8 May 2018
Author: The Place and Arden Leone

Meet The Dancer: Arden Leone

We spoke to EDGE dancer Arden Leone.

Originally from Chicago, Arden graduated from Southern Methodist University with a BFA in Dance Performance and a BA in Advertising. 

You are touring the UK and internationally with 19 dates in 6 countries, what are you most looking forward to about this?

I am most looking forward to traveling and seeing different parts of the world whilst doing what I love. It has always been a dream of mine to perform on international stages and EDGE has provided me that opportunity. It is extremely gratifying to work on these pieces for eight months and see the pieces come to fruition in performance. 

How do the different cultures in the company (Costa Rica, France, Hong Kong, Italy, Spain, Taiwan, USA and the UK) come together? In which ways do you inspire each other?

I am constantly learning from being surrounded by different cultures, languages and customs. The company has become so close because of all the time we spend together, both in and out of the studio. My peers inspire me daily, and specifically inspire me to see the context of dance on a broader spectrum.

You are working with four contrasting choreographers, what are the different ways of working and how do you adapt to each?

Some choreographers had very improvisational processes, whilst others came in with set material. Adapting to each individual process came quite easily because all the choreographers were very collaborative, which really helped make the works feel personal and unique to us as a group.

What can audiences expect from the mixed bill?

They can expect everything from an underground world to Frank Sinatra!

What do you hope to learn and achieve throughout the tour?

Throughout the tour I hope to continue to grow as an artist and performer. I am also eager to make new connections, continue to improve the works and develop the stamina necessary for a three month tour.

What has the process taught you about yourself so far?

The process has taught me that there is always more to learn and investigate within dance movement. The process has given me the time necessary to really get to know myself as an artist. I have had time to develop my artistic voice, discover what I enjoy and what my true strengths are.

You will finish your tour with a residency in Portugal, teaching and developing new works with 150 young people aged 3 - 25 years, from the region. In which ways do you hope do develop from this collaborative experience?

I have never taught on that scale before, so I think that hosting a workshop of that size will be very exciting. I am looking forward to working with so many other artists and honing my teaching method.

One of your performances in Portugal is dedicated to works created by yourselves, how does this add to your experience?

We have learnt and grown from so many choreographers and choreographic processes throughout the year, so to be able to have our own process and create our own work to be presented on a stage in Portugal is an amazing culmination. 

How do you feel being a member of EDGE has helped to prepare you for professional life?

The versatility needed for EDGE has really helped me prepare for life in a company and as a professional dancer. We are constantly switching between so many styles and I think this is needed to be successful in the field. As I will also be fulfilling my MA, EDGE provides the opportunity to someday teach and work at a collegiate level.

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