6 Dancers on The Craziest Places They've Performed

Ryan-Walker Page performed on a ship for a collaboration with the L.A. Opera (photo by Mae Koo, courtesy Page)

Traditional stages are nice and all, but in the ever-unpredictable dance world, it's not uncommon for dancers to find themselves performing in pretty unusual places. Here's how six professionals make it work anywhere—from the mast of a ship to a giant beehive.


Tara O’Con, collaborating artist with Third Rail Projects

Tara O'Con in "The Grand Paradise" (photo by Adam Jason Photography, courtesy Third Rail Projects)

"In Third Rail's immersive-theater work The Grand Paradise, I performed in a human-sized fish tank. I remember thinking, This is not the career path I chose as a dancer—and yet, there I was in a bathing suit, swimming and holding my breath. The funny thing is I don't like water, and Tom Pearson, one of our artistic directors, knew that. Before the show was cast, I'd told him I really wanted to push myself artistically, so he chose to put me in the tank. I'm glad he had faith in me!

My character in the show was this all-knowing water siren. So not only did I need to learn how to hold my breath for a long time, I had to do it with this James Bond kind of effortless sexiness. I had to be a commanding creature who sees with her entire body, who sucks the audience in to her. Leading up to the show, I went to a pool a lot to practice that movement quality, but I didn't get to work in the actual tank until the day before opening night. I think there was something special about jumping in and experiencing it fresh. When you don't overthink it, your intuition takes over."

A version of this story appeared in the November 2018 issue of Dance Spirit with the title "The Craziest Place I've Ever Danced."

Dancer to Dancer
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)

Congratulations to Dance Spirit's 2019 Cover Model Search finalists: Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland! One of them will win a spot on Dance Spirit's Fall 2019 cover. Learn more about the dancers on their profile pages, and then vote for your favorite below. You can vote once a day now through July 15.

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Photo by Erin Baiano

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