Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"Lacuna": MATYCHAK in action

Scene from Lacuna with dancers of MATYCHAK
(photo: Grayson Dantzic Photography)
Below: choreographer Nathalie Matychak
(photo: Dea Jenkins)

Lacuna is a highly athletic, yet organic quintet for five women that investigates lucid dreaming and cyclical relationships we can't seem to let go of.
--Nathalie Matychak

What drives you, Nathalie?

It sounds heavy, but I’m driven by the unbearable lightness of being--an urgency to create and share work because anything could happen.

What drives Lacuna?

Lacuna is driven by the dancers and their relationships in space to one another. While creating the dance, I realized how it became a completely different dance if any one person was taken out. It became clear to me that my job with it was to create an environment where the dancers worked within the space as structures within a larger cell.

Scene from Lacuna by MATYCHAK
(photo: K. Bonura Photography)

Why lucid dreaming?

Lucid dreaming is something I’ve only recently started to do--the ability to control your dreams and have those brief moments of consciousness and connection within an environment in which you feel you have no control over. It’s quite startling.

How does lucid dreaming relate to dancing and/or dancemaking?

I always find myself dreaming of dancing or watching dance, which often starts as a catalyst for making new work, or even altering old ones. For me, it is so important to be able to be both inside and outside the dance when I am shaping it so I know what holes need to be filled and what aspects need to be taken away.

An excerpt from Lacuna with choreography by Nathalie Matychak 
in collaboration with MATYCHAK dancers
Rebecca Allen, Titilayo Derricotte, Sarah Hillmon, Danielle McIntosh and Alex M Schell

What were the most valuable lessons you learned from being mentored by two acclaimed choreographers--Doug Varone and Stephen Petronio?

Being able to get feedback from and get an inside look at the way these two men’s minds work was invaluable: honored doesn’t really begin to describe it. I learned how important it was to embrace failure. Not everything works out perfectly on the first try, and that attitude was stunting my progression as a choreographer. I edit constantly now, and I am more tuned in to what works and what doesn’t and when to throw away something to make room for something new to grow.


See MATYCHAK perform an excerpt from Lacuna this Thursday, April 30 and Saturday, May 2, 8pm, at WestFest Top Floor (Program A) at Martha Graham Studio Theater, Westbeth Artists Residency, 55 Bethune Street, Manhattan (11th floor). For complete information, click here.

Nathalie Matychak is a graduate of LaGuardia Arts High School (2007) and holds a BFA in Dance from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (2010). Since founding MATYCHAK in 2011, the project-based company has shown work at venues such as Joe’s Pub, Dixon Place, Symphony Space and The 92nd Street Y. She has also been mentored as a choreographer by Stephen Petronio and Doug Varone. In 2013, she co-founded The Breaking Glass Project to provide a platform for emerging female choreographers. Her next large-scale endeavor is setting a new work on LaGuardia Arts High School’s Graduating Class of 2016.

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