Christine Shevchenko and Cory Stearns in Gemma Bond's "The Giving" (Rod Brayman, courtesy Bond)

What Inspires Choreographer Gemma Bond

Gemma Bond's rise as a choreographer has been not meteoric but steady, characterized by constant creativity and commitment to her craft. Her style is informed by her dancing career—she performed in the corps de ballet of two of the world's most renowned companies, the Royal Ballet and American Ballet Theatre. Because of this, she says, "I tend to do more of a company piece. You can never really say there's one principal couple." Bond began choreographing at age 13, in the Royal's Sir Kenneth MacMillan Choreographic Competition. More recently, she's created works for ABT, The Washington Ballet, Atlanta Ballet, New York Theatre Ballet, and others. Her ballets have been performed at the Joyce Theater, Jacob's Pillow, the Youth America Grand Prix gala, and the Erik Bruhn Competition. You can see a world premiere of Bond's new work for the National Ballet of Cuba at the International Ballet Festival in the fall of 2020. –Cadence Neenan

Devon Teuscher and Calvin Royal III performing Bond's "Depuis le Jour" (Rod Brayman, courtesy Bond)

"I recently saw some of Akram [Khan]'s Giselle, and I was really inspired by that. It was very different to what I've ever seen before, and I just thought, 'Maybe I don't have to put so many boundaries on myself.' Sometimes I do a movement naturally, and then I think, 'That isn't classical at all,' or that I haven't put enough ballet in, but, at the end of the day, I don't think it matters, as long as there's movement and a narrative."

"When people ask me 'What do you do?' I always say it's very traditional ballet with traditional technique. And then, the dancers that have danced my works will shake their heads and say, 'No, you have crazy port de bras.' "

"I take inspiration from so many people in different ways: Christopher Wheeldon's partnering is amazing, Alexei Ratmansky's corps de ballet work is so strong, the structure of Pam Tanowitz's work is amazing—the list goes on and on."

"I always love to see New York City Ballet. The way the dancers move is really inspiring. It doesn't matter what they're doing, they seem to play with the music in such an interesting way. And, because I didn't have that training, when I'm watching them, it really inspires me to play with the rhythms of the technique."

"I think, if you're a corps de ballet dancer, you have a lot of responsibility, but in the grand scheme of things, you have the least responsibility in the production—the most weight falls on the principals. So, when I started, I had to prove myself, that I could take all that responsibility. I hadn't been seen in that capacity before."

"I'm not interested in telling stories like Sleeping Beauty or Cinderella. I want to tell stories that are happening today, that we can all relate to, stories that I know."

Latest Posts

Because you know you've always wondered... (Getty Images)

Sounding Off: Here's What Your Favorite Musicians Think of Dance Routines Set to Their Songs

In the competition world, a small group of musicians has attained almost cultlike status, with choreographers turning to their tracks over and over. We know how we feel about these bangers—there's a reason we can't stop dancing to them—but how do the musicians feel about us? We caught up with three contemporary artists whose music has dominated the competition scene recently, and gauged their reactions to the dances set to their life's work.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
King Kong on Broadway (Joan Marcus, courtesy Bonneau/Brian-Brown)

Follow the Path of a Broadway Musical from Concept to Opening Night

The curtain rises, the crowd goes wild, and the bright lights of Broadway shine down as you make your debut on opening night…it's every Broadway baby's dream. But you may be surprised to learn that a show's journey to the Great White Way can be months, or even years, in the making. How does a production go from concept to curtain call? We spoke to industry veterans about what happens at every stage.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS
Jordan Fisher (center) in a dance scene from Work It (Brendan Adam-Zwelling/Netflix)

Here's Why Jordan Fisher Thinks You Should Be Excited for Netflix's New Dance Film, "Work It"

If you're looking for a sign that 2020 might *just* be turning around, look no further than Netflix's new dance-centric film Work It. The movie comes out this Friday, August 7, and the hype is real. ICYMI, the film follows high school senior Quinn Ackerman, played by none other than Sabrina Carpenter, as she attempts to lead her dance team to a competition win in order to bolster her chances of being admitted to the college of her dreams. One small challenge: Quinn isn't a dancer.

Enter Jordan Fisher as Jake Taylor, a talented-but-troubled choreographer and dancer, to help Quinn lead the team. We had the chance to speak with Fisher about his experience on set, and why Work It just might be the dance movie we've all been waiting for.

Keep Reading SHOW LESS

Editors' Picks

Enter the Cover Model Search