How did you get the Ballet Sun Valley
Isabella has put together a wonderful program
for the festival and wanted to do one new work.
She has always come to see everything I’ve
done; she’s hugely supportive. She just said, “I
want you to do this.”
What is the idea behind the ballet?
There is this solar eclipse happening in Sun Val-
ley on August 21, and we decided to use that
as inspiration. There are two groups of dancers;
Marcelo Gomes is the leader of one group and
Isabella is the leader of the other. I call them
the sun and moon. Judd Greenstein wrote the
score. It’s really about gravity and the tension
and suspense that happens when everyone
is there waiting for the eclipse to happen. It
seems to take forever and then it happens and
What drives your choreography?
For me it’s more about the intent behind the
steps—Why are you running to the corner?
What are you saying when you run to the
corner? How fast are you running? I want the
audience to get the feeling behind the steps
without having to look at a synopsis. I think it’s
because when I was younger I was watching
Kenneth MacMillan’s ballets, and I loved that
way of telling a story.
And you use classical technique?
I always want my ballets to be much cooler and
more sophisticated than I actually am. [Laughs.] In
the beginning I would say, “We’re going to do this
in socks,” and then I’d be like, “Can you put your
pointes on? Can you turn out?” It would always go
back to what I know and love.
You recently made your first work for Atlanta
Yes, Denouement [premiered in March 2017].
I used a Benjamin Britten sonata for piano and
cello. It was a bit of a point of contention because
it isn’t the most melodic piece. Actually, Alexei
Ratmansky helped me a lot because I went to him
and said that I’m hearing a few doubts about my
music selection, and he said to go with how you
feel and if you believe in it, you’ll make the work
that you want to make.
Do you feel like you’re getting the
opportunities that you deserve?
Yeah. I feel really fortunate that originally Diana
Byer of New York Theatre Ballet was there to say,
“You’re doing something interesting. I’m going
to give you studio space and dancers.” I was
talking to Kevin McKenzie recently and saying
that I don’t particularly like it when people are
like, “Why aren’t you doing a piece for ABT?” I’m
very happy with the way that my career is going. I
learn so much from each experience. ■
news | 10 MINUTES WITH...
The ABT corps member’s
choreographic career is
BY MARINA HARSS
Bond (left) in the studio
with fellow ABT member
Gemma Bond’s intelligence—and knack for
detail—never fails to shine through her dancing.
It makes sense, then, that the American Ballet
Theatre corps member is also a budding choreographer. After making works for ABT’s Innovation
Initiative and New York Theatre Ballet, as well as
for her own pickup ensemble, her name is beginning to pop up with increasing frequency in ballet
circles. She just made her first work for Atlanta
Ballet, and was invited to take part in a festival
at New York City’s Joyce Theater. Next season
she will create a work for The Washington Ballet.
Her latest piece will be unveiled during a festival
organized by fellow ABT dancer Isabella Boylston
in Sun Valley, Idaho, August 22–24.