Getting to Know Tova Teperow of Alive Dance Collective - NACHMO Boston Interview
By Nicole Harris
You can see Tova’s work at Arts at the Armory on Saturday, February 26th a 8pm! Tickets are by donation (pay what you can) and available RIGHT NOW! Get yours today!
Nicole Harris: This is your first time choreographing for NACHMO Boston. What are you most excited about? What makes you the most nervous?
Tova Teperow: I am excited to challenge myself to choreograph to house music. In the past I always selected music that told its own story through lyrics or big sweeping changes in the music, but choreographing to a steady house beat with little variation requires the choreography to do more of that work. I am nervous to challenge myself to make a piece so quickly!
N: You work as a pediatric occupational therapist for students with visual impairments and disabilities. How has your dance training helped you better communicate and connect as an OT? How have your students/patients informed you as a dancer and dance maker?
TT: I definitely think that being a dancer has helped me be a better occupational therapist. My dance training has given me a high level of body awareness (my dance teacher growing up used to say that you should dance all the way through to your pinky finger) and an ability to easily break down movements into smaller pieces. These are both critical skills for occupational therapy. Also, working with kids who are blind has taught me to be even more specific in my communication when teaching motor patterns for tasks, and I think this has translated to better communication with dancers when in rehearsal.
N: You have been with Alive Dance Collective since its inception. In what ways has the collective helped you grow? What makes the collective unique?
TT: Being with Alive for this many years and being able to see it grow has been such an amazing and moving experience. I think that one way Alive has helped me grow is in being a better collaborator with other dancers to create movement. What makes Alive so special is that there has always been a very high level of emotional trust and vulnerability in our group. When a member wants to choreograph a piece that is very personal, everybody immediately rallies around that person and is ready to help them tell their story.
N: I hear your piece for NACHMO is inspired by sunsets. Can you tell us a little about what you’re making and how it came about?
TT: My piece is inspired by sunsets. The last few summers I have been particularly enamored with them and have gone out of my way multiple nights a week to go to a special spot where I can watch the sun go down and take a million pictures throughout. The cyclical nature of the sun setting and then rising and setting again but never the same way twice, the way a sunset seemingly starts small and then fills up the whole sky, and the bittersweet feeling of it finally becoming dark, are some aspects that have inspired my movement.