In keeping with the United Palace’s mission of becoming a crucial cultural hub for the neighborhood, Danza Debuts is a next generation dance event. Once of the choreographers involved with the project, Cassie Nordgren, chopped it up with us regarding the dance extravaganza. Danza Debuts goes down tonight! Get your tickets ASAP!
Q. What can people expect from the inaugural Danza Debuts?
A. Tonight’s show will definitely show a variety of styles and approaches to choreography. My piece is a 30 minute narrative about finding love where you least expect it. I wanted to shed some light on how expectations for women and men differ in our society, and how our culture has chosen to normalize this dynamic. I chose to tell my story from the viewpoints of two contrasting women. They start together as singles at a wedding, and their stories separate from there.
Q. Virgil Gadson and Cassie Nordgren come from different dance backgrounds, how did this collaboration come about?
A. We are actually working on two separate pieces that showcase our own voices as artists. In the show, my presentation will be first, and Virgil’s will be last. I was a big fan of Virgil’s on SYTYCD, so it is definitely an honor to be sharing the evening with him.
Q. Your thoughts on performing on the iconic United Palace stage.
A. There are no words…I have wanted to present work on this stage since the first time I saw it. My dancers are thrilled too.
Q. What is the idea behind The Last Bite?
A. As the only two singles in a sea of couples, Alicia and Katie meet at the bar of a friend’s wedding reception and become instant friends. When the pressure to justify their “solo” status to their friends and family grows, the women are forced to define their own happiness. Told entirely through dance, “The Last Bite” is comedic piece full of serendipity and charm, proving that happiness can be found where you least expect it.
Q. Any final thoughts?
A. “The Last Bite” also marks the premiere of my dance company: ThruLines. ThruLines is a dance initiative committed to using dance narratives as a unifying tool for culturally divided communities. Because dance narratives aren’t language specific, they can uniquely unify even the most diverse audiences. (For example, one of the most famous dance narratives of all time, The Nutcracker is a universal story that has been told all over the world for over a hundred years.) I am really excited about this new venture and am thrilled to be starting off this journey with this performance for the Washington Heights community.