Nicole Harris: You will be doing two duets with Olivia Scharff during the show. Can you tell me a bit about what it has been like to have one partner that you work with with more regularity?
Sam Mullen: Working with Olivia has been a completely different experience than I’ve had with any other partner. We had a natural connection from the instant we met and partnering together was completely organic. We gravitate towards each other when working on improv prompts in monthly Musings and have similar movement styles. It was obvious early on that we needed to explore partnering pieces together. Our personalities compliment each other well which comes through in our movements. We trust each other entirely which allows us to try out tricks that we would otherwise feel anxious about. We’ve been able to grow together by supporting and encouraging each other over the last year and a half. I cannot wait to bring our quirky friendship to the stage this month!
N: Connexa is a duet you and Olivia have performed before but you're adding a new one to this show called Firk II. The piece was originally choreographed in 2006 by me and Karen and this is the first time anyone else has danced it. Not surprisingly for the two of us, there is no small amount of partnering in the piece. What has it been like to learn the piece and all the new lifts?
SM: Most of my recent work in Musings and rehearsals has been very grounded and slower paced. Learning Firk II for the first time was shocking! There are flips, tricks, and lifts sprinkled throughout the choreography. At first, I was afraid my body wouldn’t allow me to do some of these tricks anymore. Would my body still be flexible enough in the ways needed to be able to perform this piece? Within the first two hours of learning the piece, I was obsessed. Karen and Nicole choreographed this high energy, strong piece in a way that is very easy to learn. There are tricks to the tricks that make them much easier to perform than they appear. It is so invigorating to perform! It might even be my new favorite piece.