Hello and happy spring!
I recently had the chance to meet-- over the phone-- the dancer and choreographer Lauren Lovette. Lauren is a former principal dancer with NYCB who, while soaring through the company's ranks and repertoire full-time, was also making her name known as an exciting new choreographer. Today, she is more known for her ballets, although she is still very active as a performer. She has a new ballet premiering at Oregon Ballet Theatre next month, hence the reason for our conversation.
One of the neatest things about my work as a contributor to dance publications, including writing feature articles for OBT's Playbill, is getting to interview people from all corners of the dance world with whom I otherwise quite likely would never have contact. People who were just names to me-- admirable names, with lots of intrigue and interest-- suddenly become personal contacts. It's grounding to realize that someone I thought of as so famous, important, busy and outside my own stratosphere is really just a person with an email account and a cell phone. And a very full calendar.
Lauren is one such person. I have never met her, never even come close to crossing paths, but remember first hearing about this new sensational dancer in NYCB who was going to be a principal in about five minutes. At that time, the fact that she'd choreographed for the School of American Ballet and was making ballets for choreographic workshops was just an interesting side fact. So to me, the news that she was leaving her principal dancer position with NYCB to free up her choreographic life-- yet was also going to continue to freelance perform-- in 2021 was really curious and grabbed my attention.
Fast forward a couple of years, and Lauren has not only made dozens of ballets on dozens of companies, she's blowing convention out of the water by taking on the role of Resident Choreographer for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, proof that the lines between dance styles are becoming more blurry and less important industry-wide, and that both she and PTDC are embracing that evolution.
Lauren is also a beautifully rich, evocative conversationalist. Our talk was so chock full of deep thoughts-- from her, not me!-- that I almost wanted to write a piece that was just a compilation of her quotes. I didn't do that, but here's what I came up with, as posted on OBT's blog. I hope you enjoy reading about Lauren's life, work, personality and how she got into choreography-- it wasn't because she wanted to!