Monday, November 21, 2022
HomeDanceSYTYCD's Gaby Diaz in a brand new musical

SYTYCD’s Gaby Diaz in a brand new musical

As a child, when it got here to bop, So You Assume You Can Dance Season 12 Winner Gaby Diaz wished to “attempt every thing.” Faucet turned her major type, however she studied many extensively. In some ways, that broad curiosity hasn’t left her; now, years later, she’s rehearsing to star on the planet premiere musical, Solely Gold, a narrative about coming to phrases with one’s deepest truths and letting one’s coronary heart paved the way. Musics and lyrics are by Kate Nash (Netflix’s GLOW), with guide (together with Ted Malawer), course and choreography from Andy Blankenbuehler. 

It’s her first time performing professionally in musical theater. That’s a giant leap, and one which might be nerve-wracking for almost anybody and everybody. Within the face of that problem, Diaz is bringing an angle of simply exhibiting up and getting the job completed to the perfect of her means, and of staying each open and intentional on the subject of making key inventive decisions. 

Gaby Diaz.
Gaby Diaz.

Dance Informa speaks with Diaz about her time on So You Assume You Can Dance, working with Blankenbuehler, the place she is now on her inventive path and way more.

When did you begin dancing, and when do you know it was one thing that you just love? What, particularly, drew you to faucet? 

“I began dancing at two years outdated. My older sister was in lessons, and as quickly as I used to be potty-trained, I used to be in lessons as properly! From then on, I wasn’t actually fascinated about specializing in anyone type; I wished to attempt all potential genres. I assumed that if I do this, I’ll by no means be bored! 

However I additionally discovered my technique to faucet. It was simply in my blood. My dad was a percussionist, and I’ve an ear for percussion. Faucet turn out to be my connection to my dad, and to percussion and musicality. It got here fairly naturally to me, which does characterize my relationship to bop generally. Sure, I prepare and work arduous – however, to a sure extent, I feel that [dance] is simply in you.  

Once I bought older, I bought launched to competitors and likewise went to an arts college. I used to be confused as to what I ought to be doing, with many different influences round me. I considered veering away from faucet and towards extra competitors, however my mother was adamant about me sticking with my ‘why.’ 

She informed me to not permit myself to be influenced by what I noticed as ‘profitable.’ She inspired my curiosity, but additionally let me know that it was not the time to pigeonhole myself. It’s by no means actually a good time to pigeonhole your self, however while you’re younger is the most secure time so that you can attempt new issues and discover your factor. There’s much less time to do this while you become older and there are deadlines. And there’s a distinction between affect and inspiration, of becoming a member of one thing that already exists versus permitting one thing to form what’s actually your individual.”

What have been a few of your favourite elements of being on So You Assume You Can Dance, and what have been among the most difficult elements? 

So You Assume You Can Dance first got here on once I was 9 or 10 years outdated. It was my dream to be on it, and the primary particular aim I had that I might verify off on a listing. It was bodily demanding, however I used to be simply so, so completely satisfied to be there. 

I’ll say that the fact present facet of the present was difficult, the way you type of turn out to be a persona. There’s a vulnerability to letting cameras in in your life. The present has created a type of dancer movie star tradition that we hadn’t seen earlier than, which has been great within the sense that present contestants have been in a position to turn out to be enterprise individuals in their very own proper. 

There was additionally a very difficult psychological facet, in that all the nation was voting. However the producer was at all times nice about saying that you just’re not being voted towards; it’s simply that some contestants are being voted for to go to the subsequent spherical.

With all of that, nevertheless, all that I used to be centered on was embracing each minute that I used to be there as a result of it was simply such a dream. Additionally, there was no time to consider it an excessive amount of – it’s a stay present, the cameras are rolling, and in between items we had fast adjustments! The mentorship program was extremely useful as properly, to be mentored by former contestants – who had been by the entire expertise – and to be a mentor to contestants myself, to cross that on.”

What’s it been wish to shift into a serious musical theater position? 

“I’ve by no means professionally completed a musical earlier than! I don’t suppose we ever actually know who we’re – however as I’ve grown, I’ve discovered extra about my strengths, as a mover and as a bodily storyteller.

