Uncaged Adventures

Meet the 2014 Panama team: Louisa Chapman

Originally from Midland, Texas, Louisa currently dances with (and recently choreographed on) Festival Ballet Providence. Her favorite color is blue and this is her first Bluebird: uncaged experience. We're super excited to have her sweet spirit and creativity join the team. Check out a video interview with Louisa here.

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 Q. Why do you dance? 

A. I dance because it is my passion. I grew up in a very musical house. My dad was a musician and played everything from Mozart, to the Beatles, to Pink Floyd. Whenever he turned on music, I danced around the whole house and eventually my parents put me in ballet classes. I danced until I was thirteen when I quit for a year to pursue theater instead. This was one of the best things I ever did because I was absolutely miserable in theater and it made me realize how much I loved dance. It strengthened my resolve and having to catch up that year of lost technique gave me the drive to pursue dance as my career.


Q. If you were a super hero, what would your power be?

A. Even though it is cliche, I would want to fly. Just imagine flying above all of the beautiful places on this earth. I might need a super warm suit for flying over mountain tops and glaciers.


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 Q. what has been your favorite role so far?

A. My favorite role was the role of the conductor in Viktor Plotnikov’s Sharps and Flats this past spring. I was a crazy conductor and had to change emotions and the texture of my steps constantly as things kept falling apart in my orchestra. Viktor really trusted me and gave me lots of freedom for improvisation. I had the responsibility to play around in the studio until I was convinced by my choices. It was so freeing to focus on the textures of my movement on stage: gooey one moment, snap to pedestrian, suddenly balletic, sharp, disassembled, and so forth. I didn’t have room or reason to be nervous. Plus, since the ballet was comical, it was a joy to interact with a real audience who reacted differently each show!


Q. What's your favorite DQ blizzard flavor?

A. Brownie Blast. So.much.chocolate.


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Q. what advice do you have for younger dancers?

A. Never stop enjoying dance and don’t be afraid to let that joy shine through. When it is the end of rehearsal and you are exhausted what good will it do to shlop through a run of a piece just to get through it? In an audition when you are nervous, what will be gained by you holding back and dancing timidly, without feeling or emotion behind it? You are practicing to perform, so why not perform while you practice? You have to dance it, so why not enjoy it?  You have to constantly make choices about the way you will perform each step, they may be the wrong choices, but it is better to have made one then none at all. Keep exploring, making those decisions, and you will eventually come to the right one. The teacher, master, or audience will see this and appreciate it. Why not choose joy?


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