This September, the Training Program plunged into the year with a full house of talented dancers hungry to learn and deliver! The roster includes international students from France, Italy, Switzerland and Canada. This semester they will have the opportunity to work with inspiring artists recognized in our San Francisco dance community including, Kathleen Hermesdorf and Albert Mathias of La Alternativa and Angela Dice Nguyen of the newly created The MoveMessenger(s). Check out our interview with Angela Dice Nguyen to learn more about her work and her involvement with the Training Program, both with current students and alumni!
In conversation with Angela Dice Nguyen, guest choreographer for LINES Ballet Training Program this Fall semester:
Where were you dancing before you moved to San Francisco?
I performed for three seasons as a company member of Danceworks Chicago from 2011-2014. While in Chicago I also performed and choreographed for Dance in the Parks and collaborated with choreographer Ahmad Simmons for Pursuit Productions. Other valuable experiences have included Dayton Arts Project (Dayton, OH), August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble (Pittsburgh, PA), and The Mountain Playhouse (Jennerstown, PA).
What current projects are you working on as both dancer and creator?
Currently I am performing as a dancer with San Francisco Opera in productions of Andrea Chénier and the world premiere of Dream of the Red Chamber. I am also in rehearsals with my project The MoveMessenger(s) for upcoming performances at PUSHfest (Sept. 24-25) and The DanceWright Project (Oct. 22-23) in San Francisco.
The MoveMessenger(s): Claire Fisher rehearsing for upcoming performances at PUSHfest on September 24-25 at ODC Theater. Dancers Gretchen LaWall and Linda Phung also pictured. Photo by Victor Talledos.
How did you begin working with some of LBTP’s alumni and do you find there is a commonality amongst them?
My introduction to LBTP actually began at San Francisco Opera, where I met fellow artist Stephen DiBiase during the production of Les Troyens. Paired together by choreographer Gemma Payne for the opera’s ballet scene, Stephen and I found a natural ease to our dance partnership, and I grew curious to explore some of my own movement vocabulary with him. My work inkspilt (2015) was a result of our creative process, and the premiere of the piece served as the debut performance of The MoveMessenger(s) in October 2015.
I’ve been fortunate to know and work with other LBTP alumni for continued projects with The MoveMessenger(s): Claire Fisher, Alex Carrington, Alexander Vargas, Babatunji Johnson, and LINES BFA graduates Dalmacio Payomo and Amy Greene.
Collectively passionate but unmistakably individual, the LINES family of artists brings meaningful thought to their approach to dance, which often augments the very physical qualities in my current work.
The MoveMessenger(s): Dalmacio Payomo, Angela Dice Nguyen, and Stephen DiBiase working together on Nguyen’s Tale of a Hummingbird, which premiered this August in San Francisco. Photo by Victor Talledos.
What inspired you to begin choreographing?
Sharing experiences with many diverse artists—dancers, choreographers, and directors alike—have helped to inform my own artistry and allowed me to express layers of myself as a performer. At this stage in my dance journey I simply feel ready to explore dance on different levels: as a performer, choreographer, director, producer, audience member…I feel like the San Francisco community is a great place to start up a dance project!
What do you believe are elements that make a piece of work speak?
A lot of thought, a little bit of soul, and a perfect blend of preparation and abandonment.
See Angela’s work on the Training Program along with several additional acclaimed local choreographers at this year’s LINES Ballet Training Program Fall Showcase, November 10-11. Check back at their website for more details in the future!
Angela Dice Nguyen conceived The MoveMessenger(s) in 2015 as a vehicle to share dance with artists and audiences in the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Originally from Somerset, Pennsylvania, Nguyen earned a BFA in dance from the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University under the direction of Susan S. Stowe. She has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad with DanceWorks Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Project.b., and August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble, among others, and received opportunities to choreograph and present her own work throughout San Francisco, San Jose, Monterey Peninsula, Chicago, Memphis, Pittsburgh, and New York City. www.themovemessengers.org