×
Home About Choreographers Dancers Blog Contact Team Board of Directors Supporters Choreographer Apply Dancer Apply Photo Press Video Audio

Category: BDL News

May
16

ANNOUNCING CYCLE 4 AUDITIONS!

c38d44b2-6847-4d88-9a99-1d229afe822cBDL is seeking highly trained, stylistically versatile male and female dancers for a nine-week contract. Cycle 4 choreographers will include Artistic Director Josh Prince, Larry Keigwin, Lorin Latarro, Rosie Herrera, Al Blackstone, and others to be announced.

Auditions are by appointment only.
For more information, and to register CLICK HERE.


Oct
12

JOSH’S JOURNAL

challenge_changeLike many of you, I have a love-hate relationship with going to the gym.  Mostly hate.  But what I love is when I start to see progress, to feel stronger, to look better, to have more stamina, and to realize I can do things that I didn’t think I was capable of doing.  There’s a very common philosophy in personal training that in order to force our muscles to grow we must train them to failure.  I looked around me in my boxing class today and from what I could see through the sweat that had dripped into my eyes, no one there was even capable of completing the outrageous tasks our teacher was ordering us to attempt.  It’s as if the exercises he had chosen were designed to be impossible. And yet there we all were, struggling to do just one more push-up this time.  One more crunch.  One more squat.  The truth is, we all keep coming back to class because we know that today could be that breakthrough day if we just keep showing up and training to failure.  At the gym, the concept of failure takes on a whole new meaning.  At the gym, our failure is proof that we have tested our limits and grown.  But why do we really put ourselves through such agony?  Why bother working so hard to get healthier?  Because deep down we know that when we ourselves are stronger we are the able to offer those around us so much more.

Broadway Dance Lab is a creative gym for choreographers.  It is that place where they can safely push themselves artistically, fatigue and fail – then get back in the game and even surprise themselves with success on their very next try.  Just like we grow our muscles, so too must we grow our creativity.   The gym is just a building with weights but it is an invaluable resource to many looking to stay healthy or even change their lives completely.  BDL is a studio with dancers –  but equally invaluable to choreographers looking for a way to try the impossible, train to failure, and emerge changed, stronger and more confident than ever.  And it is with this newfound strength and confidence that these artists will venture out, ready to give audiences worldwide more than they ever thought they could.


Oct
03

VIEWPOINTS with Courtney Kristen Liu

11159915_10153413409841779_4784466941150163888_o

Our Viewpoints series allows you to hear directly from our dancers as they blog about the process and experience of working with Broadway Dance Lab.

Courtney Kristen Liu can currently be seen in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera. Additional NYC credits include Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Ensemble, Ballerina Bear) and Queen of the Night. Courtney has danced professionally with Cincinnati Ballet and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duke University where she earned her BA in Psychology and Business.

Imagine you are in High School and your English teacher gives you an assignment: you must write a 30- page paper about Hamlet. The paper must appeal to a wide range of readers. It must have a sufficient amount of “wow” sentences without seeming too corny or wordy. You will only have access to pens and paper for seven hours a day for two weeks. Your English teacher and their various colleagues will stand over your shoulder and give feedback at various times. The paper will be read aloud to 1,000 people at the end of the two weeks and your talent will be evaluated.

This is essentially the job of the choreographer. And it is terrifying.

The Broadway Dance Lab is an organization that supports choreographers in this journey by providing pens and paper and giving them an “teacher free” library to write their drafts.

As a dancer it has been a completely new experience to work with choreographers in a space free of judgment and deadlines. Normally I walk into rehearsal and the choreographer starts throwing out sequences of steps. We work in a linear fashion because it feels more efficient and the progress is easy to track. If a choreographer is unhappy with a section they may ignore it and move forward for fear of running out of time.

At BDL choreographers are free to work in circular patterns or with no roadmap at all! They allow themselves to be inspired by the artists and energy in their immediate environment rather than creating phrases in their living room and hoping the ideas translate to a group of bodies in a larger space. Sometimes we will work on a single phrase for an hour to really find the perfect way to tell the story.

As one of the living and breathing pens working for BDL this cycle, the process has been a lot of writing and crossing out, of starting at the end and moving to the beginning and then to the “third drum set section”, and of sinking into unknown territory. As dancers we must let go of knowing… knowing where the process will lead, knowing if the steps we love will make it into the final piece, and even knowing what shoes to wear!

The unknowns are countless but I am certain of one thing… by pushing ourselves to work differently, we are slowly emerging as better choreographers and dancers. And after eight weeks we will be in a better place to tackle that 30- page Hamlet paper in the normal time and process constraints of the dance.

-Courtney


Oct
01

STEP BY STEP with Geoffrey Goldberg

GG_New_DHeadshot--212x300

As a performer, Geoffrey has worked on Broadway with Mary Poppins, and on National Tours including Mary Poppins (First National), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (First National), and 42nd Street (Asia). 

