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?
J: Turning Key is excited to announce that we are working with Orchard House, home to Louisa May Alcott and author of Little Women, to present a Little Women piece this summer to celebrate the 150 anniversary of the novel. All of the movement will be generated from the original text. For this particular piece, dancer Melenie Diarbekirian will be dancing the role of Jo March, transposing the poem “My Beth” into a solo. In the novel, Jo writes this poem in response to her sister Beth dying of scarlet fever. I am intrigued to see how Melenie can bring the emotion of the text to the stage.
N: Can you talk about your college mentoring program? Why do you put so much emphasis on college programs for dancers?
J: Turning Key Dance Company supports dance in higher education, and offers a college mentoring program to young dancers seeking a career in the performing arts. We are passionate about informing students about all of the possible job opportunities in the field of dance. Our company has dancers that have graduated from undergraduate, and graduate dance programs, as well as dance conservatories. We have a good understanding of these programs and their differences. Artistic director Juliana Utz offers private lessons and seminars on finding the right dance program, choreographed solos for auditions, resume and application guidance and how to make a career in dance. We strive to present our students with the tools they need to thrive in higher education and the dance community. Turning Key Dance is proud to have successfully mentored seniors into prestigious dance programs such as Boston Conservatory, University of South Carolina and Marymount Manhattan College.