Dance Mogul: You’ve been on tour consistently for the past couple of years, can you tell us what those experiences have been like for you?
Larissa Gerszke: Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center (Israel) – this was one of my favorite tours with Complexions. This tour, in particular, changed my outlook on the world for the better. We had been traveling to Israel at a time when the country was experiencing social & political turmoil, which made us apprehensive about going. However, upon arrival, I have never been treated more respectfully by such profoundly interconnected & humbly beautiful souls; proving you can’t believe everything you hear on TV. Having the opportunity to go travel to this country & perform a very American perception & expression of music and human experience also proved to be surprisingly well received by such a foreign audience. Our program consisted of “Ballad Unto…” set to music by J.S. Bach and “Innervisions” (an ode to music) by Stevie Wonder, all choreographed by our sought-after artistic director, Dwight Rhoden. I could never have imagined the response these works received in Israel. Directly following the performance, people showed up in crowds at the stage door and would not let us by without each individual trying to communicate their gratitude, excitement, and sentiments towards our expressive artistry through the physicality of the ballet technique. With as much broken English as they could conjure up, I knew that these people were touched profoundly. It was here that I experienced first-hand dance’s ability to transcend languages, as well as social and political structures/barriers. Dance is truly the language of human experience because everyone has a body and can relate to what it looks like to feel love, what it feels like to see pain, or camaraderie, as well as the struggle to achieve a more human existence. I had become awakened to the profound connection us performers make with our audiences and how sacred & imperative the duty of sharing our craft, our vocabulary of the human spirit.