Meet Xaviera Vandermay, one of Seattle's hottest choreographers, who can seemingly do it all -- jazz, hip-hop, contemporary and classical styles -- the woman is a force of nature! RDC was fortunate to have Vandermay set a new work on us called Let You Go for our upcoming show. This compelling and high-energy piece for four dancers features music by Seattle hip-hop duo, Fresh Espresso. In addition to showing her new piece, Xaviera and her sister, Ahnaleza Vandermay, will each perform in the show as well. Under Xav's artistic direction, the sisters run contemporary jazz dance company, 3rd Shift Dance, which has recently been sharing the stage with Seattle electro-soul band, Fly Moon Royalty at the Capitol Hill Block Party. See the Vandermays dance, and catch Xavierra's new piece, Let You Go, at Relay Dance Collective's premiere show Music + Motion on August 24-25, 2013. Tickets are on sale now! Click here to purchase.
Q. What will audiences see when they watch "Let you go"?
A. Ha! I don't want to give any of it away just yet.
RDC rehearsing "Let you go."
Q. How do you anticipate their reaction? Do you want to challenge or move them in some way?
A. When I choreograph, I like to take the audience on a ride. Where their thoughts go during the trip is up to them. I create the piece, but ultimately the headspace in which they enter the theater will determine what parts of the piece, if any, speak to them.
Q. Tell me about the inspiration for this dance.
A. Moving forward from a very dark time and being a bit ambivalent about it at times. I'm going to leave it at that.
Q. What was it like working with RDC?
A. The dancers of RDC are a positive, hardworking crew. I was fortunate that one dancer cast in this piece also dances in my company, 3rd Shift Dance. Having a dancer more familiar with my choreographic approach and movement style was hugely beneficial during this process. Thanks Alex!
Q. What was your impression of this new dance group?
A. A good group of ladies who are excited to be together and create a new company with a nod to an old, long-since-changed, former jazz dance company. Congratulations on this first big show!
Q. Tell me about your other pieces in the show that you and your sister will be dancing in.
A. Once I settle on which solo I am dancing ... just kidding. I'll be dancing a short theater dance piece titled Bird Machine that I have since reworked as a group piece for 3SD. I like the group version significantly more, so I better step my game up. The other piece, danced by Ahnaleza, is an elegant lyrical solo danced to "Medicine" by Daughter.
Q. Describe yourself as a choreographer.
A. Full out. Always.
Q. What kind of dances do you like to make?
A. I enjoy being able to create many different types of pieces. I've been privileged these past few years to be able to choreograph for short film, runway, music concerts, traditional concert dance, and competitive dance. Variety is a beautiful thing and keeps life interesting.
Q. What's next for you in the dance world?
A. For that, you will have to wait and keep an eye out.