As a Director & Choreographer, Geoffrey has worked on Broadway (Associate Kids Director with Mary Poppins), internationally (Assistant Director of the Mexico City Spanish-language production of Mary Poppins), regionally (Mary Poppins, Alluvion Stage, Playhouse on the Square), and at festivals (NYMF, Fringe, TADA!), University productions (At The Chelsea, Footloose, at CAP21 Conservatory), and on readings throughout NYC.

We asked Geoffrey a few questions about his background, his work and the goals he has for his residency with BDL. 

BDL: Tell us a bit about your background and how you started choreographing.

Geoffrey Goldberg: I had taught dance classes and choreographed routines there since I was a teenager, but it wasn’t until I became Dance Captain of Mary Poppins on Broadway that I considered a career as a Director and Choreographer. After that show, I went full steam ahead, choreographing festival and university productions in NYC, to large scale productions regionally around the country. It’s been a lot of fun, and a huge learning curve!

BDL: What was it that made you want to become a choreographer?

GG: I love storytelling. I have always been a writer, in addition to a dancer, and see movement and choreography as another means of telling a story. And the reward of telling that story with no words, with only bodies, emotions, relationships, moments, and movements is so great – and the discovery of how to tell that story is even greater!

BDL: Are you coming to Cycle 3 with any specific goals in mind?

GG: I have done a lot of choreography with tap, and I am looking forward to choreographing more traditional musical theater style, as well as with some more ensemble-based contemporary movement. I have a few new pieces I’d like to explore, as well as some potentially crazy and fun ideas to toss in there, too!

BDL: How does your process in the studio generally unfold? Do you start with the music or an idea or simply let yourself be inspired by the dancers?

GG: I usually start with the music, which leads me to an idea. I’ll listen to the music countless times until I feel like I understand each nook and cranny, and eventually images and moves and stories come out. When I am in the studio, it is simply a matter of relaying those ideas to the dancers, to the team, and that might be done through conversation, movement, or some other sort of exercise. I feel like I develop my way of choreographing each time I choreograph.

BDL: What are three words that you would use to describe your choreographic style?

GG: Classic, quirky and strong.

BDL: What’s next for you after BDL?

GG: I am off to Philadelphia to Direct and Choreograph a production of Billy Elliot at the Media Theater! I absolutely love this show, and cannot wait to work on this production, which will be my second production of Billy Elliot this year!

BDL: Why do you think programs like BDL are important?

GG: I am so looking forward to the workshop – I feel like it is a much-needed space in our industry to explore and discover and try out ideas without the pressure or timeline of production. I am also looking forward to challenging myself to be driven by the process, and not the product, as is many times the case.


Mar
11

WEEK ONE

What a week it has been!  Our first five rehearsals with the Broadway Dance Lab have once again reminded me of the importance and necessity of its very existence.  As a Broadway choreographer, I am struck by just how much I am trained to produce product, and produce it quickly.  The experience of having 10 supremely talented dancers in a rehearsal room with absolutely no agenda is both liberating and daunting.

My mother is an art teacher and a wonderful artist in her own right.  I asked her once, “If you could paint anything you wanted… anything at all… what would it be?”  Her answer was, understandably, “Oh gosh!  I don’t know!”   I believe this is what most artists face with the notion of true freedom.  No boundaries means endless possibilities and endless possibilities can feel terrifying because it’s so hard to know where to even begin.  How do we create product if we can’t even begin?  The first week in the lab challenged me to put aside my notions of product and focus solely on the creative process.  I challenged myself to just begin where I was that day and what comes out will be what it is.  Ironically, in so doing, I began four separate ideas in the first five days.  Are they any “good”?  Who knows? Will I “finish” all these ideas?  Who knows?  And the glory of the Lab is that, for once, I don’t have to have that answer.

The freedom to explore, the freedom to change my mind completely, the freedom to start with no pressure to finish, the freedom to discover my own voice, the freedom to rummage through my own mind, the freedom to try without consequences of failure… for an independent contractor like me these freedoms can feel scary at first.  The existential questions begin to arise almost immediately:  “What is this for?”,  “Are people going to like this?”, “Does this work matter if it’s not for sale?”,  and on and on…  These are questions that merely serve to stand in the way of creativity.

These 10 dancers are extraordinary.  They give of themselves 100% without hesitation or question and it is a joy to be inspired by them and to create on them.  Yet, as I look at them I often think, “They are so talented.  You better make something good, Josh!  You better make something worthy of these dancers!  And make it fast!”  But this is the exact mental habit I am trying to break.  All of these voices are what the Lab serves to quiet.

Every time my inner critic arises and questions my right to fail…every time I glance at the clock and realize my precious hours with these wonderful artists are slipping past… I am reminded why the Broadway Dance Lab is so vital.  It is only by giving choreographers true freedom from these inner voices that they can begin the process of removing these roadblocks to their success and begin uncovering great things.

