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5 February 2020
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Dance Beyond Dance - Marianne Maynes

When did you study at LCDS? Why did you decide to study contemporary dance? 

Coming from Switzerland, I was at LCDS from 91-94. I loved dance, which to me was always a beautiful medium to express myself and be free. I’d seen some truly amazing dance companies such as Alvin Ailey perform and was inspired.

Tells us a little bit about what happened since! Was there a moment you realised there was something else you wanted to pursue instead of dance?

After graduating, I stayed in London. At first, I shot a bunch of music videos,commercials and worked with American choreographer Stephen Fant for a bit. All the while I taught Pilates. That brought me to director Sally Potter, who I worked with during the making of the film Tango Lesson in Paris. I was yet again intrigued by all things film and with it acting. Leaving dance was an organic process of being pulled away into acting as well as being honest with myself to know I wasn’t on a level to dance with a company such as Alvin Ailey or the like. Spending two summers at Ailey through LCDS’ exchange program, I completely fell in love with NY and chose to train in acting there. In NY I did plays, short films and again commercials. The acting eventually brought me to LA.

What is it you do now? Tell us about your business/career/role! 

I’ve always loved everything food. The whole culture, eating it, preparing it and feeding people, creating joy. Bringing food, teaching and acting together, we created a food show for TV and through that I ended up back at my roots. I’m a third generation swiss chocolatier. Together with my film maker husband, I created Coco Suisse, handmade swiss chocolates. We sell at exclusive stores throughout LA and supply elite Hollywood clients with our creations. Under the same branding I’m currently in the process of developing a cocoa skin care line.

What did you take away from your creative education? What stuck? Is there something you still find useful?  

Creativity is the operative word. If you’re a creative person, it must be expressed no matter how. It almost doesn’t matter as long as you get fulfillment. Now I get to create products to sell and touch people with, rather than sell myself as a dancer or actor which actually suites me much better.

What kind of skills were you able to transfer into your current career? How do you use your creativity today?

My training and performance experience have taught me to stand in front of people comfortably and do presentations or sales pitches. And of course, the creative process is just that, a process, that sometimes comes easy and fast and sometimes requires tremendous persistence. Dancers are tough, disciplined and persistent people. And I’ll forever be grateful to Pytt Geddes for teaching about life, energy and flow through tai’chi.

 

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