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Robert Abrams
The Duke Theatre
United States
New York City
New York
New York, NY

An Interview with Brook Notary

by Robert Abrams
July 26, 2003
The Duke Theatre
229 West 42nd Street
New York, NY 10036

An interview with Brook Notary

(Also see our review of the Notario Dance Company and www.notariodance.org)

Robert Abrams
July 26, 2003

Robert Abrams: How did you start dancing?

Brook Notary: I started as a gymnast. I was a hyper kid. I started competing. I went into Rhythmic Gymnastics and got to the top ten in the US. I went to UC-Irvine and majored in dance. After school, I started my dance company and toured with Cirque Ingenieux. Hence my love of props. I love contemporary dance mixed with cirque and athleticism. I want to move the audience and provide entertainment. I care about the audience. I try to make a little eye candy.

RA: Who inspires you?

BN: Donald McKayle, who I studied with in college, was a huge inspiration. I have to give credit to my coaches in Rhythmic Gymnastics and give credit to my family. All of our conversations involved making new ideas and building things together. My parents are musicians. My brother is the musical director of my company. My older brother is a cirque director. I love bouncing ideas off each other, to keep the creative ball rolling. I studied with Bill Hastings for six years in New York. My dancers inspire me. They are some of the most hard working women and men I have met.

RA: Could you comment on one of the dances you presented today?

BN: I welcome mistakes. To be creative you have to be open to making huge mistakes. The white disks are an example of this. I was trying to make huge skirts, but that didn't work. I left out the hole and decided to use them as disks. They are like Manta Rays: a duet with the air and the fabric disk and yourself. For Bious, with four men on stilts, my brother wrote the music. I thought of black widow spiders, with women seducing their male counterparts. It was a fun piece to create. Having eight long limbs on stage meant having so many fun things to play with. The dancers had fun working on it. It was challenging, especially with a woman on the back of a male dancer on stilts. Dancing with a prop is always something new for dancers, but they are open to it.

RA: What do you hope to do next?

BN: I would like to find support for the company. I would like to find venues that would like to present us. I would like to do more children's outreach. We are ready to tour. We know how to take things places. We would like to tour Europe.

RA: What kinds of programs do you do in the schools?

BN: We like to hit schools around the cities in which we perform. We usually perform Plucked with the masks and stilts. The kids often relate to
those animalistic creatures. When we perform Manta Ray, we swing the discs
so close to the kids that their hair blows. We like the kids to feel as
if they are a part of the performance. I remember feeling so separate from
the performers. We try to sweep them up in the middle of the action. We
play creative games with them so they feel like they can create dance by
the end of the workshop.

Notario Dance Company - Manta Ray
Photo courtesy of Brook Notary

Notario Dance Company - Traces
Photo courtesy of Brook Notary

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