Monday, February 27, 2012

Manuel Vignoulle
passionately following his dreams and instincts
for the sake of dance...
Manuel Vignoulle

Peridance Capezio Center is pleased to be joined by Manuel Vignoulle for an intensive workshop taking place March 5th-9th, 2012!
Manuel Vignoulle has a truly inspiring story.   
Starting from a young age, Manuel knew he wanted to dance professionally and was eager to face any challenges or obstacles that stood in his way.  As his professional dance career began to boom in France, Manuel received a call from Swan-Benoit Pouffer, Artistic Director of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet with an offer to join the company.  In order to grow as an artist, performer, and choreographer, he accepted this rare opportunity and moved to New York City!  

In an interview posted below, Manuel reveals the challenges and difficulties he faced while adapting to a different culture, an unfamiliar dance community, and above all, a new life.      

A little background...                                                          
Born in France, he studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Danse (Paris) and went on to work with contemporary French choreographers including Claude Brumachon, Corinne Lanselle, Karine Saporta and Bernardo Montet. 

Manuel worked with Redha, a modern-jazz choreographer, and has performed for television, film, fashion, opéra, and musicals. He has also been assistant choreographer in collaboration with Alvin Ailey (USA), Het Nationale Ballet (Netherlands) and State Theater Dance Company (South Africa). 

In recent years, Manuel danced for Ballet du Grand Theatre de Genève (Switzerland) - which was named best European ballet company in 2006. There he worked with choreographers such as Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, Adonis Foniadakis, Cisco Aznar, Annabelle Ochoa Lopez, Carolyn Carlson, Benjamin Millepied, John Neumeier, and Malou Airaudo, among others. 

At Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet (New York) Manuel has performed works by Ohad Naharin, Hofesh Shechter, Didy Veldman, Jo Stromgren, Alexander Eckman and Benoit- Swan Pouffer.  Manuel appeared as a guest for La La La Human Steps (Canada), the Het Nationale Ballet (Netherlands), State Theatre (South Africa), and The Forsythe Company (Germany). 

He is currently a freelance choreographer, performing his work in Switzerland, France, and New York.

“Dance, an art without borders, uses the human body as raw material moving through space, generates feelings that touch people's hearts, and leads them to reconnect with their own humanity.” 

~Manuel Vignoulle

1. At what point in your life did you move to NYC and what influenced this decision?  
After 5 years in Geneva Ballet, I was a bit bored of being “just a dancer.” I was ready to focus all of my energy into my own creative work. But, in the meantime, Swan-Benoît Pouffer presented me an opportunity to join Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

Contemporary Movement with Manuel Vignoulle
 I always wanted to move abroad, far from Europe.  I wanted to have new experiences artistically and culturally. For the first time, I had the opportunity to move to a new, great place and perform truly amazing and really interesting repertoire at the same time, which is very rare! That’s why I decided to move to New York!

2. Was moving to New York a difficult decision for you and why?  
The decision wasn’t easy. Financially, I had a very good situation in Europe. After being a professional dancer for 14 years in Europe, my network was dense. I didn’t have to prove myself as much anymore.

New York presented a new and truthful challenge, and I love to be challenged.  I knew I would have to prove myself again, adapt to a new way of working, a new aesthetic, a new state of mind, and a new life. Everything was unknown, but exciting!

3. When you left your family and friends in France, do you feel you grew more as an independent artist?  
I left my parent’s place for dance school at age 12, so I quickly became acclimated with moving around a lot for work. I made amazing friends everywhere I went. With internet and skype now, it is so easy for me to keep  touch with the people I care about despite the distance. Anyway, nothing was a big deal compared to the call from Swan to come to NY, this move was something I felt in my guts.

Yes, I do now feel more empowered and driven as an independent artist, but it is not only because of the distance but more because of the new experiences I had which I revealed in my work. It is because of these experiences that it is now clear to me: what I want to do, where I want to go, what I want to develop in my movement, what I want to share with dancers, and the message of my work.   

4. What were some of the most challenging cultural differences for you to adapt to? 
The amount of time you have to prove yourself is very small in American culture.  You have to prove very quickly that you are good or amazing!
The way you have to sell yourself…as the best ever dancer, choreographer, artistic director, whatever… in the world! This was a real culture shock for me.

