Choreographer Spotlight: Bradley Dunlap
To Miami, With Love is a series of pop-up performances around Miami choreographed and performed by MCB company dancers. Each headlining work is site-specific, inspired by the surrounding environment and the unique cultural tapestry of the location.
On Sunday, February 14 at 6:30pm you can catch some of our extraordinary MCB dancers at Miami Design District, featuring headline choreography by MCB dancer Bradley Dunlap.
Bradley Dunlap is a Miami City Ballet School alumni and joined the Company in 2008. We spoke to Bradley briefly about Miami, his choreographic process, the music and what inspires him to create.
What does the city of Miami represent to you?
Miami and Miami Beach are my home. I often think about a tree when I think of how this city has impacted me. My roots will always be in Cleveland, and I am so thankful for that, but I really began to grow into my own when I moved to Miami at 17.
What ignites your choreographic process?
As a novice choreographer, I took multiple approaches to help me learn what worked best for me. These included visualizing movement and writing to describe what I saw, pulling movements and ideas from videos of myself improvising, and lastly, when I felt stuck, I would get with the dancers I was creating with and just make something up on the spot.
Tell us about the music your work is set to.
The music for my work is by American composer Irving Berlin. I wanted to find something more mainstream that was available in the public domain. I went on a search and found an album of his music played by Rusty Dedrick Orchestra, fell in love, and went from there.
Music is one of my favorite things and it is difficult for me to listen without fantasizing about dancing, singing or playing along. I want to be a part of it! I don’t play any instruments, so that is left to fantasy, and singing I do in private, although my neighbors may disagree, so my go-to for connecting is dancing.
Listen to the music here.
Is this your first time choreographing a new work?
A good friend of mine, who I danced with at MCBS wanted ballerinas as a part of her wedding procession, so I choreographed about 40 seconds of dancing to precede her walking down the aisle. So I guess I could call this my second work, but this will be my first piece that uses a whole song!
What can audiences expect from your work?
As I began to create this work, I realized a lot of the expressions reflected my feelings and desires during the pandemic. Feelings of loneliness, and wanting to connect with my family and friends, and dance, and wandering somewhat lost around new terrain, wishing for the old. It was so cool to see these feelings and desires come into my awareness during the process of making the piece. That said, I want everyone to take in the work for themselves and get from it what they want; to connect, escape, something to tap their foot to… whatever.
What inspires you to create?
It is very difficult for me to hear music and not imagine movement. If a movie soundtrack is good, I will miss entire scenes as I dance away in my mind.
I have had the desire to bring these visualizations to life, but discomfort around not knowing how to do that, the fear that it would not compare to what was in my head, and wanting to make sure I did it just right continued to hold me back. Conquering these fears is what inspired me to create this piece, and has left me inspired to create more.
See Bradley’s new work on Sunday, February 14 from 6:30pm at Miami Design District. Admission is free but advanced registration is required. RSVP here.
RSVPs are currently full, but please check back later in the week in case more tickets are released.
Choreography by Bradley Dunlap
Danced by Suzette Logue, Jordan Elizabeth Long and Chase Swatosh
Music by Irving Berlin*
*Crinoline Days/ All Alone/ Everybody Step by the Rusty Dedrick Orchestra
Photo courtesy of Bradley Dunlap featuring MCB dancer Jordan Elizabeth Long in rehearsal for “To Miami, With Love”.