#WomenInChoreo Wednesday with Robyn Mineko Williams
Since Artistic Director Hope Muir took the helm of Charlotte Ballet in 2018 the company has commissioned work into the repertoire from female choreographers each season. Women have long been underrepresented in creative roles with professional dance companies, but thanks to Muir Charlotte Ballet has a renewed commitment to providing opportunities to these intelligent and inspiring choreographers. We are excited about this new social mini-series #WomeninChoreo Wednesday where you will get to hear advice directly from those women, as well as gather insight as to how they are fueling their creative outlets during their time at home.
OUR CHAT WITH ROBYN MINEKO WILLIAMS
1. With theaters closed and schedules disrupted through the crisis of Covid 19, how are you engaging with your art and staying both active and creative?
Honestly, it’s taken me some time to figure out how to contribute in a genuine way as we shelter at home, unable to be in the same room to create with one another. Just recently though, I had an idea that finally made sense to me. It was an idea to continue my ongoing performance series, Undercover Episodes, in a way that felt good and aligned with the heart of the piece regardless of the pandemic. Although Undercover Episodes was built to bring audiences physically closer to the work, performed in mostly unconventional spaces such as bars, gardens, and music venues, it was also built to be malleable and to evolve. I am now working with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago to bring it to life on film, working remotely from all of our different homes. I’m excited that it doesn’t feel like a reduced or compromised version of the work but rather an exciting, next incarnation.
2. Every creative process is unique in its own way, can you describe your experience working with Charlotte Ballet and how it may have differed from other companies?
I loved how quickly at home I felt during my time with Charlotte Ballet. In addition to the dancers being intelligent, versatile and brilliantly dynamic artists, the organization, as a whole, is a group of extremely kind, warm and open humans. It’s remarkable to find this kind of unity; it’s a feeling you don’t forget after spending time with them.
3. There has been a lot of focus on female choreographers recently in the press and how they are underrepresented in programming, can you discuss any challenges you might have faced and offer any advice to aspiring female choreographers?
I have a great mom who used to always tell me as a kid that it was cool to be different and that I should embrace my uniquenesses and run with them. Her words have helped me tremendously to push through the tough spots and to remember to prioritize the authenticity and heart in what I do. It’s not always the easiest path and definitely one not void of failure, but, in the end, for me at least, it is always the most rewarding way to go.