Interviews

Q&A with Dana Foglia

Choreographer and Movement Coach for Beyonce and Director of Dana Foglia Dance

By Katherine Moore of Dance Informa.

Dana Foglia has worked among the greats. From Beyonce to Janet Jackson, Foglia’s experience in the commercial dance world has made her one of the most sought after dancers/teachers/choreographers in the country.

This November in LA, Dana Foglia Dance will present Vatic, a full-length, immersive experience of contemporary dance, hip-hop, and maybe even a little of Vegas Cirque. Vatic, originally premiered in NYC in 2011, is a futuristic journey through music that comes to life via percussive and athletic bodies.

Dance Informa sat down with Foglia to learn more about her world as a choreographer and her upcoming performance.

Stills from Dana Foglia's 'Vatic'. Photo courtesy of Dana Foglia Dance.

Stills from Dana Foglia’s ‘Vatic’. Photo courtesy of Dana Foglia Dance.

Tell our readers a little bit about your journey as a choreographer. How did you get to be where you are today?

“My journey as a choreographer began very reluctantly actually. I always had in my mind that performing was the only thing I would ever want to do. After touring for years, I began feeling a bit differently, a bit unfulfilled, and unsure what I wanted to do next. I began teaching, and through that journey I started finding my voice in movement. It took me some time to really feel clear on my vision. I found music that I felt so connected to and things started flowing from there.”

You have a show coming up in LA this November. What can you tell us about it?

“Vatic will be premiering in Los Angeles at the El Portal Theatre November 14th, 15th, 16th.  It will be more than just a dance show that people come in and watch, but rather an experience that the audience will come in and feel.  In addition to set, sound, and lighting developed to be a more immersive experience, we are also leveraging HD sound technology to really make the viewer feel like they are part of the show.”

Where do you get your inspiration as a choreographer?

“My main inspiration to move is music. I am not sure what I would do without music in my life. If a song is right, movements begin to flow for me, ideas begin to be dreamt of in my head and things happen because of music.”

You’re the choreographer and movement coach for Beyonce. Tell us a little bit about what it’s like to work with high profile clients like her.

Dana Foglia with singer Rihanna.

Dana Foglia with singer Rihanna. Photo courtesy of Dana Foglia.

“Working with Beyonce has always been very exciting. I’ve come around sort of full circle with her, starting as her dancer, and now as a choreographer and movement coach. I sometimes feel I should pinch myself to be able to have worked in all of these aspects with one of the biggest artists in the world. It’s also truly surreal to feel the respect and trust she has in my work.”

What qualities do you look for in a performer and require for those in your company?

“In order to be in my company, first and foremost I need nice, kind, real people. I have never had auditions for my company for this reason. I need to trust this person and feel connected to them as people. Of course, then I need a determined, fearless mind that sees this company as a team effort. And on top of that, of course, comes the versatility needed to execute my work with integrity. I come from a technical background as well as hip hop styles, and commercial dance. My work fuses all of these things and it is very difficult to find dancers able to do both with ease.”

What advice do you have for young dancers who might be thinking of pursuing a choreographic career like yourself? 

“My advice to aspiring choreographers is to train in as many styles as you can get your hands on, gain knowledge, gain experiences, perform, travel, experiment, and most of all don’t doubt what comes out of your body. Trust in it and go for it full force.”

Photo (top): Dana Foglia performing next to Beyonce. Photo courtesy of Dana Foglia.

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