There are a lot of rules in American culture and there is a very small spectrum of what is good and what is bad, or what you should and should not do. There is no point in arguing either, it's just a big waste of time.

Manuel and Luciana Reolon
In Conversation, choreographed by Manuel Vignoulle
Photo by Gregory Batardon
5. What would you say are some of the main differences between the dance world in Europe and the one here in New York?
I would just say that in Europe, we are taught to make the movement happen or appear from the inside. You make your own story through movement and nothing is artificial or forced.   As long as you act like yourself and be as simple and true as possible, people and the public will come to you, you don't have to go find them.  Also, you don’t need to show off and dance as if you are saying "look at me, look at me!"

Here, dance seems to be less mental, more natural ( I love to see people dancing in the subway !) and above all more fun. Sometimes , when you take dance too seriously, you forget the pleasure and the funny side of it and loose the purpose, love and passion of dance. 

6. Are you working on any new, exciting choreography projects at the moment that you would like to share with our fans?
I am now working on different projects with photographers, painters, comedians, and of course, dancers.  I like to mix arts.  I think it is what we can expect to see in the future, even though I do believe that the rawness of dance can stand alone by itself.  

Nothing is more important to me than to create emotions in people's hearts, and allow them to reconnect with their own humanity.  

7.  What is your choreographic process like and what are some of your sources of inspiration?
I have multiple sources of inspiration but the biggest one is life itself, then our personal experiences, situations we encounter, all what you see, smell, hear, touch and feel. 

8. What can dancers expect to learn in your workshop? 

The class is designed for dancers to test, challenge, and better their ability to follow the given combination with accuracy and precision, without losing their personality in the process, or the quality that makes each one of them unique. Essentially, class is the place where you experiment with new ways of using your body- new ways of thinking within your body for a better understanding of your dancing.

Check out our video of his Contemporary Workshop at Peridance:

Friday, February 3, 2012

A follow up on our,
January 15th, 2012

Greetings Peridance Capezio Center fans!  
Thank you to everyone who came and participated in our 2012 Kids Fair! 
 The kids who attended rocked and truly had a blast, as did we!
We wanted to share some of the events highlights by sharing these photos with you all.
We also created a YouTube video featuring choreography by HipHop Artist Kim Elliot, performed by the kids!  
Check it out below!

Creative Girls! 

Movers and Shakers!

Arts and Crafts and MORE! 

We also want to thank our sponsors:  
Atlantic Acting SchoolBee Tutored, Camp BroadwayCapezioCitibabes, Curious JaneFrench Woods Performing Arts Camp, New York Chess KidsNew York City Guitar School.  
Thank you all for your support and making this event possible.  

We hope you join us again!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Interview with Kristin Sudeikis

An Interview with:
Kristin Sudeikis 
On her piece, "I Am You"
"To be true is to be provocative"

Kristin Sudeikis

First Impression...
I am glad to have had the honor of meeting with New York contemporary choreographer Kristin Sudeikis, to discuss her recent creative process with the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company.  Upon first sight, she was absolutely stunning with soft blonde, wavy hair, and had a hip and trendy yet earthy feel to her.  She had a sense of openness as she let the words describing her experience flow freely from her heart. 

Her spirit was alive during our conversation and her presence was refreshing.  Kristin has an intense love for music and dance that is so deep that it is sensed immediately upon meeting her.  Her unique, passionate attitude has brought her a dancer's dream of success.

A Not so Small Background...
Kristin’s credits include choreographer and dancer for the Emmy award winning NBC hit 30 Rock, as well as NIKE, Under Armour, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Microsoft, Oprah and for events at Self Magazine. Her print work includes Shape Magazine as well as Vogue. Most recently, Kristin finished the second successful run of her original production " Even in Silence... " a dance concert including live music, spoken word, and film exploring all those things left unsaid. 

In the beginning of February, 2012, Kristin is excited to be traveling to Stockholm, Sweden as a Guest Artist for "The Nike Blast."  The Nike Blast is "a two-day event filled with inspiration from the latest and hottest trends within dance and group fitness," including master classes, exciting lectures, and over 60 presenters!  Peridance Capezio Center wishes her luck and safe travels!   

