By Tara Sheena of Dance Informa.
For this month’s “Budding, Not Yet Blooming” series we profile New York-based choreographer and Artistic Director of CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet, Donna Salgado. Salgado’s company, founded in 2010, has already gained significant attention for their highly technical work and boundary-defying ideas of contemporary ballet. Their notoriety has continued with high-profile performances at the 92nd Street Y, DanceNOW, and multiple summers on the famed Jacob’s Pillow Inside/Out stage. Next month, Salgado will showcase her work for the Columbia Ballet Collective at the Manhattan Movement and Arts Center. Excerpts of her interview with Dance Informa’s Tara Sheena are below.
What originally drew you to choreography? Do you have any early influences you can recall?
Pursuing an artistic life can begin in the most simple way— mine was a desire to create beautiful things. At an early age I took great interest in coloring and painting, sketching fashion designs, perfecting my signature, and making all sorts of arts and crafts. My favorite aspect of creating was discovering ways to improve my projects and make them look better or more interesting. Meanwhile, as a child, I was taking dance lessons and freely dancing in my parents’ home because I loved the feeling of my body moving through space to music. It was inevitable that these two ideas would cross paths.
How would you describe your aesthetic and style to someone who has never seen your work?
Collage-like, elegant, movement oriented, soulful.
What is the biggest challenge for emerging choreographers in NYC right now? What are the strategies you’ve employed to navigate that challenge?
All art professions are challenging, however, as my Dad says, “If you are going to shine, you are going to shine no matter what.” Just make art. That is the only strategy worth following.
What are the next steps for you and your company?
Last spring, we welcomed resident choreographer, Juanjo Arques, from the Dutch National Ballet, and took great pleasure in experiencing a new and different process. After such a positive experience, [we are] making collaboration a major priority. This month, we will be working in the studio with [New York-based choreographer] Emery LeCrone. We also recently created the Understanding Dance blog at understandingdance.tumblr.com.
Right now, I am really excited to be creating a premiere for the Columbia Ballet Collaborative. The performances are on November 22nd and November 23rd at Manhattan Movement & Arts Center.
To keep up to date with Donna Salgado and CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet visit www.continuumcontemporaryballet.org
Photo (top): CONTINUUM Contemporary/Ballet performing at Jacob’s Pillow. Photo by Michael Darling.