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Featured Choreographer: March 2020

16 Mar 2020

Featured Choreographer of the month: Simona Scotto

What motivates you to pursue a career in choreography?

When I choreograph I have this strong desire in my mind: What can I share with others that is going to make a difference or change the way they think about or view a particular issue.  I find choreography to be an amazing tool to challenge people’s preconceived ideas about a particular topic. I like to ask audiences to see perhaps something they have not considered before.

Can you share with us some highlights of your choreographic career and/or your current engagements?

Lately I’ve been working with a well-known actor, Ben Wishaw, for a production called Norma Jeane Baker of Troy.  I have choreographed a short piece based on Marylin Monroe’s movement and style of dance.  To be working with an actor of that calibre has been an eye opening experience for me, it made me realise how important it is to step up your game and think and work at high standard and level. It boosted my confidence in my own capabilities and values as a choreographer, but the most important lesson has been to change my mind set, to focus on the value of raising up standards.

How has your choreographic process and work developed over time?

In the early years of my career I worked as an instinctual choreographer, now I use more intellectual processes. I guess my preference is to look at the dancer’s bodies and create work on what’s in front of me, I also use my own body to create movement and I am curious to see how it translates into an older, non- professionally trained body, it’s fascinating what people come up with!

What do you think are some of the main challenges choreographers are faced with today?

One of the main challenges I’ve found in this field is that there doesn’t seems to be an agent that represents the kind of work I do.  As a choreographer I’ve ventured towards theatre, working with non -professionally trained bodies, working with actors and various age groups. I’ve found that when it comes to seek more work of this kind, being paid on time, managing contracts etc is not easy to find someone who is up for the job. So perhaps this is a call to agents to include a broader and more versatile kind of choreographers?

What advice would you give to emerging choreographers?

Make contacts, show your work as much as possible and don’t give up on your dreams.  Most of all understand how to market yourself and that you are a business not a charity!

What kind of work are you currently interested in pursuing?

I’m currently developing work for dancers who are over the age of 40/50/60, that is an exciting venture.  I’ve started to train again and rehearse with professionally trained mature dancers, exploring how to push boundaries for our new bodies!

Here is an excerpt from Simona Scotto’s work: