viernes, 29 de julio de 2016

Núria Martin Fandos Contemporary Dancer

"New York is the Mecca of dance. Everyone dances, everyone choreographs, everyone creates, everyone presents. There is no fear of making work the imagination"

The contemporary dancer Núria Martin Fandos didn’t plan to train in New York until she found herself holding the first prize honored with a two-year full scholarship to complete her studies at Peridance Capezio Center in this city of the United States. After four months of receiving the full scholarship she was already in the world capital of dance. It is a unique experience, but at the same time, complicated and with a point of hardness.

Why are you encouraged to dance?
My first dance class (ballet) was when I was five years old when a friend of mine from school told me that she was going to dance as an extracurricular activity after finishing classes.

What would you highlight of your training process as a dancer?
A dancer, like many other professions, never finishes her training, is in continuous training during his professional career. The formation of a dancer, and particularly mine, has dedicated effort, in hours, in mental and physical improvement. The formation of a dancer is long and requires many hours in a studio before viewers see the final product, that may only be 10 minutes…
I find it quite difficult to summarize in a word what my training has been but the two words that get closer are: personal improvement and dedication.

Why did you decide to go to the United States?
Unlike many people (especially youth) in our country, I had never wanted to go to the United States to finish my studies and gent a career. We can say that somebody decided for me.
I presented my choreography ‘Veni, Vidi, Vinci’ (solo) and ‘Advertencia’ (quintet) at the Third International Competition of Dance in the City of Barcelona (2013) to gain experience in another area of the dance world (contests, competitions, etc…) that I had not yet discovered. The duration of the event was two days; the first when the semifinals took place, and the second. At the end of the first day, when they announced the results of the finalists I did not see my name on the list.
The next day I received a call from the directors of the contest communicating that the jury had decided to give me a second chance and they wanted to see me dance again in the final as a soloist and also the quintet, when it was time to collect the prize at the Salon de Cent Barcelona City Council, I saw myself holding a statue and a diploma as winner of the first prize of contemporary dance of the III International Competition of Barcelona and with a full scholarship for two years to finish my dance studies in Peridance Capezio Center in New York.
So, in about four months I was in this city two years in front of me todo (just) three things: dance, dance and dance (as my father often says).

How was your professional experience in this country?
My professional experience in America has been enriched in every way. Everything in life is a learning experience and I have learned not only about this country and its dance creations, but I have learned about cultures. Mexican, Japanese, Bolivian, Canadian, Italian, Czech, South Africa and many others. The experience that an artist can get in a city like this is immense. It makes you change your perspective on life and realize that not only your way is right. In relation to dance, I have learned to distinguish my tastes. New York is the Mecca of the dance and there’s so much, but so much variety that everything is valid. It can be valid as an expression of art, but does not mean that as artists we accept everything in our vocabulary. I have learned to see, discover, accept and, most importantly, I learned to criticize constructively. This is how the city has molded me through my professional experience.

Does the Contemporary Dance is a particularly complicated to make it professional activity artistic expressions? Are there other expressions of dance with which is easier to make a living?
Contemporary is new.
Dance in general has always been a difficult profession to make a living with. For this reason, when people use to ‘stop being on the stage’ they use to dedicate their time and profession to teach. Right now, in the twenty-first century and especially here in New York, the situation is this: There are not only large companies renowned and established for years (New York City Ballet, Parsons Dance and Ballet Hispanico) where their dancers have a month salary, a weekly hour schedule and medical insurance (like any other job) but there is also what is called ‘Projects’, which is when all other dancers who are not working with an established renowned company (because they no longer have contracts or for any other reasons) are part of project-based companies, ie, usually dancers only get paid of performances (and not rehearsal hours) but if you are lucky and the company has applied and received a grant may have a rehearsal remunerations but this will never equal an established company dancer’s salary. All these other dancers must be maintained through another job that pay the bills.
So it’s a bittersweet situation, as there is much dancing, so that almost everyone can get to be on stage, but a lot of dancers choose to have another job to give you money to live.

Is it very different the professional environment and the learning experience in New York that in Barcelona?
Yes. It is very different in many aspects starting from the teaching method until the professional environment. In this country everything happens so fast that any professional environment has been attached to this city rhythm as well. Even the dance classes the teacher begins with a short warm-up because the focus and main point of the class is to get to the choreography, to the final result, what is shown in front of the audience… And the same happened in the professional environment. When a company announces its lined-up performances to its dancers, the most common thing is to rehearse only two weeks before the performance. A difference from Barcelona, that rehearsals may happen long time before the performance date.

Are there many Catalans dancers who have also tried fortune In America?
There are some. Now I know four Catalan dancers, and five Spaniards. But I’m sure there have been others before my generation.

Is there a greater sensitivity to this type of dance in New York in Barcelona, in the United States in Catalonia or Spain?
I would not speak of sensitivity, but New York is the Mecca of dance. Everyone dances, everyone choreographs, everyone creates, everyone presents. There is no fear of making fly the imagination. Everything is accepted and everything is valid and this is how new trends emerge. I feel we are very choosy in Spain with the ' what people say ' and the opinion of others and thus never gives space for new jobs and new people...

How US welcomes professionals like you? Are they more demanding than with the natives?
America is a rich country in every way, where you have to work hard to achieve your goal. All non US residents have to get a visa, marriage or winning the Green Card to stay in the United States.
 Once a non US resident professional dancer has won the artist visa (visa 0-1) receives the same level of demand as a native by the Government.
However, the process by which we must pass all the people we want to get the 0-1 Visa, is not easy. You have to prove you're a professional dancer (in my case) with extraordinary abilities. This requires the presentation of evidence of employment (contracts, payments, press materials, media materials, pictures, videos, correspondence, biographies of other artists involved in the project, schedule rehearsals and performances ...), education, show that you are a member of associations, organizations and unions in your area, fifteen letters of recommendation and awards that you have earned throughout your life. Once all this work is done, it passes through the hands of a lawyer and finally sent to the immigration department to get a (positive or negative) response about three to six months later.

Is the stage in the US is only circumstantial, for a few years or gone to stay?
I originally came for two years. When I graduated (2015), I decided to apply for a visa OPT (Optional Training Program) that the schools offer when you finish your studies, that allows you to legally work in the US in the field of your studies, and is the previous step for any international student who wants to apply for a visa as an artist. At the moment I do not want to stay forever, I just want to have the best possible experience in the dance world here, and when I think that I have achieved what US can give me I want to move to Barcelona.

How do you see your professional future?
I see a busy professional future, following the path that I have already started. I do not expect less but quite the opposite. This is just the beginning. It wiil be a busy career, and every day fighting for more, beating me and learning from the experiences that the career path can give me.

What is your greatest aspiration as a dancer Contemporary Dance?
My aspiration is to work as dancer in one or more established renowned dance companies until I reach my goal, and then I would like to choreograph for other companies or create my own dance company in Catalonia.

Currículum Núria Martín Fandos


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