Magazine article Dance Teacher

Claire Porter

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Claire Porter

Article excerpt

A conversation with the choreographer and Guggenheim Fellowship recipient

Connecticut native Claire Porter was inspired to revisit her childhood dance roots after seeing Maria Tallchief perform. Then a computer programmer, Porter enrolled in Ohio State University's dance MA program to build on her performance career. What she graduated with was a collection of PORTABLES-choreography named for its allusion to her last name and ability to be performed in a variety of spaces. These short solos function as comedic movement monologues, with topics that range from the discomfort of fundraising to a narcissistic concert pianist waiting for her piano's arrival. Porter has made a name for herself internationally as a choreographer, performer and teacher, and last April, she was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for her exceptional career. DT caught up with her during rehearsals to talk about the challenges of creating humor in choreography.

- Rachel Rizzuto

On solo vs. group work: When I'm doing my solo work, I say that I get to work/play with the material. In the group work, you have to let it go and give it to them. As a choreographer/director, I have to pull out what's interesting in them. So then it becomes something more sculptural that I can work with. It's all one big experiment. I love how a piece deepens over time.

On the pressure to be funny: I don't think about it. When I'm working, I might delight myself with something and maybe laugh. But I don't think, "Is this going to be funny?" Humor in dance is a tricky thing. …

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