getting to Know Kristin Sudeikis!

I have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with Kristin Sudeikis as we get ready for the CoolNY 2014 Dance Festival.  The festival has two weekends of performances and you can catch Kristin's work on Thursday, February 6 at 7:00pm & Saturday, February 8 at 7:00pm.  If you make it to see her work please let me know since I will only be in town the first weekend!  -Nicole

photo by Lindsay Linton
N:  You have done a lot of work in recent years with organizations that promote health, safety and empowerment for women and girls.  Can you talk a bit about what got you started with that particular community and how you feel that work has changed you/your work?
KS:  Dance, in my opinion, is one of, if not, the most healing art form on the planet.   

When I first heard about the human trafficking epidemic (as I was standing in the hallway at Peridance Capezio Center in NYC about to rehearse)  I felt completely paralyzed, top to bottom.  Next question I asked myself -what can I do? And I began.

N:  Your work has varied greatly over the years, from the stage to tv and film to the classroom.  If given a choice, would you stick with one venue?  What do the different venues bring to your work that the others can't?
photo by Lauren Volo
KS:  I am absolutely into presenting and creating in each of these venues time and time again.  No preferences here.  Communicating via dance in any and every realm.....all of it feels right and necessary.  Dance has a way of communicating that words will never do justice to.  Whether you are the one dancing (the one speaking) or the one observing (the one listening) dance takes humanity to a completely alternate and unique space. One that words alone are incapable of reaching. I am so very into that. Always have been, always will be.

N:  Many people talk about your passion and positive energy.  Is presenting those things something you actively work towards or is that just your underlying personality shining through?  It's easy to become discouraged as a choreographer these days, with minimal funding and less and less support for the art form.  Why do you think what we do is important?
KS:  Well, it is kind to hear that people talk about my passion, positive energy, etc.  Do I work on that? Yes, every day I just imagine butterflies and unicorns and puppies...nah, I'm kidding. 
Here's the deal--
photo by Lauren Volo
Dance is analogous to life and to love. I could go on about this for days on end.  And I know I will be talking and dancing about it for decades.  I am in awe of the way dance changes humanity inside and out. It is its own very special and effortless and instinctual language.  To then add an infinite vocabulary to said language....there is no discouragement, only more discovery.
N:  People in the arts often develop strong mentor/mentee relationships.  Did/do you have a mentor throughout your career?  Do you have a person or people that you have taken the mentorship role for now that you're a more established artist?  How do you feel those relationships change your work?
KS:  Yes, I have mentored artists, dancers, choreographers and artistic directors.  I am down to pass on every tidbit of my experiences with them all the while learning countless amounts form them.
photo by Lauren Volo
I believe that listening and learning from those we are drawn to or intrigued by is one of the greatest forms of learning. Read "Letters to a Young Poet" by Rilke.  That will mentor you. I also feel strongly that one must throw away what they have learned and go into the unknown, into the imagination, into the unspoken....and create from there.  However, for advice on booking theaters, dancers, lighting, etc - yes, hit up a mentor.   And prepare to allow the gratitude to overflow in you as you learn. I think it is such a cool process to be mentored by another whether it is in one encounter or as an ongoing process. 
I continue to learn immeasurable amounts simply by observing those I adore and by those that provoke me artistically.

1 comment:

Pam said...

Love you Kristin! You're an amazing person with a beautiful soul!


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