Friday, November 11, 2011

Meet the Company!

I am sure many of you have heard that the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is back in action and maybe you have even caught a glimpse of a rehearsal in studio 4. I want to take the opportunity to introduce the company to everyone! The company returns to the stage this season after a three-year hiatus while Peridance went through a major transition into its new home. Established in 1984, by Founder and Artistic Director Igal Perry. We are so excited, for the first time in the Company's history, to have a resident performance venue, our beautiful Salvatore Capezio Theater!

The identity of Peridance Contemporary Dance Company is shaped by original choreography, versatile dancers of diverse backgrounds, classical and contemporary accompaniment, and collaborations with live musicians. While upholding the elegance and articulation of classical ballet, Igal has structured the Company to explore and experiment with innovative movement and design. The Company, featuring 8 highly versatile dancers, has been rehearsing at Peridance Capezio Center for a few months now, in preparation for its upcoming debut performances.

Today's Featured dancer is Shay Bares. Stayed tuned to learn about all of the dancers!

Shay received his early training at The School of Ballet Tyler under Kym Lanier.  Through workshops, intensives, and conventions, he was exposed to diverse movement at an early age. In his youth, he was a member of Ballet Tyler, a local non-profit youth company, to which he returned for two seasons as Artistic Director.  In 2008, Shay joined the Fellowship program at the Alvin Ailey School.  Shay has danced with various modern, contemporary, ballet, and aerial companies including Kim Robards Dance, Peridance Ensemble, Steven Petronio Company, Basaran Dance Works, NY2 Dance, and Grounded Aerial.  Shay has taught at workshops and conventions across America, and has won overall awards at regional and national competitions.
Please tell us where you are from and something unique about your hometown!
I'm from Tyler, Texas.  It's the rose capital of the world!  Every rose in Tyler has a fairy in it, and every fairy will grant you one wish, but every wish has to be for more roses's kind of a bummer.
What was one of your most memorable onstage or backstage moments?
My very first dance recital when I was nine years old; it was a disco jazz piece. We had Afro wigs, mine was big and green.  In my excitement, I over fluffed it and accidentally made it kind of loose. When it came time for the big headroll cannon, my big green wig went flying across the stage.  I danced across the stage, picked it up, and put it on backwards.  I finished the piece with the tails of the headband dangling in my eyes.  And scene!
How did you get into dance?
I started dancing at age nine when my Mom (who danced from [age] 3-18) suggested my older brother and I sign up. I thought this to be a horrible idea and that dance was only for girls. My big brother (only a year older but my idol) thought it would be fun, so I automatically decided dance was the best idea ever! After the first year I was hooked, and have been shakin’ it ever since. 
What’s your favorite thing to do when you’re not dancing?
When I'm not dancing I am fashioning. I've been designing clothes since I was young, taught myself to sew last year, and have been avidly making clothes ever since. I've had work showcased in a film in Italy and other venues. I plan to make a dance work on my own incorporating the clothing I've made into a film. Exciting, right?!
What are your go-to foods/drinks to get through a tough day of rehearsals and classes?
My go-to foods and drinks to get through class are skittles and Dr. Pepper! Ok I'm kidding!  I usually drink coffee and eat tuna....I have great sympathy for my dance breath...yikes!  Oh and lots and lots of water!
Photo by Krista Bonura
Did your family play a strong role in guiding and supporting your career?
As I said before, my mother started me dancing and was extremely supportive.  My dad, however, was the driving force behind my dance career.  I got burnt out in my mid teens and tried several times to quit, but my dad said I wasn't giving up my God-given ability because I didn't feel like doing [it].  So Thankful for him! 
What advice would you give to pre-professionals who are about to enter the professional world or for young dancers deciding if they want to make dance their future?
My advice for young dancers or any dancer at all is: lose the ego.  No one wants to work with a dancer, no matter the talent level, if he thinks he’s Gods gift to dance. Be humble, pay attention, work hard, and encourage the dancers around you. We're all in this together and need each other’s support!
Who has been your most influential teacher or choreographer thus far? Please tell us a little about why!
Kym Lanier, my dance teacher at home in Texas. A petite, beautiful red headed woman with the business sense of a Wall Street mogul. She never let me get away with being lazy and taught me how to conduct myself in a professional manner. [I] owe her my career. 
What are one or two things you must have in your dance bag?
In my dance bag there are always lots of bobby pins (gotta keep up the glamour!) and multiple pairs of socks.  I feel most comfortable in socks but shred them like it's my job!
Is there a place in the city you would recommend as a must see or must do (restaurant, cafĂ©, park, gallery…)?
My go-to place in the city?  I don't have one location to visit but adore being in Soho; the fashion is so inspiring and the people seem so creative. The street vendors with their original work are wonderful, and the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and coffee shops are so neat.  My other go-to place is my apartment in Harlem.  Come visit me and let's dance on my roof!