Read my interview with Alice about the switch from ballet to modern below.
What's it like dancing with Hubbard Street 2? What does your typical schedule look like?
Working at Hubbard is an inspiration everyday. Just the energy in the building is enough to get me thrilled for the dancing that is to be done. Everyone is dedicated and excited about what goes on at HSDC and because of this there is a collective commitment and drive to do great work. This atmosphere encourages artists to fearlessly take dance to the next level. A typical day with HS2 includes a morning ballet class with the main company beginning at 10 and then rehearsals from 11:35 – 6 with a lunch break at 2. It’s a full day but the time flies as there is always much to be done.
How often and in what respect do you get to work with the main company? What is that like?
When we are not touring, the second company and the main company take class together everyday. These classes are wonderful learning experiences for me as each and every Hubbard dancer is uniquely gifted. Each has their own way of preparing for a day of rehearsals. Observing this has helped me immensely, not only on a technical level but also with figuring out how to prepare my body through classical from to rehearse work that is often far from balletic.
Each year the second company performs with the main company during one of their home seasons. Last year's performance was quite an experience as there is a certain artistic potency that only exists on stage and for the two companies to experience that together was a lovely thing. We also performed together in an event called Inside/Out, which is a yearly show composed of works that the dancer’s choreograph on each other.
What are some of your favorite things you've danced with HS2?
I must say that the duet "I can see myself in your Pupil" choreographed by Andrea Miller is particularly fun for me to dance as it is very physical, rather crazy, and character driven. I like dancing things that require me to use all that I have, that demand 100% and nothing less. Those pieces are always an adventure.
Alice, top, with members of Hubbard Street 2 last year
You came from a ballet background - how has that helped (or not helped) the adjustment to more modern/contemporary work?
Interesting question, for I must admit that when I first arrived here I was very frustrated with certain aspects of my balletic training that were getting in the way of the choreography. Honestly though, without my ballet training I may never have been hired by Hubbard. I was not an impressive modern dancer, so ballet and repertoire were the vehicles through which I showed my character, my work ethic, and my personal artistry. Working here I have had to focus on reprogramming myself to respond to movement in a more grounded fashion, to be stronger, more powerful and more honest. This is a continuing project of mine, one I am enjoying exploring.
What are some of your dance goals for the future? Do you hope to stay with Hubbard Street?
I find I have a difficult time setting goals as far as my future is concerned for both the dance world and I as an artist are ever shifting entities. To be vague but truthful my goal is to continue to dance professionally, to do good work, and to feel fulfilled and happy about my contributions to the planet. I would be thrilled if that meant staying at Hubbard Street. If it does not, then I shall take whatever step seems most appropriate and continue to enjoy life.
Alice, left, and I, right, at Miami City Ballet summer intensive 2004 (?!)