By Nicole Harris
N: How was the NACHMO experience? What was something that went really well? What was something that went a little sideways?
BB: I have been choreographing for over 10 years and every experience has its ups and downs. For NACHMO, I felt it was such a new experience creating dance on film that everything felt wrong, but in a good way. I was challenged to use tools that went familiar, and unsure of where to start and what the outcome would be as a whole. I am pleased to say I would do this over and over and over again, and take what I have learned from NACHMO as I continue to create for as long as I can.
N: What sort of changes (if any) did you make between the NACHMO Boston informal showing and the Malden Dance Mile?
BB: The changes between the informal and MDM showing I made, were use of space. I needed to consider the audience receiving more of a personal experience. Taking away the frontal view, and giving a visually uncomfortable take of searching for happiness.
BB: YES, this is very important. We must lift each other as artists because what we do is valuable and could have great impact on our communities. Im a FAN FAV of my dancers/ Boston based creators, Jeryl Palana and Deidre Lewis. These two fantastic women have continued to support me as I have supported them. To name a few more, Angie Conte, William McLaughlin, and Joe Gonzalez.
By Nicole Harris
N: In addition to being the NACHMO Boston regional director you were inspired to choreograph a piece this year! What made you excited about your idea?
BB: I initially started off the year not intending to choreograph. My first year as regional director I also choreographed and danced in a piece, and it was far too much for one month! However, once the month got rolling I was so excited by what everyone else was doing that I wanted in. A prompt put forth by NACHMO HQ this year was to dance with a piece of paper constantly connected to your body and the ground, and I found that very appealing. That was how the first phrase of my piece was created and I went from there!
I’ve also learned that organizing is key, having help makes everything more exciting (yay Monkeyhouse!), the Boston dance community needs more positive experiences with what mentorship means, and that choreographers are always excited by this opportunity. My favorite part of NACHMO is seeing new connections being formed!
N: This year’s NACHMO was different than past years. What was one of your favorite moments? What was something that went a little sideways?
BB: It was certainly different but so wonderful! I loved forming connections in the small groups of the Mental Health Happy Hours. It was amazing to form real, deep connection in a time when connection was so hard to come by. I also loved all of the group mentorship sessions. Each one was unique, but the current running through all of them was how kind and thoughtful people were about offering insight and feedback to each other. I left each session feeling inspired and full of admiration for the community that was created.
I try to pay these gifts forward by having a door open to talk about dance and life with the younger generation that I was lucky enough to get to know through a few years of teaching dance. Plus, by offering mentorship opportunities at NACHMO Boston with the goal that they feel as safe and fortifying as mine do.
N: It is important to us that we continue to lift up other artists in our community. Who are some of your favorite Boston area choreographers? Why?
BB: There are so many! Evolve Dynamicz, Ruth Benson & Lynn Modell, Kristin Wagner, Monkeyhouse, Sasso and Co, Public Displays of Motion, Ryan P Casey, and more!
N: We are so thrilled to be in Malden! Do you have any connections to this fantastic city?
BB: I unfortunately have not spent a lot of time in Malden, except for one time in Summer 2020 when my partner and I kayaked in the Mystic River. It was a beautiful day towards the end of the summer and was a new spot for us. I'm looking forward to returning to kayak again at some point this year!