Each and every day, I lose myself in the immediacy of the moment, find myself in the joy of the movement. Each and every day, I learn more and more...and, within that new knowledge, realize that I have so much farther to travel.

Shallom Johnson is a contemporary dance artist, visual artist and freelance writer based in Vancouver BC. She holds a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Simon Fraser University, and has been active in the Vancouver dance community as a choreographer, performer, and instructor since her graduation in 2004.

Shallom is interested in art in public spaces, site-specific performance, interdisciplinary collaboration, and community involvement. Her street-based artwork, performance and photography examines and documents who gets to make art, where it gets made, and where/how the creative process and product is viewed. In the future, she hopes to explore this theme further via new media and technologies, new methods of creation, collaboration and community engagement.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Echo Park Contemporary Ballet Company

I've started a project with the newly formed Echo Park Contemporary Ballet, working with acclaimed Artistic Director and Choreographer Cedric Tillman. The performance is for the company's opening night gala, and we will be showing five short works (three in which I will be dancing). I kind of fell into this gig - Kelly was invited to perform with them as a guest artist, and when she heard they needed another female dancer, she brought me along to rehearsal. We learned one lyrical piece yesterday and will be starting on something new tonight. I'm excited to be working on this project I think that if nothing else it will be a really good networking opportunity, and a chance to get some exposure to the wider dance community.

The event on November 17th is not just a showing of the company's first works, but also an attempt at securing financial backing and support from some of this city's big movers and shakers - the people that make dance happen, from a practical, financial standpoint. It is also an opportunity to get some press, as reviewers from all of the area's major publications will be in attendance.

The work is definitely physically challenging in a way that I'm not used to, having been in contemporary dance world for the past 7 years...I grew up dancing and loving lyrical jazz, so coming back to this style of dance feels like coming home again. But also reminds me that I need to get in better shape to perform this movement to the best of my ability. Rehearsal yesterday was definitely a challenge, after having done so many performances over the weekend. But I got a good sleep last night and now I am ready to go again (although my bruises, blisters and splits would love a few more days to heal).

There is a possibility that this gig might develop into more work in the future, however I'm not making any plans until I have a contract in my hands. Never take on freelance work without a good contract, folks, especially if you don't know the employer - that's just asking to get burned. If you don't understand your contract, ask for some time to have someone else look over it with you, and make sure there are no weird loopholes or stipulations that you don't agree with.

6 comments:

k.k. said...

My dear lady... we are going to be fabulous! I'm so glad we are working together so much. From release to improv, to fosse, to echo park.... craziness. I suppose Contradiction Dance was the most appropriate name after all!

Shallom (Editor) said...

I know, I'm so excited! You are wonderful to dance with. We rock.

I don't think that there are many dancers out there who are willing and able to be as flexible and adaptable as we've been in the past few weeks. I'm so happy that we make such a good team! :)

Jark the Saint said...

You gals should be proud of yourselves. If there's anyone dear to either of you who needs some minor or major contract checkup just fire it over my way. I'm sure Shallom has already said so, but just in case... in solidarity. Cutie, the same goes for Cedric's co...

Diego said...

that's awesome, shallom. where is Echo Park Contemporary Ballet Company based?

and very true about contracts. in fact, i think that even if you're doing pro bono work, in some circumstances, there should still be a contract.

Shallom (Editor) said...

Thanks Jarky! We are getting contracts on Saturday. I will definitely consult you if I feel the need for clarification or advice.

:)

Diego - the company is based in Wash DC...

Jen said...

Is the Echo Park Contemporary Ballet loking for dancers, even for singel projects? I wasn't sure how to get in contact with anyone. Thanks.

jen