 


Mar
10

ANNOUNCING THE 2014 BROADWAY DANCE LAB COMPANY!

After seeing hundreds of dancers audition, I am thrilled to announce our Broadway Dance Lab dancers for March, 2014!  They are:

Giovanni Bonaventura, Stephanie Brooks, Jeff Davis, Alexander DeLeo, Kory Geller, Taylor Markarian, Alice Pucheu, Valerie Salgado, Jena VanElslander, Latra A. Wilson

BDL Company, March 2014

These exceptionally talented dancers have already begun working together in the studio and I couldn’t be more thrilled by their ability and artistry.


Dec
23

GIVE THE GIFT OF DANCE!

“Serious art is born from serious play”- Julia Cameron

Dear Friends and Family,

As I prepare to open my second Broadway show, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, I am filled with a renewed passion for Musical Theater and the sheer joy it brings audiences all over the world. The special combination of song and dance – a uniquely American art form – is something I have always held dear. Dance itself is a staple of Broadway Musicals and I believe so strongly in its power to uplift, excite, and even educate. To that end, I hope you will join me this holiday season in supporting my new organization, The Broadway Dance Lab.

The Broadway Dance Lab is the first non-profit organization dedicated to providing the necessary resources for Musical Theater choreographers to explore and test their ideas in a private, artistically safe space. And it is because of you – our supporters – that our inaugural year was such a success! With a grassroots campaign we raised over $16,000 to help sponsor our very first “Lab Cycle” – a period of intense creative incubation in which we employed 10 spectacular dancers for one-month and created 12 brand new pieces of choreography.

BE SURE TO CHECK OUT OUR VIDEO IF YOU HAVEN’T ALREADY!

Here are some BDL highlights from 2013:

• We performed at “Steps: Beyond,” the 19th Annual “Fire Island Dance Festival,” and the Career Transitions for Dancers Gala “Broadway and Beyond” at New York City Center.
• Your gift is tax-deductible! We are proud to be an official Non-Profit with the State of New York and we remain a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization.
• We teamed up with My Dutch Uncle, Inc., the San Francisco-based company specializing in assisting non-profits, who are helping us maximize our artistic mission and build our Board.
• We joined with the prestigious branding firm HZDG (Volkswagen, Brooks Brothers, Washington Redskins) to create a strong brand identity.
• Finally, two of Broadway’s most iconic dancers have joined our Advisory Board! Donna McKechnie (original “Cassie” in A Chorus Line) and Chita Rivera (original “Anita” in West Side Story) have both endorsed The Broadway Dance Lab and its mission. We are thrilled to have the support of these lengendary women!

I am excited to announce that our second Lab Cycle will take place this March and I am reaching out to ask for your help in raising the necessary funds to keep The Broadway Dance Lab moving forward with unparalleled momentum. Your support ensures that theater choreographers have a place to create without limitations, and that dance in Musical Theater stays fresh, vital, and strong for decades to come. Please consider becoming a patron of The Broadway Dance Lab today with a gift of $50, $100, $200, or more! Every dollar counts as we set out to meet our goal of $50,000 by March 1, 2014. Please join me on the ground floor of this exciting new organization!

VISIT OUR “DONATE” PAGE TO MAKE YOUR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION TODAY!

Thank you so much for your generosity and I wish all a very happy holiday season!

Josh


Nov
13

BDL CELEBRATES ONE YEAR!

Still_1.1f031b3be51714c547363f99886c1af.jpeg

As we reach our one-year anniversary, we have much to celebrate.  Our initial fundraising campaign surpassed $15,000, and with that generosity BDL has begun building a strong presence in the New York dance and Musical Theater communities.  Because of your support, BDL has received remarkable exposure during its first year:

"In Defense", photo: Rosalie O'Connor

“In Defense”, photo: Rosalie O’Connor

In Summer, 2013, BDL received its first commission from the Fire Island Dance Festival, one of the most prestigious dance festivals in the dance community.  Josh’s new work, “In Defense” – a piece celebrating the repeal of DADT – opened the festival which presented works from such renowned dance organizations as New York City Ballet, Paul Taylor, and Alvin Ailey.

"Take Five", BDL

“Take Five”, BDL

BDL was invited to present work at Steps Beyond, a performance lab series held at Steps On Broadway, a premiere dance school in New York City.

"Doggie In The Window", BDL, City Center

“Doggie In The Window”, BDL, City Center

BDL also performed at Career Transition for Dancers 28th Anniversary GALA: “Broadway and Beyond” honoring Ann-Margaret.   This took place on October 8th at The New York City Center – the prestigious 2,750 seat theater and dance establishment in the heart of Manhattan.

Thanks for all you have helped us accomplish!  We cannot do it without you.