Monday, July 1, 2013

Meet the Artist Monday: Kaitlyn Gilliland

Photo: Troy Schumacher

Kaitlyn Gilliland joins BalletCollective this season as she makes a comeback to dancing. A star in her own right, Kaitlyn brings a mysterious and beautiful quality to everything she dances. 

Here is my Q & A with Kaitlyn:

Me: What does BalletCollective mean to you?

Kaitlyn: Collaboration—with other dancers and with other disciplines. It really feels like a team. I don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun at work. 

What do you enjoy about working with Troy?

Troy works with a very specific vision: he uses vivid imagery to describe everything from the ballet’s setting to its simplest gestures. He also knows his dancers well—not just the steps we do well—so there’s a certain quirkiness to some of his movement that’s inspired by our individual personalities. 

After a hard day of dancing, what is your favorite meal?

One enjoyed in good company. 
Your most memorable onstage moment?

Premiering Eliot Feld’s solo “of Inwit” at The Joyce this month. He made the dance on me, and it’s the darkest, most bizarre piece I’ve ever performed. It exposed an eerie truth—about my dancing, or my personality, or maybe even both—and it required a certain commitment and unselfconsciousness that made me very uncomfortable. 

What's your favorite way to pass time?

Out exploring the city or in with a good book, depending on the day. 

What are you reading?

Paris France by Gertrude Stein. 

What's the most recent song/album you've downloaded?

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis--“The Heist.” 

If you could die and come back as an animal, what would you be?

A cat. My cat, Charlie, has a natural grace and aloofness I admire but can’t quite muster.

Your greatest influence?

Right now, Wendy Whelan. She’s making some really bold and beautiful moves beyond the world of ballet and inspiring others to follow. 

Photo: Troy Schumacher

Kaitlyn and I danced together at City Ballet for many years. Just this past Winter Season, along with being the assistant Ballet Mistress for the children of NYCB, she filled in for a dancer in the "Hunt" of Peter Martins' Sleeping Beauty. While we were doing our makeup, Kaitlyn expressed her interest in dancing again. Knowing Troy's desire to work with her, I went out on a limb and asked her if she'd like to be a member of BalletCollective. It has been great fun to be in the studio again with Kaitlyn. She will make her BalletCollective debut this August at the Joyce Theater!

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