The Global Mother of Dance~ Anabella Lenzu
by Lindsay Schaefer
I was honored a couple of weeks ago to attend a workshop with Anabella Lenzu the Artistic Director of Anabella Lenzu Dance Drama company in New York City http://www.anabellalenzu.com/ Anabella and I were able to reconnect through her nurturing workshop for artists that addressed technique and repertory that she held at Center for Performance Research http://www.cprnyc.org/ From the first time I met Anabella at Dance New Amsterdam (DNA) years back I felt a heart driven connection to her and her work in the studio as a teacher and through the choreography that I would watch her pass onto students and her company members. That beautiful connection was ignited even more after having the opportunity to study with her further this past March with my fellow company member from Artists in Unity Kendra Brisco. I will share with you over this next passage how Anabella connects with her students in the studio, how she passes her choreographic works in dance and theater off to new dancers, and how her passionate spirit as an artist can be felt whether you are a dancer, choreographer, director, theater professional, or everyday person who just loves movement. You can feel her passion, soul, and message through each word and through each extension of her movement whether it be as simple as a touch of a fingertip or larger movements to encompass great space. Her powerful voice, heart, and soul can be felt immensely as if she is the Global Mother to Dance.
When I first met Anabella Lenzu it was her smile and her approach in the studio that first drew me in. She can connect with each individual within seconds of them walking into her studio space. This connection is what allows you to feel nurtured and free whether it be that you are attending workshop or class for more instruction in technique, to clear your head from your everyday responsibilities, or if you are an artist as myself who is constantly asking for more. It is wonderful to watch how her deep love for people connects her immediately to the wants and needs of each individual person that walks into her artistic learning environment. The Global Mother to Dance Anabella Lenzu can connect us all.
Anabella can see immediately the love and passion I have for movement and for taking everything in like a sponge as if I am a child of three once I hit the studio. I am a dancer first and foremost and once the studio is handed back over to another director I enter my first playground like I did at Point Park College, Taylor, and all the other beautiful places I have been able to study. But, Anabella is wonderful in reminding me on a regular basis to check in to my responsibilities as an artist and where I should take my voice in the future with all of my work and the talent that was given to me with the instrument I use through performance is only one talent of expression. It was shared through conversation and through class work that my role as a choreographer is of utmost importance. She can see the fire and individual creative tendencies that come forward when she is passing her work onto me. Anabella made a wonderful point that I will keep close to my heart and that is this- “Define how you see yourself.”
It was wonderful to see myself in so many roles in this workshop that Anabella offered to 10 beautiful souls in mid- March. I returned to my roots as a studying dancer and gave to my heart that needed to be filled up once again with her beautiful technique and dramatic choreography. I also, saw myself as Artistic Director of Artists in Unity www.artistsinunity.com and watching my fellow company member Kendra Brisco grow as a dancer, collaborator, and artist as she stepped into studying with Anabella. My heart was truly full when Kendra shared with me that Anabella’s workshop was her first dance workshop in New York City and AIU helped give this to her. I had a couple flash backs to when I took Kelly Lowry a past dancer with AIU into NYC to view the work of Lynn Neuman from Artichoke Dance Company and then we headed to DNA to take class and it was her first experience too. It has always been my dream as director of AIU to guide, nurture, and place in front of other artists’ different opportunities of study whether their discipline is in dance, film, photography, or various other art forms. Thank you Anabella for seeing my deep passion inside to help others grow and to give us a nurturing place to fall into.
And lastly but not least, I briefly entered the role as filmmaker within Anabella’s workshop taking over Kendra’s role when I was able to pick up the camera towards the end of workshop and film Kendra in action as she performed Anabella’s choreographic solo Destiny or Free Will? This solo Destiny or Free Will? is a part of Anabella’s full length work called Entroterra. “Define how you see yourself” is a significant question to ask yourself as an artist. If you see that all your talents need to be released as Anabella sees in me and in Kendra Brisco then find your nurturing ground place to study and keep those mentors close by because as you grow in the world around you sometimes you have to be reminded how significant you are and how powerful your impact in the world of dance or any other profession maybe. As the The Global Mother of Dance Anabella truly guided me, filled me, and will continue to inspire me to follow her work with her company Anabella Lenzu Dance Drama and to never forget to keep kicking with the voice that is inside of me and to extend it to my own company Artists in Unity and every talented artist such as Kendra Brisco that comes into my path.
I share with you now Anabella’s words and description of her work Entroterra. Kendra Brisco and I were honored to learn a solo within Entroterra called Destiny or Free Will? This work premiered in Rome in 2004. Anabella explains below the description of the work and then goes into sharing the exploration behind Entroterra. You will also find a youtube link to Entroterra from Anabella Lenzu Dance Drama company. In my next blog, I will be sharing a reel of Kendra Brisco and I in action with learning Anabella’s choreographic solo Destiny or Free Will? from her full length work Entroterra. I think after reading this passage and seeing the pictures that AIU offered of our experience with Anabella you can see why I view her as the Global Mother of Dance. I hope my writing inspires other artists out there to check out the work of Anabella Lenzu and her company Anabella Lenzu Dance Drama. http://www.anabellalenzu.com/
(2004) 50 mins – 4 dancers
A journey that transports you to the heart of the magical south of Italy, where the rhythms, rituals and typical Italian dances (tammurriatas, pizzicas and taratellas) are rephrased through modern dance to reveal the map of the soul of a woman in four distinct stages of her life. The sacred and the profane, the cotidian and the eternal. The search for harmony with the cosmos.
The Exploration Behind Entroterra:
While living in Italy for 2 years, I unearthed my Italian roots as a daughter of Italian immigrants who arrived in Argentina in 1952. Dance -but more specifically the traditional dances of small villages- helped me better understand their soul, the social framework and mentality of the people. Through my scholarly research and active participation, I had the chance to rediscover myself as a person and reconsider my function as a choreographer. Entroterra is my testament to the places and the manner in which people live; revealing layers of reality even to myself, proposing these questions to the public, raising awareness and rousing opinions! The Tammurriata, Pizzica and the Tarantella have revealed to me another Italy: that of the South, guardian of memories and traditions both sacred and the profane. It is dance that unites man with the Divine. Dance forms a union between the body, mind and spirit.
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