by Nicole Harris
We're excited to introduce you to Grant Jacoby for our next NACHMO Boston Interview! Follow him on his website, Facebook & Instagram!
Want to be part of National Choreography Month? Take the
#MonkeyhouseNACHMOChallege. Every day we will be posting a new prompt on Facebook, Instagram
and Twitter. Follow along on social media to get the prompts and see some incredible dances! Share your own videos (no previous choreographic experience required!) using the
#MonkeyhouseNACHMOChallenge hashtag in order to be featured!
G: Once I left Boston to move to New York to pursue my MFA in Dance full time, I knew I wanted to maintain a presence in both cities. I was excited to see what opportunities NYC had, but I also didn't want to forsake my Boston dance community that had provided so much support that lead me to my pursuit of graduate studies in dance. Luckily, the commute is easy enough, and since my family is located in the greater Boston area, I have been able to come back for choreographic showcases, master classes, and performances. It is my hope that no matter where my career takes me, that I always have roots in Boston.
N: What are you most excited about for this year’s National Choreography Month?
G: What excites me about this year's NACHMO showcase was that I took upon the task to free myself from self-editing and overthinking structure. As I am working out concepts for my choreographic MFA thesis for later this spring, I wanted to present movement phrases in their raw and purest form as a way of exposing the bones of creating a dance.
N: Can you talk about the dancers you’ll be working with? What are you looking forward to and what are the challenges of working with this particular group?
G: For this particular rendition of the project, I have been working with Audrey MacLean and Sasha Peterson, two of my closest dance companions. I have worked with both of them on numerous dance projects respectively, but never actually on the same one together. They both have an expanse of physical knowledge and the capability to learn movement quickly, two extremely desirable skills when creating a piece in such a short time frame. Plus, they look beautiful dancing together, despite being very unique movers on their own.
G: The greatest inspiration to my work is Trisha Brown, in particular her works "Newark," "Set and Reset," and "Sone of Gone Fishin'." I am also a huge fan of Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs, Beth Gill, Jodi Melnick, and Heidi Henderson. All of the aforementioned choreographers have brought intrigue and insight to the field that I hope to emulate in my work in some capacity.
N: You’ve had a busy career so far. What is some advice you can offer aspiring choreographers?
G: My greatest piece of advice I could give to aspiring choreographers is don't wait for an opportunity to come to you, go out and make it for yourself. It seems cliche, but it was integral to my success as a dance maker. When I first moved to Boston, no one knew who I was, so I had to really pound the pavement to make my mark. I took classes, went to performances, and networked with those in the community to make myself known. Furthermore, while it took a lot of fundraising, I presented a self-produced concert of my own choreography during my first spring in the city as a way of establishing myself. It didn't all fall into place at once, but each action lead from one opportunity, to another opportunity, and so on. It takes a lot of work, but it's worth it.