Dance Mogul: What is the inspiration for Rise?
Suzanne Beahrs: The inspiration for RISE came from thinking about dance education. Modern dance places value on being yourself, and I love seeing truly magical moments when students allow themselves to share a part of themselves that they had been hiding. I wanted to better understand what it means to “Be Yourself,” a common directive that is often quite difficult to execute. I thought about everything that aids that process in people’s lives as they grow up: education, friendships, letting go, taking charge, wisdom, vulnerability, confidence, and even defiance.
Dance Mogul: What can audiences expect from this world premiere?
Suzanne Beahrs: Vibrancy. The piece has quite a range; some moments have sophisticated technique that pairs well with the accompanying Chopin compositions, and others are more eccentric and festive, a little bit like a parade.
Dance Mogul: What are expectations as far this production growing for the future?
Suzanne Beahrs: Celine Syslo and I are performing an excerpt at Breaking Ground Festival in Tempe, AZ in March. I would love to tour the entire work, a goal that will take funding since it involves seven dancers. I am moving to Durham, NC just after the premiere and the dancers will be living in NYC, so I am exploring creative ways to continue performing what we have created after that transition.
Dance Mogul: Is there anyone you would like to thank for helping on the production.
Suzanne Beahrs: The dancers have just poured themselves in to this process, and I am grateful to their commitment to imagine, play, and dig in. They are mindful of the through-line between nuanced execution of individual steps and the overall audience experience. Composer Angela Don and Lighting Designer Brittany Spencer are generous, skillful collaborators. Thank you!