LORIN LATARRO choreographed Broadway’s Waitress, Waiting For Godot with Sirs’ Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen, Curious Incident of the Dog…(Associate), Queen Of The Night (Drama Desk Award), The Public’s Twelfth Night and Odyssey at The Delacorte, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s 21 Chump Street and Peter and The Wolf at BAM, Encore’s God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater and Fanny, Best Yet To Come (Drama Desk Award), Broadway’s American Idiot (Associate), Beaches-Drury Lane, Kiss Me Kate-Barrington, The Met’s Rigoletto (Assoc). Lorin is a Bucks County Playhouse Artistic Associate: Company, Ain’t Misbehavin’, Buddy, Rocky Horror, Taste of Things To Come (Director). Performed in fourteen Broadway shows, danced with Twyla Tharp, Momix, Robert Wilson, Graham. Lorin is a graduate/adjunct professor at The Juilliard School and founder of artammo.org, Artists Against Gun Violence. Upcoming: La Traviata at The Met Opera. LorinLatarro.com
We recently sat down with Lorin to discuss her training background, impressive Broadway career and the goals she’s bringing with her for her residency with Broadway Dance Lab.
BDL: Can you tell us a bit about your background? How did you enter the world of dance?
LL: I grew up dancing in New York City and auditioned and was accepted into The Juilliard School. That’s when my life changed; dance and choreography wholly became my focus.
BDL: Can you speak a bit more about your transitioning into choreography? What was that evolution like?
LL: I was choreographing since I can remember. In college, Juilliard had opportunities like taking composition classes and Bessie Schoenberg, for whom the Bessie award is named after. We also go to work on high profile creative projects with Lincoln Center and opera and Shakespeare plays on top of dance choreography. I performed in many companies and Broadway shows, but ultimately always knew my love of creating would supersede performing. The transition was metamorphic and cathartic in many ways. I assisted many great artists along the way to both supplement my income and continue to learn.
BDL: What skill sets do you feel are necessary to be a successful choreographer?
LL: A combination of textual and kinetic skills are necessary. You have to tell the story at every given moment, while lifting the text off the page to a larger, visceral event. It is a position of artistic service – serving the story, serving the director, serving the actors and dancers and serving and nurturing your own creative impulses amongst all the diverse needs of the show.
BDL: You’ve worked in the worlds of concert dance AND theatre, what are some of the differences you find working in those different fields?
LL: Personally, I am always interested in telling a story. In concert dance, it is lovely to have dance be the center of the storytelling, instead of the periphery or background, but the worlds are continuing to merge and dance is an agnostic language that everyone can understand.
BDL: What interested you in working with BDL?
LL: BDL is affording me the opportunity to try out some ideas on paid dancers that have been swimming around in my head for a while now. Choreographing is an expensive endeavor. Studio rental and dancers cost money and liability.
BDL: What are some challenges you face as a choreographer that people may not be aware of?
LL: Choreographers unfortunately tend to be the last creative artists brought on to a project. How can you have deep choreography that works on many levels and finds things off the page, and lifts the entire show, if it is only given the last four weeks of a usually very long process of writing the piece? If choreographers were invited to early writing meetings, theatre would be more progressive in how the storytelling is accomplished instead of the more traditional – come in and paint on the dances six weeks before audiences are invited.
BDL: What specific goals are you bringing with you for your residency with us?
LL: I am interested in creating an evening length danced piece of theatre. I have a story I desperately want to tell and thanks to BDL’s generosity, I’ll be able to physicalize some of ideas and see if they stick.