Nicole Harris: Can you tell me about the work you’ll be performing as part of the OnStage Summer Performance Series?
Noa Barankin: The theme of the show is "Rhythm Re-imagined" (which is also the title). In my work, the audience will be able to see new uses of props and technology, for the purpose of making rhythms and integrating them with dance and movement. In particular, the cast is made of all tap dancers. However, we are also drumming (on and with various objects), and doing body percussion. There is some integration of modern dance, as well as tap dance classics. I also like to call what I do - "visual rhythm", because it is rhythm that you can see. Most of our pieces are stand-alone, meaning that you can take them out of the context of the full show and they can be performed on their own. A lot of thought was put into making these pieces come to life, and the details are noticeable - from the choice of the prop to the way we use it and integrate it with the sounds of tap dance or percussion.
N: Who are some of your favorite choreographers and why?
NB: Ummmmm all of them? I love all artists and learn from what I see. I absorb. Possibly Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire for their lack of fear in tap, and the endless incorporation of props and special effects in their dances. I'm ALL about props (as you shall see in the show!!)
N: Monkeyhouse believes in the importance of both giving back and paying forward. Who are some of your mentors? How are you paying forward what was given to you?
Another mentor is Doron Raphaeli, who gave me my first professional paying job as a dancer. It was in Tararam, a drummimg company, where before that I have never laid my hands on a pair of drumsticks. As artists, we need that person in our lives, who gives us that trust. I'm paying it forward to my cast by doing the same - creating opportunity and teaching them something new.
The third one is Sean Fielder, through which I encountered most of my cast, and who gave me the opportunity to join the Boston Tap Company - my introductory dance path as a newbie in Boston. There is also Pam Caira, director of Step by Step dance studio, which is where we rehearse, and I cannot omit her name from this list by any means because she's a source of inspiration and a real supporter of DrumatiX. It's through her help and support that I am now able to bring drumming classes to the studio, for young dancers to get a taste of DrumatiX and explore a whole new world of rhythm making.