”Choreographer, Richard Dickinson, MFA explores universal connections in his newest work "Beyond Graces" inspired by the famous painting by Sandro Botticelli.May 17-19, 2018Fresh Inventions at Cleveland Public Theatre
Tell us a bit about your piece?
Like most choreographers, I like to leave the interpretation up to the individual audience member. I had many ideas roaming around in my head as I created the work, #1: a work using the Verb Ballets Trainees , #2: a work interpreting the music,#3: a work relating to a famous painting (Botticelli’s “Three Graces”). Then I added the ball which took the work to another level: is it an energy source, is it the sun, are the goddesses creating the universe represented by the ball? The ball could represent money, greed, family tensions, the earth (making it a piece about global catastrophes) almost anything depending upon who you are and where your thinking is on the particular day you watch the dance.
As a long time established dancer how did you transition in the role of choreographer?
Choreography is hard for me, it is like turning your insides/out and saying to everyone, THIS IS ME! I am a private person, and exposing myself by choreographing is a way of expressing who and what I am.
What’s your approach to creating work – do you have it all worked out before going in the studio?
Yes and No: I have it worked out like a storyboard for a movie, the general idea of how the work should flow is there, and most of the individual steps are created beforehand, but as the work progresses and I see how the dancers react to the piece, I change things to make it “read” better for me, and also to make it more organic for the dancers.
How has technology been an inspiration and accomplice in the development of this work?
Technology came as an after. How can I make technology work? It has developed from using a drone (which a choreographer consultant said not to use); to using a video. There was no ball at the beginning and now there is. I try not to place myself into a pigeon hole and say that’s the end. Things can grow and develop as they emerge into a solid work.
Do you feel like a ballet choreographer? Or a choreographer?
How does your work connect to the larger world?
As Balanchine said, “The work isn’t a success until the audience says it is.” So I’ll wait and see. What is a larger world? Is there a larger world? I am my own mandala, which is the center of my world and we go out from there. Metaphysical thinking, I see your mandala is part of my mandala.
May 17-19, 2018 7:30pm
Cleveland Public Theatre
Tickets: $12 Thurs $30 Fri/Sat
Richard Dickinson, MFA
Associate Director and Choreographer
Richard Dickinson, MFA is the Associate Director for Verb Ballets. A former dancer with Ohio Ballet Dickinson’s association with that company began in 1988. He later became ballet master and director of company touring. Richard has served as Artistic Associate for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago. He was most recently the Artistic Director of Ballet Western Reserve and Great Lakes Festival Ballet. Dickinson has also directed Boston Ballet II and was a soloist with Boston Ballet for eight years. At age fifteen, he joined the Pasadena Dance Theatre and was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Emerging Choreographer Award for a work premiered by the same company. He performed in the PBS television production of “Frankie and Johnny” with the Chicago Ballet and danced principal roles in Asian, European and American tours with Rudolf Nureyev and the Boston Ballet. His other credits include principal and soloist roles with Ohio Ballet, Boston Ballet, Honolulu City Ballet, various regional companies and Chamber Dance Theatre in Milwaukee, where he was also Artistic Director. Dickinson has adjudicated four Regional Dance America festivals held throughout the United States. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree in Contemporary Dance from Case Western Reserve University in 2005.