Monday, January 2, 2012

Interview with Graciela Kozak

Interview with Graciela Kozak

Graciela Kozak was born in Argentina, and trained at the Teatro Colón of Buenos Aires. She danced with the Bat-Dor and Bat- Sheva companies in Israel, and the Peridance Ensemble in NY. She has performed works by Alvin Ailey, Paul Taylor, Jiri Kylian, Mark Morris, Igal Perry, Lar Lubovich, Donald McKayle and many other choreographers. Graciela joined the Peridance Faculty in 1985, and the faculty of the Ailey School in 2002. She has taught classes for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Ailey II, Ballet Tech, Complexions, Donald Byrd, Pascal Rioult, the School of Ballet Hispanico and Ballett Akademien in Sweden. 

When did you start teaching? 

I began at the age of 15 in Argentina. I later moved to Israel, where I performed and taught for twelve years. I always knew that's what I wanted to do. I find   the process of learning and teaching fascinating. It is wonderful to see how dance has evolved in the 21st century, physically and artistically. Dancers have physically raised the bar to new standards, and there are new forms of dance emerging.

How long have you been at Peridance?

Almost 25 years. I have taught ballet classes, pointe workshops, and choreography workshops. I have also been teaching ballet classes at Alvin Ailey for the past seven years.

Can you expand on your dance background a little more? 

I have worked with some of the best choreographers of the 20th century, including our very own Igal Perry. Back in Israel I danced in Igal's first ballet, "Episode", which I thought was a masterpiece. I also worked with Alvin Ailey, Jiri Kylian, and Mark Morris, to name a few.

What types of students come to Peridance? 

The student body consists of dancers of all backgrounds. Dancers are both professionals, and aspiring professionals. Others, such as actors, journalists, lawyers and singers to name a few take dance class to complement their professional careers.

Anything else you would like people to know about Peridance? 

I have taught for the The School at Peridance and choreographed for the Peridance Youth Ensemble. I am proud that Peridance has grown to the proportions it is today and proud of the great teachers we have here. Some of our "babies" are now getting accepted to college dance programs and companies, a fact that serves as its own testament to the quality of our program.

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