When the method began, I used to be clear about my lack of expertise with voice and performing as storytelling, however that I used to be additionally able to put my all into it. I’m open to being susceptible and never pondering an excessive amount of concerning the stakes. I do know that [this show] will not be going to make or break me as a bodily storyteller. 

I’m not going to come back at it with a need to please or with stress. I do know that that’s simply not going to work – particularly by voice, as a result of viewers members would hear it in my voice! I really feel safety and possession over what I’ve to supply within the room. That helps me in these moments once I really feel bare and susceptible singing and performing.”

What’s it been wish to work with Andy Blankenbuehler

“Andy has been dreaming this challenge up for years. It’s my first time working with him. A good friend linked me with him, and we began speaking about working collectively. He trusts me quite a bit, which I recognize. At this stage of my profession and life, I’m not fascinated about being micro-managed. I’m fascinated about being engaged as a collaborator. However I additionally know that I’m there to assist convey his imaginative and prescient to life. He trusts me to make these choices that he doesn’t have time to make…as a result of this present is a beast! 

Andy is extremely passionate concerning the present, and the way I can assist is simply to maintain myself and do the job that I’m there to do – as a result of he’s bought quite a bit else to fret about. There are one million little particulars, however I attempt to not fear about that above and past doing my job. Every single day in rehearsal, there’s one million questions for everybody. It comes right down to, ‘Is that this the only option that we are able to make on this second?’ 

All of it comes from a spot of ardour, and never even about if the present can be ‘profitable’ – however to have the hours of arduous work appreciated, and to exhale and see that we’ve made one thing lovely. You simply can’t be intimidated. I can’t be within the room determined to please.”

I really like the ethos of Solely Gold – about following your coronary heart and re-writing your truths – and likewise the central place of motion throughout the story. With each that message and the significance of a shared language of motion, how do you suppose the story would possibly communicate to what we collectively face at present? 

“It’s a message which you can’t reiterate sufficient. And there’s one thing so visceral about watching individuals transfer and sharing their reality by motion. Andy has been a dancer, earlier than he was a choreographer, earlier than he was a director. He sees how motion can empower all of that. That is now his alternative to completely embrace, and reply solely to, his need and his imaginative and prescient. 

And sure, we’re definitely not skimping on motion on this present; everybody’s dancing their coronary heart out. It seems like day by day we’re doing the unimaginable. If you’re this near one thing, it’s arduous to have perspective, however I do know that there’ll be a second once we can step again and really recognize what we’ve made. 

Ryan Steele and Gaby Diaz in rehearsal for MCC Theater's 2022 Production of 'Only Gold'. Photo by Daniel J Vasquez.
Ryan Steele and Gaby Diaz in rehearsal for MCC Theater’s 2022 Manufacturing of ‘Solely Gold’. Picture by Daniel J Vasquez.

It means one thing completely different to everybody within the room, however we’re all coming collectively and agreeing that it’s essential. We’re going to indicate up day by day and work arduous. Folks could have their opinions about it, issues can be written about it, however I hope that we always remember these moments of it coming collectively and what that’s meant.”

What’s subsequent for you? What steps would you wish to take subsequent? What challenges would you wish to tackle?

“I’ve been having this dialog quite a bit currently, really! So You Assume was so, so large. At 19, it was a reckoning. Ever since then, once I set a really particular aim, I get pulled elsewhere. 

The self-discipline and the order I had once I was rising up was useful. However past that, it’s like, okay, now I did that, now I’ve afforded the fitting to do what I wish to do. And if I determine to do it, then I’m accountable. I can’t be depressing, as a result of nobody is making do me it. 

I had a tremendous leaping off level with So You Assume. I feel a part of why I wished to do the present was to be on this place the place these doorways have been opened, in order that I can management what I do and my relationship with my artwork. So, I’ve type of shifted my targets to energetic targets. For instance, I perceive that dance may not at all times make up my earnings. I don’t wish to come from a spot of ‘I would like this,’ of desperation. So, to be sincere, I actually don’t know what’s subsequent! I’m simply making the artwork that I wish to make, and it feels nice.”

Solely Gold will run by November 27, at NYC’s MCC Theater. For a efficiency schedule and tickets, head to possibly can comply with Gaby Diaz on Instagram: @itsgabydiaz.

By Kathryn Boland of Dance Informa.



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