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V.I.P at UTD: Visiting Dance Artists Premiere New Work


by Danielle Georgiou 26 Oct 2011

After two months locked away in the dance studio at UT Dallas, it’s time to unveil V.I.P., the brainchild of choreographers Birgitt Bodingbauer and Simone Grindel.

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Guest blogger Danielle Marie Georgiou is the artistic director and choreographer of DGDG: Danielle Georgiou Dance Group. She also serves as the Assistant Director of the UT Arlington’s Dance Ensemble.

After two months locked away in the dance studio at UT Dallas, it’s time to unveil V.I.P., the brainchild of choreographers Birgitt Bodingbauer and Simone Grindel.

The choreographers at work at UT Dallas.

Bodingbauer and Grindel are here from Berlin completing a dance residency that has had them traveling the state, from their temporary home at CentralTrak, to teaching master classes at local high schools and colleges, to making weekend trips to Marfa and Stephen F. Austin University.

The choreographers found their way to UT Dallas through Arts and Humanities faculty member Michele Hanlon. Hanlon was one of seven finalists featured in the 2009 SideBySide international online dance festival held in Dusseldorf, Germany. Bodingbauer won the competition.

While at the festival, Hanlon and Bodingbauer began talking about the possibility of Bodingbauer bringing her unique style – and that of her company, Nightmare Before Valentine – to Dallas. Two years later, she and Grindel packed their bags and brought a little of the “Nightmare” to the Lone-Star State.

And what a beautiful nightmare it has been. More like a dream, especially for this dancer. As a young choreographer, it has been inspiring to be able to work side-by-side with other fellow young choreographers. As a dancer, they have provided a tangible and real example of what we can do as students of the arts. As a choreographer, working and learning their movement style and living in their aesthetic for the last two months has pushed me to explore different themes in my own work.

Also, being able to live with them at CentralTrak has taken what could have been a common, traditional residency — where we just meet in the studio and work — to an elevated level. I have had the privilege of getting to know them on a one-on-one basis. To be able to talk to them about the work we are creating together and the work that I am creating separately is priceless.

I know that the other students in the UT Dallas Dance Ensemble feel similarly. Though our individual experiences have been different, it has been a rewarding and memorable time for us all. And an experience that we are excited to share with an audience this weekend.

V.I.P. is based on the concept of a Very Important Person as a form of representation – as the desire that we all possess to create an image of ourselves. Of designing ourselves, our bodies, our movements, our gestures, in compliance with a market — a market that follows certain rules and thrives on competition. See how we have interpreted this Thursday through Saturday at the UT Dallas University Theatre at 8 p.m.

For UTD students, tickets are free. UTD faculty/staff/alumni, other university student, and seniors 55+ discounted ticket of $10 with an ID. And $5 tickets for those under 18.

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