Monday, November 21, 2022
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Monica Hogan Thysell praises Atlanta’s dance scene as a step up from New York’s

Monica Hogan Thysell is again on the town. After eight years main a recent dance firm in New York, the Atlanta native and her husband moved again in late 2019, leaving her ensemble of New York dancers behind. Or most of them. Her sister Emily, who danced with the corporate in New York, moved again too.

Thysell’s dance ambitions have been on maintain in the course of the pandemic however within the fall of 2021 she started auditioning dancers and constructing an organization right here.

On the Emory Performing Arts Studio on Saturday and Sunday, Monica Hogan Danceworks will current its first full night live performance in Atlanta. This system features a choice of quick works and a reconstruction of Resilient Paradise, a 40-minute work that her New York firm first carried out in Might 2019, nearly a 12 months earlier than COVID-19 hit.

Thysell educated in Atlanta with Georgia Ballet and Atlanta Ballet earlier than pursuing a double main in biology and dance at Duke College. (Picture by Mike Esperanza)

Thysell says she created Resilient Paradise initially to mirror on “the resiliency of the human situation and our headstrong means – regardless of occasions of darkness – to problem melancholy” and the way life’s easy pleasures can deliver happiness.

Now, three years later, the work has gained far larger relevance, she says. “In gentle of all of the challenges from 2020 to now, it looks like each dancer has actually lived this expertise on a deep degree.”

Thysell says she has discovered an “superb” group of dancers in Atlanta and, surprisingly, experiences a better degree of group and professionalism than in New York. “Perhaps it’s as a result of the dancers in New York have been pulled in so many instructions. Right here they arrive into the studio with an incredible sense of objective. They follow collectively between rehearsals. They present up early, they heat up and are able to rehearse on the appointed time.”

She remains to be in contact along with her New York dancers, nevertheless, and invited them to affix the Atlanta firm for this efficiency. Three of them stated sure.

Six members of Thysell’s Atlanta firm (left to proper): Kaitlin Downs, Audrey Crabtree, Hogan, Ellie Peterson, Britanie Leland, Megan Lengthy. (Picture by Christina Massad)

The transfer to Atlanta has additionally affected her creativity. “It would sound like a cliché,” she says, “however in contrast with New York there’s such a visceral sense of expansiveness right here. Extra openness, extra connection to nature, extra floor to cowl. Each consciously and subconsciously, I feel this has had an impression on my inventive course of. The simpler entry to the outside opens up a unique headspace.”

One other distinction is the dimensions of Atlanta’s dance group. it’s sufficiently small, Thysell says, that it’s attainable to have an effect, one thing she grappled with in New York’s crowded dance scene. Atlanta audiences have already seen her work in Dance Canvas in March and within the Trendy Atlanta Competition (MAD) in June. On the finish of October she will probably be one of many choreographers featured within the Fall for Fall Dance competition.

Thysell says she feels compelled to choreograph, however needs to usher in different dance makers to provide her dancers and Atlanta audiences a possibility to expertise completely different types and factors of view. It’s a two or three-year plan, she says. For now, she is specializing in the upcoming live performance and the enjoyment of being again house.


Gillian Anne Renault has been an ArtsATL contributor since 2012 and was named Senior Editor for Artwork+Design and Dance in 2021. She has lined dance for the Los Angeles Every day Information, Herald Examiner and Ballet Information, and on radio stations equivalent to KCRW, the NPR affiliate in Santa Monica, California. Within the Nineteen Eighties, she was awarded an NEA Fellowship to attend American Dance Competition’s Dance Criticism program.



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