Meet the Artist: Lorris Eichinger

Get to know the dancers! This week we hear from newcomer Lorris Eichinger who joined LINES Ballet just last year. Among other memorable moments in his artistic journey, we talked to him about LINES Ballet’s recent tour to his hometown of Echirolles, his experiences being a tall dancer, what superpower he’d love to have, and more!

Can you define dance?
Dance, could be defined as an awareness of movement, musicality, and space, independently or put together.

Why do you dance?
Dance procures me joy, frustration, passion, love, hate… so many feelings that make me full. There’s always something to learn, it is not a perfectible form or job. Dancing can get you in a sort of trance where you are not just you anymore.

There are too many reasons why we dance; because we’re happy, a ritual, a celebration, an impulse… because dance is just a natural thing.

Lorris Eichinger | ©RJ Muna

When did you realize dance was something that you seriously wanted to pursue?
I decided I wanted to seriously dance around the age of 12. At that point it just seemed so natural to me, like there was nothing else I could or needed to do.

What was the experience of touring with the company to your hometown of Echirolles in France?
It was very intense. It was our first show in Europe, we had had a long travel day, flying in from the east coast and were all very tired. Both of my parents hadn’t seen me in almost a year. They had followed my move from Israel to San Francisco from afar. So on top of being an important moment to be back and perform in my hometown, it was a very emotional moment to be able to see my parents, my two brothers and my sister (it’s rare that we’re all in the same place at once!), my first dance teacher, and all the friends and family that came to the show. Weirdly, because I was so tired I felt really calm and focused. Ilaria was sick all day and I was more focused on being attentive to her than thinking of who was in the audience. I honestly don’t really remember the shows themselves.

After, my parents were so happy, thrilled, and emotional. It’s such a profound joy to see your parents so proud.

Is being tall a perception from others or do you feel tall?
I guess it’s a bit of both. I feel tall in the sense that the world is not adapted for people my height (doorways, legroom, cloths…). But I usually forget about it until someone reminds it to me.

In dance, it feels different. Most of my training, I have seen my height as a challenge, something in my way, that I had to power through. It still is. A lot of teachers don’t know how to work with tall people. They would just say “move bigger, use your full height” (which, I think, is very minimal information). If you work in a company of average height, they want you to be as low at the others, but won’t tell the others to travel as much as you to stay in line, because they can’t reach as far as you. I’m very aware of being tall in dance because it’s something that I have to expand, tame, and use constantly.

What is important to you?
To me, it’s important to always have the ability to question yourself and others. For a few years, it has been so easy to fall in one opinion or the other, by hearing the news, reading a post on social media, being convinced by a friend; everything goes so fast, information doesn’t have sources, some “specialists” have taken the role of truth-tellers… I don’t think the world is binary, and not every subject has a right or wrong way to treat it and talk about it. There are so many layers to what we go through, what people go through, what our world goes through. Things that we don’t know and can’t even imagine.

It’s a hard thing to do and I don’t always apply it to myself, because I’m also very opinionated, but when I catch myself I try and go back, see why I think that, what are the other sides of it, the outside influence, what I truly believe in…

Lorris Eichinger with Adji Cissoko | ©Teresa Wood Photography

What’s your strongest memory of your childhood?
I don’t really have vivid memories of my early childhood. I have some flashes of places and friends. But I remember being very carefree. I was lucky enough to only have to worry about my grades in school and spending time with friends.

How has your practice changed over time?
I think it has become more thought-through. I take things from every teacher and every coach I meet and keep applying it and searching it. I like exploring corrections that irritate me and understand why.

Teaching has also expanded my understanding of practicing. I realized very fast that I gave a lot of feedback that I could apply to myself, but had never thought about it before seeing it outside of me. I love teaching because it helps me understand, dissect, and push what I value in dance.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
I have always struggled with self-confidence issues and when I joined LINES it got a lot worse. My friend Jeffrey would tell me to focus on my journey. It’s not until recently that I really understood the depth of what it meant. It’s a concept that I am still trying to apply but it has helped me rationalize and take distance in a lot of things, in dance and in life.

If you could have a superpower what would it be?
I would love to be able to teleport! My friends and family are scattered all around the world, and I’d love to be able to go see them without hours of flying, jetlag, planning months in advance…

Outside of food, water, oxygen, shelter, what is it that you absolutely could not live without?
My social life. I love my friends, I love hearing about their lives, talking for hours, debating, hearing other opinions… I also realized very recently how much I needed people to talk to when I was at my lowest.

BIO: Lorris Eichinger started training in Grenoble at the National Conservatory and continued at the Ecole Nationale Superieure de Danse de Marseille. After training at The School of American Ballet in New York from 2010 to 2013, Eichinger joined the Professional Division program of the Pacific Northwest Ballet in Seattle. He then moved back to France to dance with the Jeune Ballet de Lyon. Eichinger danced with De Dutch Don’t Dance in the Netherlands in 2015 and then moved to Israel to join Kamea Dance Company in 2016. He joined LINES Ballet in 2019.

Photos: © RJ Muna, Teresa Wood Photography

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