“Where do I begin? To tell the story of how great a love can be?” Sound familiar? The theme from Love Story is a little corny, I admit, but true. Twenty-five years of a deep, passionate relationship to dance, the dancers, and the craft we’ve created together throughout the years, is a moving, telling story of love. Dance has been an ultimate channeling that has colored and shaped everything I’ve produced. Though more often than not it’s been a tough journey to stay afloat, being in the company of dancers has always kept me feeling alive. “In the company of dancers,” is what spawned Adams Company Dance. “C’mon over and let’s share in each other’s company, and if the mood strikes us, we’ll dance.” The name felt more like it came out of my living room than from a director’s chair, which is why I never named it, Adams Dance Company. The backward notion is more me– plus it’s a great conversation starter.
From the early stages of my career, I backed out of traditionalism and leaned toward the human side of making dance. It seemed from the get-go that I was not meant to engage in a big touring company with my name at the helm, and cookie-cutter dancers working beneath me. Most rehearsals focused on the process of creating, and allowing the dancers to add their own voice, and nuance. I never liked in performance for my “choreography” to be overshadowing the story. In other words, let the dance do its thing without the obvious outlines of the craft. If the dancers are really genuine, sensing their weight, and musically aware, the lines of choreography are blurred and you focus on the beauty. This comes from a deep trust in the studio, and from the human element of the artistic process.
25 years ago when I came to Connecticut from Arizona with my husband, I morphed my post graduate studies into my emerging career as a choreographer. 1991 was the beginning of renting vans, and schlepping props to venues throughout NYC. Back then, it seemed doable. It was easier to mobilize all units and get the job done. Dancers were ready, willing, and eager, and opportunities were always there, without paying to be involved with them. Really! Now, you have to pay on PayPal to apply for a gig–more on my thoughts on that in a blog to come! Taking care of the dancers that have worked with me has always been a priority. Providing pay, and a letter agreement to ensure all equality, was essential to allow for the dancer to feel that they were being honored, and accounted for professionally. It was never enough for all they contributed, but in the long-run, the gift of dance made up for the lack of remuneration they really deserved. I am so grateful to all of them for their loyalty and dedication!
From East to West and places in between, I carried my spirit of dance through these past 25 years. Performances wracked up, and dancers have come and gone, but the process will always be the gem I remember most in my heart. The times when stories were shared, tears were shed, laughter rang out, hugs were given freely, and new relationships were forged. That’s the company of dance I’d like to continue keeping! That’s the love story that I hope keeps unfolding. Stay tuned for our Fall events celebrating our anniversary!