All images by Olivia Moon Photography
by Nicole Harris
Here's another interview with the wonderful Lacey Sasso! On Saturday go see her and her company at Empower One Another on Saturday at 4pm to catch a Skort (post show conversation) with ME! Then join us at the Dance Complex to see An Animated Addition of the Dictionary of Negative Space at 8pm!
Nicole Harris: Collaboration can be rewarding and difficult. What is one great moment and one challenge you’ve faced during this process?
Lacey Sasso: As a unit, we decided to fully collaborate, meaning that every dancer has contributed movement, ideas, choices, etc. This decision greatly shaped our creative process by opening the door for everyone to have a voice. At times, we almost had too many ideas; this is where we had to step back as a group and really discuss what should come next, what made sense, and what might be an idea for later. The most difficult part of the process was scheduling. As artists, we all have multiple jobs and creative projects, so simply getting our bodies in the space at the same time was a large hurdle.
N: In addition to running a company you have a Masters in Counseling Psychology and Expressive Arts Therapy. How does your work in those fields impact your work as a choreographer?
LS: As time moves on, the work I do both as a therapist and an artist blend more deeply together. Some of my choreographic work tackles specific psychological ideas such as the theory of attachment, which is explored in our work, Deeply Rooted. Some of the repertoire is inspired by the themes, movements, and diagnoses that I work with on a daily basis. For example, the company is currently working on a piece entitled Entwined Days which will debut on May 10 and 11 at the Dance Complex. This piece is a visceral and emotional response from my work with clients who have experienced trauma, or who deal daily with intense anxiety and life altering depression. The movement is a method of processing my therapeutic work while also trying to honor the stories in which I am entrusted to keep safe as a therapist.
N: You used to dance with Undertoe Dance Project in New York City. My understanding from when I’ve seen their work is that they are a combination of jazz/contemporary and tap dancers. Are you also a tap dancer? If so, does tap dance ever appear in Sasso & Co? How does working rhythmically impact your current choreography?
LS: Yes, I am a tap dancer! I performed as both a tap and jazz dancer in my first season with Undertoe Dance Project, then focused specifically on jazz for the remainder of my tenure with the company. There currently is no Sasso & Company repertoire where tap is featured, however I am always open to collaborating across genres. Rhythm plays a large role in my movement and teaching style. I often find myself teaching movement with sounds or specific attention to parts of the music, rather than focusing on counts. I love syncopation and greatly enjoy finding ways in which movement can both support and oppose music.
N: Where else can we find you this Spring/Summer?
LS: Sasso & Company has a fun and exciting performance schedule this Spring! Our spring season culminates with our full evening length performances of Days Gone By at the Dance Complex on Friday, May 10th and Saturday, May 11!! We will be debuting new work as well as performing some of our favorite pieces of repertoire. You can also catch us at goodTHANGpassing on Friday, April 19 at 2:30 pm in Somerville, and we are performing at the Providence Movement Festival on Thursday, April 25 and Saturday, April 27th at AS220 in Providence, RI.
N: What other local companies/ choreographers do you recommend people check out? Why?
LS: Lynn Frederiksen and Paul Kafka-Gibbons also known as Lynn and Paul Dance - they create work that has a classical modern base, but often has a humorous element involved. I love humor in dance and find it incredibly hard to create.
Colleen Roddy - creates innovative partnering mixed with athletic framework. She's always pushing the bounds of movement and never afraid to try something new.
Erin McNulty -- she has a gift for combining technical elements with gesture and creating a dynamic is both bold and smooth all at once; it's beautiful.