Interview With Karole Armitage
Speaking of Dancing Oral History Project
Disc 2 (ca. 43 min.) Karole Armitage continues to speak with Deborah Jowitt about revivals of her early works for her current company; the financial challenges of running a company; her choreographies for Madonna and Michael Jackson; her experiences working with the National Ballet of Cuba and the Bolshoi Ballet. Armitage discusses how dancers interpret her work; her working process and the relationship of her choreography to music and spoken text; what her ideal working situation would be; her thoughts on the challenges faced by the dance field, and the future of dance. Disc 1 (ca. 48 min.) Karole Armitage speaks with Deborah Jowitt about her early dance training in Kansas and Colorado, her first exposure to George Balanchine's choreography, and her time as a dancer with the Grand Théâtre de Genève, during which she worked with Balanchine; her return to New York City; her initial encounter with Merce Cunningham; her first experiences choreographing her own works. She discusses how audiences interpret dance movement in the absence of narrative context, and how chance procedures influence her choreography; her works Drastic classicism and Watteau duets; the controversy surrounding her blending of ballet and modern dance; and how she came to be labeled a "punk ballerina." Armitage then speaks about her time as artistic director of Maggiodanza in Florence, and the cultural and political adjustments she had to make in that environment; her time with Ballet de Lorraine in Nancy, France; her return to New York; the founding of her company, Armitage Gone! Dance; and her artistic goals for the company. She discusses her piece Time is the echo of an axe within a wood; the importance of nature in her work; her inspirations; her collaboration with the musical group Burkina Electric; and the influence that individual dancers in her company, including Leonides Arpon and Megumi Eda, have on her work.
2 sound discs (ca. 91 min.) : digital ; 4 3/4 in. + transcript (48 leaves)