Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Teacher Feature: APRIL 2010

*Teacher Feature is a NEW monthly installment on the PeriBlog! Each month a selected Peridance faculty member answers questions about their dance favorites and inspirations. Find out more about your favorite Peridance faculty members, starting with this month's featured teacher, Max Stone!*

Max Stone
- Tuesdays & Thursdays, 1:00pm - 2:30pm

Who was your favorite dancer growing up?
Who inspired you to be a dancer?
Probably Rudolf Nureyev in the 70s when I started training heavily in ballet. I was 16 or 17. He was the great male influence of the time in ballet. He was my biggest influence. Of course at that time, there was Luigi in jazz and Gus Giordano. When I came to New York, teachers like Lynn Simonson and the Broadway people inspired me: Bob Fosse, Michael Bennett.

Who would you say is your favorite dancer/choreographer/company now?

Lots of Europeans. I love Ohad Naharin's work. I think he's just so fresh and innovative— physical. And of course, there is Jiri Kylian and William Forsythe. In the states, I'm a big fan of Doug Varone, Lar Lubovitch, those great contemporary masters of modern dance, mostly New York-based.

Name a living choreographer whose latest work you are always interested in seeing.
Probably Kylian. But he's not the only one. If Forsythe does something, if Ohad does something, I'll be there. I also love Mats Ek. I've been a big fan of his ever since I lived and taught in Sweden.

What books, movies, music, or works of art have most recently inspired you?
I liked "Avatar." I'm a huge Sci-Fi fanatic. I also loved “A Serious Man” and “Inglorious Bastards.”

Name an upcoming performance or class (besides your own) that you recommend everyone attend.
I love Nathan Trice's class; I love Oliver Steele, Jana Hicks. These people really have something to offer in the contemporary vein.

What are your favorite qualities in a dancer?
Sense of self, confidence, even if it's pseudo-confidence [laughs]. Show me who you are. We can always work on technique and style, but I like to get a sense of who the person is first and foremost.

Name one thing that no dancer should be without.
Water [laughs] and maybe coffee.

Are there any personal or professional updates that you would like the Peridance community to know about?
I just finished choreographing for a company, just a couple weeks ago, in Houston, Texas called Uptown Dance Centre. I did the same piece with Jana Hicks and Marijke Eliasberg's workshop, the Next Stage Project at City Center. I was just asked to do the Complexions Contemporary Ballet summer intensive this coming summer.

What do you think of the quality of the Peridance facility, students, and fellow faculty members? What is unique about Peridance?
I just love the general vibe here. The students are very serious about training and they seem very committed to learning. They are very open to different styles too.

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