By Nicole Harris
Nicole Harris: Madison, this is not your first time participating in NACHMO. What did you learn last time that will help you this time around? Is there anything new that you are doing this year?
Madison Florence: This year is my third year participating as a choreographer. Last time, it was 2021 and we were creating entirely for video. Choreographing for the stage feels very different and I became very comfortable performing and creating for an audience I could move and choose what angle they could see the piece from while creating video. I'm doing a little unlearning of that this year but I am excited to do some partnering, get creative with music, and push the boundaries of my comfort zone.
N: You will be collaborating for NACHMO this year. Is this the first time you’ve created together? How do you know each other? How will you begin your collaborative process?
MF: This is our first time creating together but not the first time dancing together. We are both dancers with Nozama Dance Collective and became fast friends since the day we first met. Lucky for us our thoughts are very aligned and developing a concept was a simple conversation.
Sarah Ready: Yes, this is our first time creating together but we have been fortunate enough to dance together with Nozama Dance Collective. I met Madison when I auditioned for Nozama and instantly hit it off and found that we work very well together. We began our collaborative process by having a seamless conversation where our concept was developed.
N: The last few years have been challenging for everyone, especially in terms of creating and connecting. What have you been working on to get you through Covid and how have you been staying connected? What did you learn from that time that you’re taking with you as we find our new normal?
MF: COVID has been tough to maintain connection but I am very grateful to have a dance community to have met virtually and safely in-person for regular rehearsals and video dance projects. I've learned I can't do as much as I used to and I need to slow down to take care of myself and enjoy the things I am doing. There's plenty of time and there is no reason to rush or over do it.
SR: Covid pushed me to make some changes in the communities that I keep. I found dance communities that provided safe rehearsal spaces. Movement is a big part of who I am, so being able to connect through dance in safe spaces was very beneficial to me. That time taught me to take a step back and see what is not working. It taught me to seek out communities that share similar interests and provide support.
N: Monkeyhouse and NACHMO Boston believe that we wouldn’t be here without the support of the community. Who is one of your favorite local choreographers and why?
MF: I can never pick just one but currently I'm loving the energy and perspective Brett Bell brings to the stage.
SR: One of my long-time favorite local choreographers is Lacey Sasso because of the effortless feel she gives to her movement. You can truly see her passion for dance shine through as she captivates her audience.