Cedar Lake, Meet Cedar Lab

posted by Kristin Schwab on Tuesday, Jun 24, 2014
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Cedar Lake in Hofesh Shechter's "Violet Kid." Photo by Sharon Bradford, courtesy Brooklyn Academy of Music.

We know that the members of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet are talented dancers. But what will happen when they take on the role of choreographer? Though the company's new artistic director Alexandra Damiani is expected to keep the troupe in line with Benoit Swan Pouffer's vision, she has added one major program: Cedar Lab will give company members three weeks to choreograph on their colleagues. The first set of informal performances are July 29–30 at the company's headquarters in Manhattan and will feature works by Jon Bond, Navarra Novy-Williams, Matthew Rich, Joaquim de Santana and Vânia Doutel Vaz.

It will be interesting to see what kind of impact the company's coveted rep—from silky sock dances to Gaga's raw movement language—makes on its dancers when they have free range. Will we see them create something that is a departure from their European-style experiences? I'm not so sure. But one thing is for certain: Damiani is trying to help her dancers become well-rounded artists and expand their skill sets. And that's something anyone working in this small field can appreciate.