Kristin recently finished setting her piece "I Am You" on Peridance Contemporary Dance Company (PCDC) and was eager to openly share her thoughts and emotions about her experience.  "I Am You" is meant to be "uncomfortable and provocative" as it asks audience members through the use of text and movement "who and what we are as humans and dancers."  Following, are the questions and answers I asked Kristin about this piece and her experiences while working with PCDC as well as some of her afterthoughts.  

Photo by: Meems Images

What is the story behind this work, and what inspired you to create this particular piece?    
The idea came to me when I was watching the Peridance Contemporary Dance Company at their APAP tech, and I thought to myself 'Wow, this is a group of highly technical movers with great presence and power.'  I was very affected and impacted by their dancing as well as their individuality, yet I still wanted to learn more about them.  So I decided to create a piece about just that, who these people are as artists and as unique individuals.  I wanted them to own the edginess of what it means to be in a Downtown New York dance company.  

In our first rehearsal, I engaged the dancers' minds with a writing exercise, because I believe that as dancers we always use our bodies first when approaching movement.  When we use our minds and delve into our emotions and then approach movement, the movement will have an entirely different personal meaning and its delivery to the audience will give a much clearer message.  One cannot communicate clearly until one knows what one is trying to communicate. I wanted them to start with their hearts, and then engage in the movement. 

What was your choreographic process like with the Company?  What methods did you use to generate movement?  
The movement was inspired by the artists' stories and the idea of being in the "now."  I wanted to play with the idea of giving support to the people around us as well as being the support of those around us.  I wanted the dancers to be vulnerability in motion.  

I started with set phrases and then continued to have the dancers write about who they are and what they will be.  The process was a dialogue, an ongoing communication that was necessary to explore the self and humanity.  The movement has strength, power and vulnerability equally playing on each other.  

I believe that audiences are searching and craving for truth, rawness and honesty, and I wanted to give it to them.  New York City is provocative, so the audience members are provocative, and the artists should be as well.  

Can you give me a little more information about the text the dancers vocalize?  
The text derives from their personal stories.  However, the dancers' stories on who we are constantly change, as do the rest of humanity's.  That being said, the text has a vague structure and the details change depending on the time and place.  

Photo by: Meems Images

Kristin teaches Advanced/Intermediate Contemporary Classes
 at Peridance Capezio Center:
Monday/Wednesday, 1:00-2:30PM
Tuesday/Thursday, 9:00-10:30PM
Sundays, 2:30-4:00PM 

If you missed the Preview Performance catch this piece at PCDC's upcoming season in May!  
Stay tuned for times and locations by checking this page:

Photo by: Meems Images

"Start with the heart, and then engage."

Peridance Capezio Center Presents:

Peridance Capezio Center is excited to bring together its talented faculty and students for a series of choreography showcases in a diverse array of styles, including ballet, contemporary, jazz, tap, and house. As a leader in New York dance education, Peridance takes special pride in showcasing its highly creative faculty and student body in an entertaining and diverse program.  Peridance’s bi-yearly Faculty and Students Showcases offer a perfect opportunity for artists within the Peridance rich community to express themselves artistically, and for audience members to get a glimpse of what the Center is all about.  

February 4, 2012 - 8:30pm 
February 5, 2012 - 2:30pm 
TICKETS $18/$12 Students 
Tickets are available online and at the Peridance Box Office. 
See works created by Korhan Basaran, Ashley Carter, Grant Chang, Diego Funes, Yuki Hasegawa, Kim Holmes, Brice Mousset, Sue Samuels, Svea Schneider, Tracie Stanfield, Aaron Tolson, Marlena Wolf, Joseph Zeisky, and Igal Perry.

February 5, 2012 - 7:30pm 
TICKETS $15/$12 Students 
Tickets are available at the Peridance Box Office.
See works created by Jason Ambrose, Alexis Convento, Lorena Egan, Ekaterina Galanova, Nikki Holck, Hsiao-Ting Hsieh, Megan Lininger, Daron Wehle, Maayan Trabish, Eryn Renee Young, guest choreographer Nina Buisson, a winner chosen from the Emergency Fund for Student Dancers Benefit, and Peridance Youth Ensemble performing work by Gregory Dolbashian. 

All showcases are held at the Salvatore Capezio Theater at Peridance
126 E. 13th Street between 3rd and 4th Ave. PERIDANCE.COM 212-505-0886

To check out the 2010 Faculty Showcase, please visit our youtube video: