a dance with three steps

An exploration of the process of creating dance


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Damani Pompey

Damani Pompey

Photo Credit: Ivan Forde

A new and up and coming choreographer that I know quite well is Damani Pompey. Damani’s choreography and hard work is an inspiration. He (and I) attended the Fiorello H Laguardia High School for Performing Arts as a dancer and furthered his training at the SUNY Purchase Conservatory of Dance where he graduated in 2012. Damani is a skilled dancer, choreographer and lighting designer. A free lance choreographer, he recently premiered Magnus Works at the E- Moves stage in Harlem, New York. His dancers were Tamisha Guy, Cody Hayman and Tyler Shnese (all SUNY Purchase dancers).

Here are some videos of his previous works:

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Spring Concert: New York Live Arts

Spring Concert was a hit; everyone danced beautifully! My family came to see me dance in the first piece, the Bill T. Jones piece; Spent Days Out Yonder. Unfortunately they weren’t let in because they started the concert early. How unfortunate?! Lucky for my family and all you dance enthusiasts who want to see great dance, SUNY Purchase Dance Company is having an NYC season May 22nd- 25th!

The season will be at New York Live Arts in Chelsea, New York. Click the link to get tickets! Amazingly, the Executive Artistic Director of NYLA is Bill T. Jones himself. As a member of the cast of Spent Days Out Yonder, I’m honored to do this work in his own venue.  NYLA blogged about us and shared quotes about our experience. This quote does a great job of verbalizing how complicated this piece is to perform. We certainly struggled a lot at the beginning with understanding the structure of the piece but, over time, loosened up a bit and really enjoyed the experience!

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“What makes this rehearsal process unique is that the piece is not only based on an improvisation by Mr. Jones, but it exists within an improvisational shell.  So, each run is different and a product of our decisions in the moment.  It requires attentiveness to our surroundings and phrasing which brings forth a mental challenge most set pieces don’t deal with constantly.  We are working with the balance between impulses and decisions passed through a rational strainer, which allows for a continual reinvention of our improvised material and of how we fill in the piece.” –Michelle Giordanelli