Magazine article Pointe

Finding the Right Fit

Magazine article Pointe

Finding the Right Fit

Article excerpt

Ballet Memphis Artistic Director Dorothy Gunther Pugh answers our questions.

Pointe: What would you say makes a good dancer?

Dorothy Gunther Pugh: Being a thinking dancer, because it affects the way you treat your body and the way that you use it as an instrument of expression. As a director, I notice a difference between dancers who have been trained to be precise, little machines and those who have been encouraged to have a balanced sense of themselves. The latter tend to have a large capacity of spirit and understand that being an artist means engaging with the world and helping it to move forward. That sounds very idealistic, but if there's an artform that is based on the expression of the ideal, it is ballet

Pointe: No two ballet companies are exactly the same. How can dancers decide what kind of company is right for them?

DGP: They should begin by asking themselves what it was about the artform that drew them in the first place, and if they are still in touch with whatever that was. Dancers who need the structure of a traditional, ranked company to function, or want to do the classics, should look for a company that can provide those things. But if they want to be in a place that encourages them to grow as human beings by exploring themselves and the world around them, then maybe they need to be in a company like oursone that is keenly curious about common human issues, does new work and is intimately involved with the community that supports it. …

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