LINES Ballet Training Program recent alumni, Olivia Coombs and Dominique McDougal (Class of 2013), returned to our studios in San Francisco to hold a series of creative workshops with our current first year Training Program students. Read about their experience coming back and check out some footage/photographs of their work they created together!
What are you work-shopping with the Training Program students?
Dominique: We are currently work-shopping previous repertoire Olivia and I choreographed together in the past 5 years. This is THE first opportunity we have to work outside of ourselves and have others comprehend our method of creation.
Olivia: Dom and I have been workshopping the movement vocabulary we have been developing since our first year in the training program. It certainly was a powerful experience to extract the phrase-work we’ve developed starting from 5 years ago.
How does it feel to come full circle, having attended LBTP and now standing on the other side and teaching the Training Program?
D: Very strange! I feel graduating LBTP is still fresh. So being on the other side in these same studios that we gave so much in makes me very grateful. I am honestly humbled by this experience that Karah opened to us. I would also like to state that now being on this other side I understand the choreographer’s struggle and the attempt to maintain the room. It’s quite a challenge.
O: I certainly have not wrapped my head around returning as a teacher this year. I still consider myself a student, but of course I’d never want that feeling to end! There is so much to learn from anyone at anytime, but it has been amazing to be able to translate my movement into other bodies. Through this transference so much has been revealed.
Are there any specific topics you are currently obsessed with or movement investigations you are digging into?
O: Ugh, so many things. I would say I am currently obsessed with feet, and their ability to adapt to what is necessary when you are focused on embodying other ideas. They are your anchor to the earth, so long as you choose to find the connection beneath the surface. From there possibilities seem infinite.
D: Human habits. I am so into the study of human habits. I can honestly go a full day of observing and dissecting one’s mental traits…hence why I have this intense stare unconsciously.
If you could have a superpower what would it be?
O: If I could have a superpower it would either be invisibility or the ability to fly. The freedom of flight has always been such a yearning of mine. Being free to see the world wherever and whenever; also the act of flying must feel amazing. In terms of invisibility, to be able to see the world from an outside perspective is also very intriguing.
D: The ability to teleport. I wouldn’t need to buy plane tickets. Quite economical, I feel!
Where have you been since LBTP, where are you now and what are you doing?
D: I am currently teaching LBTP 1st years. haha. To expand, I am currently researching other ways to choreograph for other programs worldwide. Embarking on this experience with Olivia has been so beautiful and cohesive in what I want for my future. To create in a room of hungry students. The first year students of 2016 inspire me deeply.
As for the past, I just finished my first ever artist residency, RAIZVANGUARDA, in central Portugal. It was a jaw dropping experience where I collaborated with different artist of different genres from different places around the world. I just couldn’t get enough. I am planning on doing another residency in Iceland come October.
O: So many things! After LBTP I was in Denver for a few months, then decided to spend the summer in Vienna at Impulstanz. From there I returned home to Boston where I have been based for a bit now, freelancing around.