Getting to Know Tyler Catanella

In August Monkeyhouse participated in Luminarium Dance's ChoreoFest for the second time.  There we met many new and exciting artists, including Tyler Catanella of Paradise Lost Movement Collective.  Nikki Sao Pedro Welch, who participated in the first ChoreoFest with Monkeyhouse, interviewed Tyler this winter.

photo by Ryan Carollo
NSPW:  I know you were one of the companies that participated in Choreofest. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience?
TC:  Our experience at ChoreoFest was transcendent, and one that shaped and strengthened our company's values. The nature of the beast was one that we were all excited to tackle. Because we work collaboratively 100% of the time, we felt that the dance theatre we do would thrive in this environment. And we were right; I felt like we got to share a very special part of ourselves in our process and performance during those twenty-four hours.

NSPW:  In speaking of your experience with Choreofest, can you tell me any challenges you may have had or easy moments of the 24 hours?  
TC:  Since we work primarily in improvisation, we were both scared and excited to delve into the realm of setting material. As it turned out, we were able to improvise out our piece within the first 45 minutes of working. What we didn't realize was that we had expelled so much energy within the initial stages of the night that by 1:00am, we were literally bananas. We laughed, we cried, we pasted ourselves with IcyHot and Salon Pas, I even got tonsillitis overnight.

photo by Ryan Carollo
We finished setting everything at 5:15am, and everyone went to sleep. That is, everyone but me; one of the tasks I had set for myself in ChoreoFet was to compose the music within the day as well. Well, it was a long night, but I managed to finish the score (which I am actually very proud of! We've been using the music for more of our work) at 7:45am, sleep, and wake up at 8:15am for tech.

ChoreoFest was one of those things that you have to push your body through, but we were all looking for a challenge, and it sure as hell delivered. We felt super-human having succeeded in creating a piece that we were all proud of, and for overcoming monstrous obstacles. 

photo by Ryan Carollo
NSPW:  After reading your companies mission statement, I noticed you welcome artist's from "all walks of life." This is quite interesting, can you elaborate on what types of artists you have worked with or would like to work with?  
TC:  So Paradise Lost is a collective, which means that we're not just comprised of performers; we have artists, musicians, designers, photographers, writers, bubble blowers, what you will, that make up our collaborative company. We try and create material with 100% organic and original energy, making what we do come truly from the heart. The dance we do is for personal and social change. Whether we're sharing a story about a nation or a family, that story should carry the same amount of truth.

The other aspect of that statement is that we are a company that values diversity. Why would I surround myself with people who look just like me, move just like me, and think just like me? By filling a room with people who come from all over the world, and bring with them a different set of eyes, the work that we make becomes richer and so much more exciting. It's one of my strongest values.

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