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Behind the Scenes: “An Evening to Love”

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Go Behind the Scenes with BMD for an exclusive inside look at the creative process of An Evening to Love at The Kennedy Center Terrace Theater on February 12 and 13 at 7:30 p.m.

Make your reservations today! 

This year’s performance boasts two world premieres, including Far Behind and Timed Connections, featuring collaborations with a host of accomplished musicians, a new commission, and guest artist performances.

Read more about the creative process of An Evening to Love.

In addition, we asked the BMD dancers to describe what excites them the most about this performance, whether they do anything special to prepare for a performance in a high-profile venue such as The Kennedy Center, and how the process of working on Timed Connections has been unique. Here is what BMD’s dancers had to say, along with pictures from a recent rehearsal:

Joan Ayap
“Everything excites me about this performance and given that it’s also a pre-Valentine’s celebration, it makes the whole experience extra special, as we get to share all our love and passion with our audience.

I don’t really know what to expect as this is my very first time to perform in such a high-profile venue. There’s a mixture of excitement and feeling lost at the same time. I will treat it as how I would be prepping for any other performance; making sure I have my make-up kit, dance essentials, and contain my excitement.

Working on Timed Connections has been like creating a perfect dish. You experiment with different ingredients and spices until you achieve that perfect taste. And that’s what I felt with this particular piece. We did a lot of experimentation of movements and emotions until we got that “taste”, which was really amusing. The dance gives out this feeling of modern day romance, which was one of my favorite  aspect of this new piece.”

 

Lauren Christie
“What excites me most is that we’re performing at the KENNEDY CENTER! How cool! This will be my first performance in DC with BMD, so I’m excited to show everyone what we’ve been working on.

I don’t think I’ll do anything out of the ordinary for this performance. I usually start preparing for a major performance a week or two in advance by trying to get enough sleep, eat balanced meals, and take care of my muscles and my body (even more than usual). I’ll also make sure to take class regularly leading up to the performance, and maybe squeeze in a yoga class or two for mental grounding and stability. By the day of the performance, the goal is for my body and mind to feel their best.

 

As an understudy for ” Timed Connections,” I’ve enjoyed watching Lucy craft the piece. The three sections each have different moods, and watching Lucy generate movement to fit these moods has been very interesting. My favorite aspect of the piece is all of the lush partnering in the second section.”

 

Liz Clain-Stefanelli
“I am super excited about all of the pieces in this year’s Kennedy Center Show. They are all beautiful and different in their own way. All of the music is absolutely gorgeous, really driving and challenging. It will feel even better to dance to live!

 

I love performing at the Kennedy Center in my hometown of DC! The whole experience from start to finish is always special. I feel proud to be able to represent BMD at such a high-profile theatre.

 

I prepare for the Kennedy Center like I would for any other show and then that much more. The show week has my full attention and energy. I am very focused, excited, and nervous before a show, so always take time to send my energy in the right directions.

 

Being choreographed on is such a luxury! You really get to work with Lucy to create movement that feels organic and looks organic on your own body. The process of Timed Connections has been exciting from beginning to end. Lucy comes in with ideas and inspirations and then as a group we work together to bring mental thoughts into many movements creating a dance and story. Timed Connections could not have been premiered at a better time!”

 

Alicia Curtis
“I’m especially excited to perform Golconda. The music is gorgeous and I just love how the choreography reflects that. I enjoyed dancing a different role in this piece several years ago, and I’m thrilled to now take on the role that was originated by Alison Crosby. Having the opportunity to perform at such a prestigious venue is really special, and each time I feel so lucky.

 

We work hard to prepare for each performance throughout the season, but there definitely is some added pressure preparing for the Kennedy Center performances. We’ve mounted three pieces for this program – that’s a lot of choreography to master in a pretty short amount of time. As we approach these performances I try to just remain focused and stay healthy, so that once it’s showtime I can enjoy myself and appreciate every moment.
Being involved in the creation of a new work is very rewarding. It’s fun to see how it develops and to be a part of that process. I like the movement vocabulary in Timed Connections, and I’m looking forward to performing the piece with live musicians. I think it will be both challenging and a gratifying.”

 

Junichi Fukuda 
“I am excited about the moments we share with people in the theater. I look forward to sharing what we are doing and hopefully they enjoy what we do for living. Any performance should be as equally important and precious.”

 
 
 
 

Alexandra Keen
“I am so looking forward to our Kennedy Center shows for many reasons. It’s exciting that we are performing in DC’s premier venue which has a sense of prestige and elegance. Also, I love the pieces we are performing in their own right – most set to live music and some being brand new works. Also knowing many family and friends are coming to see me dance is special and means so much to me.

 

Leading up to show days, I really do my best to stay healthy – get a good amount of sleep, eat right, I don’t drink any alcohol about a week before shows. Basically cleansing my system. On show days, I like to be in a very relaxed state. I don’t like to be around a lot of nervous energy and try to stay focused. Almost a “calm before the storm” kind of feeling. And of course drink lots of water to stay hydrated!

 
Working on Timed Connectionshas been unique for me because it’s my first BMD world premiere and that is exciting in itself! My favorite aspect about this piece is that I think it can really move someone emotionally speaking. Whether us dancers have a ‘timed connection’ or a mistimed one with each other, the audience can relate to that in one way or another. I love feeling other performers’ energies onstage and this piece is no exception. Also, the music is so full and expressive and will sound beautiful live! Cannot wait to perform this at the Kennedy Center!”
 
Dustin Kimball
“Getting to perform at the Kennedy Center in itself is always exciting!  One thing I always enjoy is the feeling of being at home.  The DC audience is very familiar with BMD and looks forward to the performance as much as we do.  Plus there are almost always new faces to meet and hopefully enjoy the performance enough to return for future venues.

I normally don’t like to change my routine much, but I add a few extra things when getting ready for a performance.  I tend to make a pre show playlist on my iPod to help me focus, and usually take an extra yoga class the day before the show to help me get centered.

 

Every project with Lucy has it’s own unique feel and style.  While there are similar styles to movement, every piece brings something new and different.  For me Timed Connections has amazing flow.  Each section could stand alone but is made stronger by being part of something larger and more grand.”

 

Mimmo Miccolis
“For me this is a double Premier because this is my first show with BMC and also my first show in the US. The idea of dancing at the Kennedy Center is so exciting! I’m happy to perform in Washington, because DC is the first city in the US I have lived in and is also the city that is filling my life with so many emotions and good vibes. I’m sure that the audience will love this show because it is a mix of styles, emotions, and great choreographies.

I cannot wait to feel the warmth of the American audience. I think that every place, even the smallest becomes large and important whenever the show stimulates emotions in the audience. As for my preparation before I go on stage, I think I will follow my usual rituals, but probably for the Kennedy Center and my new American life I’ll have to think about something new! I cannot wait to experience the emotions of this prestigious performing center.Lucy has been great. Timed Connections is an extremely well-studied creation, with lots of unique transitions and images.

I think that the uniqueness of this new piece has been the creative process. The name of the piece is not casual, the connection between us, the company members, has been the most interesting part of this work. We do not represent the love that is always successful, as most of classical works do, but we represent what happens before or after a love relationship. The funnest part of this work is that every time we look at each other during rehearsal we have the freedom to decide if it’s love or not!”

*Photos courtesy of Jeff Malet

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