Choreographer Spotlight: Julian Goodwin-Ferris
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 Friday, February 5, at approximately 3 and 3:30pm you can catch some of our extraordinary MCB dancers at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Coconut Grove, featuring headline choreography by MCB dancer Julian Goodwin-Ferris.
Julian has been a dancer with MCB since 2019. We spoke to him briefly about the inspiration for his work, the music and what it’s like to create in a pandemic.
What about your pop up location inspired you to choreograph?
Julian: Vizcaya feels like a villa you would see in Europe, but it is also such a mix of different styles and eras of European history. This made me think of how today, ballet can also be a mix of styles. Its roots are in the Italian court, yet it has the influences of the many choreographers who came afterward.
What role does music play in your creative process?
Julian: I was inspired by the baroque feeling of the gardens and the interiors at Vizcaya. I was influenced by the mix of different European styles, so I decided to use French and German baroque violin music. I liked the structure provided by baroque music, while the repetitive quality of the second movement of my piece reminds me of modern-day minimalist composers.
Listen to the music here.
What ignites your choreographic process?
Julian: I always start with the music. I listen to it enough times that I can hear it in my head as I dance. I also watch a lot of different ballets that inspire me. Because I was using baroque music for this piece, I spent a lot of time studying the musicality of Balanchine’s Square Dance. He has such interesting ways of following baroque music’s structure, and also playing with it.
Is this your first time choreographing a new work?
Julian: I choreographed for a project when I was in school, but I am definitely a new choreographer.
How has creating and staging a new work with social distancing limitations in the middle of a pandemic influenced your creative process?
Julian: I spent a lot of time dancing outdoors in parks working on this piece. We are used to dancing in the very controlled environments of the ballet studio or stage, but the pandemic made me appreciate that dance can happen anywhere.
View a link of the dancers rehearsing outside here.
See Julian’s new work on Friday, February 5 between 3pm – 3:30pm at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. Tickets are required for entry to the garden and may be purchased here.
Realized Inner Voices:
Choreography by Julian Goodwin-Ferris
Danced by Jennifer Lauren, Satoki Habuchi and Luiz Silva
Music by Georg Philipp Telemann*and Jean-Marie LeClair**
*Concerto in G Major for 4 Violins without Basso Continuo: 1. Largo e staccato
** Violin Sonata in a Major, Op. 9, No. 1: III. Andante: Arpeggio sempre
Photo courtesy of choreographer Julian Goodwin-Ferris featuring MCB dancers Satoki Habuchi, Jennifer Lauren, Luiz Silva in rehearsal for his new work.