How did this commission come about?
Peter Martins has been talking to me ever since
I made a piece for the Choreographic Institute,
back in 2010. Every year he mentions it. And I always say, “We’ll
see—I really want to dance.” This
past year, he pulled me aside and
said, “I want you to choreograph
something. You have to do it. Just
think: new Lovette, 2016.” And I
said, “Yeah, okay, I’ll do it.” And
then he pulled me aside again
and said: “It’s not because you’re
a woman.” I really needed to hear
Do you feel a conflict between
your dancing career and choreo-
Yeah, it’s about finding the time.
As it is, I’m rehearsing all day and
performing at night. My stress
levels are usually pretty high.
How do you approach your work in the studio
when you’re choreographing something?
I ask the dancers a lot of questions. If I give a step,
What are your biggest
I ask, “Where is your weight naturally going? Do
you feel like going this
way or that way?” As a
dancer, when I work with a
choreographer, I wish they
would ask more questions.
challenges as a choreog-
moving large groups,
building the architecture.
And commanding a room.
I’m just me! I can’t pre-
tend to be someone else.
How did you find the music, Robert
Schumann’s Introduction and Concert Allegro,
Fifteen minutes is a difficult length. I wanted a
What made you pick the designer Narciso
single piece with variety within it. The first time I
heard it I think I was cleaning my apartment and
had Spotify playing. I like the way it starts, quietly,
just the piano at first. Then there’s a mischievous
part in the music that I thought could be for a girl
dancing on her own, and then this huge tormented
part that I thought would be a couple fighting. It
had to be!
I like to see bodies—pure, human form, and
I know Narciso shapes the female form really
Do you think other women in the company
may follow your example?
I think so. I hope so! They were all surprised that
I was doing this. They were like, “Do you have
ideas?” And I said, “Yes! I have ideas. Don’t
you ever think about it?” It’s always scary when
nobody else is doing it. n
news | 10 MINUTES WITH...
Even back when she was in the corps at New York
City Ballet, you couldn’t miss Lauren Lovette.
With her vivacious eyes, delicate pointework and
engaging manner, she had a way of pulling the
audience into her world. Stories seem to pour
out of her, whether she’s dancing the playful lead
in Balanchine’s jazzy “Rubies,” the mysterious
femme du monde in his Vienna Waltzes or the
slow spinning solo in Christopher Wheeldon’s
Polyphonia. A principal since June 2015, she’s
now ready to create a story of her own, from
scratch. For its fall season, NYCB commissioned
her to choreograph a 15-minute ballet, her first
for the company.
The NYCB principal tries
her hand at choreography.
BY MARINA HARSS
Lovette in rehearsal
with Taylor Stanley