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Company Blog: Jasmine

NYDC dancer Jasmine reflects on her experience of working with Michael Keegan-Dolan


The babbling gossip of our title piece whirled around my head for the painful gap of fourteen weeks away from the company. I dreamt often of NYDC during my time away, reliving memories and reimagining the buzz of the company all being in the same room again and missing the energy transferring from one mind to the other.

Looking back in hindsight, the fourteen weeks between October and February passed very quickly, however, it seems like this residency passed even quicker.

One thing I loved about the week was the morning routine. Every morning, at 8am, we went down to the studio and did roughly an hour and a half of yoga. Michael spoke often of the importance of breathing and the “soft inner focus” he wanted all of us to adopt in our dancing. The warm silence in studio really geared us up the upcoming day.

Another thing I loved was watching the piece progress. I remember everyone on the third day saying “I can’t believe how much we have done in just three days” and the excitement of what the next day would bring.

I love the movement Michael, Rachel and James have created, mainly because it is completely out of my comfort zone. My performance experience before NYDC consisted of doing musicals: singing, dancing and acting where my focus has always mainly been out to the audience. Michael’s way of working however, takes the approach where the focus is very much softer and more internal. He helped us all really feel the music and to take our time so that the movement is natural and “human”.

One evening, one of our “dancer’s toolbox” sessions was taken by Robby, a professional drummer. That actually for me, stole the best toolbox of the week! We learnt all kinds of rhythms and skills to do with drumming. After the workshop, instead of going back to our rooms, we all grabbed an instrument and started dancing.

It is spontaneous moments like this in the residencies that I think are the most precious, where nothing is planned and you share and experience something beautiful.

Now begins the countdown towards the premiere…and I have never felt so excited in all my life.

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