This fall, Manhattan Movement and Arts Center is hosting a performance series called Your Move!, which showcases emerging choreographers and gives them a chance to present their work on an NYC stage. Twenty-two-year-old Courtney Ramm created her first piece more than a decade ago, when she was a young student at the School of American Ballet. In addition to her seven years of training at SAB, Courtney, an NYC native, studied at Ballet Academy East. When she went to college at Indiana University, Courtney discovered contemporary and modern dance. She presented a contemporary ballet piece called Still Lingering at Your Move! this past Sunday and talked to DS about her work. --Katie Rolnick
Dance Spirit: How would you describe your choreographic style? Courtney Ramm: I love Balanchine. I grew up seeing Balanchine ballets, so no matter what, there's always some of that influence. I'm really into musicality--dancing with the music and being inspired by it. I like using choreography to express who I am as an individual and to give the audience a satisfying experience.
DS:Can you talk a little bit about Still Lingering? CR: It's a duet for a male and a female to Gabriel Fauré's Elégié in C Minor, Opus 24. I think it's the most gorgeous piece of music. The piece explores comfort, attachment, vulnerability, freedom and containment. It's not a clear-cut story. It's about some kind of relationship between the man and the woman, needing each other versus wanting to be free. It's largely inspired by the feelings and emotions I find embedded within the music. It's influenced by ballet and modern, and it's a reflection of the movement style I find unique to my own body and training.
DS: What are your future goals? CR: I definitely want to keep choreographing and become known as a choreographer. As far as my dance career, I want to explore new possibilities. I want to expand and find new forms of expression.
Pictured: Courtney performing with IsadoraNOW, a company dedicated to preserving Isadora Duncan's works. Photo by Lauren Mirsk.
(From left) Darriel Johnakin, Diego Pasillas, and Emma Sutherland (all photos by Erin Baiano)
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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Isabella Boylston in "The Bright Stream" (Rosalie O'Connor, courtesy American Ballet Theatre)
Beloved by ballet fans for her lucid technique and onstage effervescence, by her Instagram followers for the deftly curated photos and videos she shares of her glamorous life, and by fangirl Jennifer Garner for all of the above, American Ballet Theatre principal Isabella Boylston is one of the rare ballet stars who's achieved mainstream fame. A native of Sun Valley, ID, Boylston trained at the Academy of Colorado Ballet and the Harid Conservatory before joining the ABT Studio Company in 2005. She entered the main company as an apprentice in 2006, and attained principal status in 2014. In addition to her successes with ABT, where she dances nearly every major ballerina role, Boylston has served as artistic director of the annual Ballet Sun Valley Festival, which brings high-level performances and classes to her hometown. And speaking of famous Jennifers: Boylston recently appeared as Jennifer Lawrence's dance double in the film Red Sparrow. Catch her onstage with ABT as Manon, Odette/Odile, and Princess Aurora during the company's Metropolitan Opera House season this summer in NYC. —Margaret Fuhrer