On the eve of the opening of her latest work, Carolyn Dorfman, artistic director and choreographer of the Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company (CDDC), discusses her goals, what makes New Jersey better than New York and her favorite Broadway play about the witches of Oz. The Legacy Project: Echoes is the outcome of a collaborative work process with Norwegian, Jewish actress and vocalist Bente Kahan wherein the two present their own rep work and premiere new collaborations. The final segment of the project,
Tikkun, opens tomorrow.
The L: What projects are you currently working on?
I am working on the creation of Tikkun
(“To Repair”), which will complete The Legacy Project: Echoes
. It premieres on May 29-30 at NYU Tisch School for the Arts.
What long-term ideas and projects do you hope to develop in the months and years ahead?
Touring The Legacy Project
nationwide and internationally, in theaters and in interdisciplinary and interdepartmental university residencies is my goal. With many points of contact, including master classes, lectures, panels, etc., I hope to use dance and the content of the work to build understanding and bridges within and between communities and to essentially “change the future”. I am also interested in the development of an evening of work centered on “love” in its many aspects.
What’s the best show you’ve seen recently? What did you like about it?
I haven’t seen much recently. Too busy right now! However, I love work that engages me artistically (craft and substance) and that moves me or takes me on a journey. Abstract or narrative, I don’t have patience for rambling or being stuck in one place.
What has been your most positive experience working in the arts in New York City?
The extraordinary artists that I have been able to work with. From the amazing dancers that work with CDDC to my collaborating artists in music, theater, visual art, lighting costume and set design, it is the most prolific and exciting environment in the world!
What has been your worst experience working in the arts in New York City?
Dance, the most human of art forms, often engenders less than human behavior in NY. I often think the field works against itself and its audience. Presenting has a narrower aesthetic than serves the field and, in my experience, New Jersey is far more collaborative within and between art forms and organizations.
What’s your favorite New York City venue to work in? What do you like about it?
I have several favorites. I like both Dance Theater Workshop and The Duke for their intimacy and raked seating. I would, of course, like to see my work at The Joyce or BAM.
What’s your favorite New York City venue to see a show in? What do you like about it?
I like the Joyce Theater. It is at once intimate, yet let’s you see the whole. It is technically sophisticated and appointed for dance.
If, for whatever reason, you could no longer work in theater, what would you do?
I would be a psychologist. I am passionate about people and the human experience. I am a healer at heart. Education, both arts and non-arts, would be next.
If you had an opportunity to work in any other sector of the arts, what would it be? Why?
I would work in theater. I often feel that I could bring a creativity, abstraction and metaphor to the narrative of theater. I would love the challenge of such a “commission” and direction.
What’s the best show in another sector of the arts that you’ve seen recently?
Hm... I really liked Wicked
The Legacy Project: Echoes runs tomorrow through Saturday at NYU's Tisch School for the Arts, click here for details and tickets.