by Nicole Harris
Hard to believe the summer is coming to a close but the final performance in the OnStage Summer Series is this weekend! -- Evolve Dynamicz with a post show discussion hosted by yours truly!
Don't miss their performance at
OnStage Dance Company on
Saturday, August 25th @ 7pm
Use the VIP Code EDZ10 for discounted tickets!
Lisa Costello & Nicole Zizzi: The work we are showcasing will be performed to the composer Roberto Cacciapaglia’s album titled Quarto Tempo. We are experimenting with how to bring visual diversity to a set of music that is more or less similar and coherent. We are also hoping to engage in a storytelling through movement by means of contemporary dance that is not literal in its purpose. We love to experiment with ambiguity in our movement vocabulary and choreography so that the audience can interpret our choreography in their own ways. We want each of the audience members to be able to connect to our work in their own ways so we don’t like to be too obvious in our intentions and meanings. However, we obviously pull our inspiration from very specific places, so it is always interesting to see how the audience interpretations align with our own inspirations. So we are very excited for the informal nature of the show and the ability to interact with the audience afterwords! The OnStage Summer Performance Series is a good place for us to experiment with our newest ideas and get feedback from a diverse audience.
N: Last time we spoke was during NACHMO Boston in January. We talked a bit about how the two of you as co-directors divide responsibilities in and out of the studio. You had recently begun experimenting with creating work independently and finding the ways the works complimented each other. I would love to hear more about what you have discovered! Are there unexpected ways your individual styles have changed since building work together for so long? What are the overlaps you are finding between your work?
Nicole: The prescribed recovery time technically wasn’t even over until mid-June, so I would say the biggest challenge was the time it took to recover. I had about a year and a half period of pain before the doctor’s could actually diagnose me with Hip Dysplasia. I won’t go into that story but if anyone is interested I have been keeping a recovery blog! https://www.nicolezizzi.com/never-give-up I think the biggest thing I learned from the whole 2 year process from pre-diagnosis to surgery and recovery was that you should never doubt yourself. If you feel like you’re in pain, listen to your body and, even more so, advocate for yourself! If the doctor’s aren’t listening, find doctors who will listen. I ended up with the most amazing support team from the doctors and nurses at Boston Children’s (who treat the Boston Ballet dancers!) to my physical therapy team at Girl Fit in Newton and finally my “mental skills coach” Kelsey Griffith out of the Micheli Center for Injury prevention at Boston Children’s. Each and every one of my care team members were fully invested in my recovery. I also had the most amazing friend by my side the entire time and that, of course, was Lisa. :) She came to visit me while I was in the hospital and danced for me when I couldn’t express my emotions through dance. I was fortunate enough to never have to leave the dance world because she helped me stay involved in every possible way I could. I unfortunately did have to give up a dance teaching job due to the injury, but Lisa and the rest of Evolve really made sure I was still involved in the dance community. I choreographed and improvised and even taught chair choreography while I was still on crutches. My biggest recommendation to any dancers facing any kind of physical set back is to surround yourself with people who support and care about you, who are able to listen to you when it feels like the world is caving in, and most importantly who are able to remind you that there ARE ways to keep dancing even if not the way you had before.
L&N: Since participating in NACHMO Boston, we have had some amazing advances through Evolve. After applying for the past three years, we were accepted to the Boston Contemporary Festival for the first time! A very big accomplishment for us as directors and as dancers. We have also hit double digits with our number of dancers. We now have 10 dancers and we feel very proud to know that two short years ago we were only a company of 2. Lastly, we are so happy to announce our first out of state collaboration with fellow company, The D’Amby Project, in New York. Keep your eyes peeled for the final product!
N: Monkeyhouse has a Choreography Mentorship program and we are always interested in hearing what other artists have gone through. What advice would you offer to emerging choreographers?
L&N: Don’t be afraid to try things! Being authentic to your artistic ideas, they are never wrong. Everyone has their opinions but as long as you are excited and proud of, it won’t matter what anyone else says.
Nicole: My biggest mentor was my dance professor in college Missy Pfohl-Smith. My university unfortunately did not have a dance major, so of course it made sense for me to study physics….(makes a lot of sense, right?) …. Anyways, Missy really encouraged me to bring in my interest of physics into my dance studies. She always encouraged me to be genuine and authentic in my artistic endeavors and that has been one of the most important life lessons I have ever learned. I ultimately decided to stray from the field of physics, but recently started my Masters in Architecture and I plan to one day own my own design firm in conjunction with Evolve. :) I am always striving to stay true to myself no matter how out of the ordinary that may be!
Lisa: My biggest mentor is my former dance teachers, Karen White and Terry Paretti. They taught me every style of dance and instilled a pure love for the artform that dance can be. They also supported and encouraged me to pursue my dream of having a career in dance once I graduated from high school. I learned so much from them, I take the joy and love for dance that they taught me and pass it on to my youngest students at age 2 all the way up through my adult company members each day. I cannot thank them enough for shaping me through my early years into the dancer I am today.