The Second Annual CounterPointe performances will feature the work of seven women choreographers, all who make work on pointe. In the lead up to the performances, Norte Maar is posting interviews with each choreographer.
Alexa Valentine is in her last year at Tisch School of the Arts working on her MFA. She is in the beginning stages of showing work in New York, and is currently am working on a dance film in collaboration with a student filmmaker and composer.
Why do you create for pointe work? I create pieces that include pointe because I’ve spent most of my life performing in pointe shoes. I find dancing in pointe shoes to require an insane amount of athleticism. There also is a shift in center of gravity that happens once you’ve gained a few inches in height. I find that interesting. In recent months I’ve started exploring an uncodified and contemporary movement vocabulary that is more experimental. I hope to continue to investigate these possibilities with a nod to what has come before.
What has been your biggest challenge? I have been very lucky to have beautiful, skilled dancers to work with, but unfortunately, creating and showing work for pointe shoes can be expensive! It’s great to have opportunities like Counterpointe, I wish there were more like it.
Which female choreographers do you look to as role models or inspiration? I am inspired by Twyla Tharp and Pina Bausch. I find their processes, work, and lives very interesting. I also enjoy the wittiness they bring to choreography. They have dramatic range, and the ability to see humor in movement.