NCG Recipient Spotlight / by Andrew Tran

RACHEL HETTINGER

How long have you been dancing? What college did you attend?

I've been dancing since I was three! Started with creative movement, transitioned into musical theater, moved to NYC and fell in love with contemporary. 

After high school, I moved to NYC to train at Broadway Dance Center in their scholarship program (now the Professional Semester). After completing the 6 month training program, I continued to study with Pushing Progress in their 8 month Contemporary Training Program, focusing on contemporary movement and anatomy. 


When did you start creating work and what was the name of your first work? 

I started creating when I was a teenager studying in Pennsylvania. I was always Very interested in improvisation and composition. I ended up choreographing my first staged solo. I had opportunities to choreograph when I was studying at BDC, and premiered my first NYC based piece, "Song of The Sparrow". 

I always had an interest in choreographing, but didn't take initiative until I was asked to be a part of a dance collective that helped foster my first professional work, entitled, "Trans. Lation". We performed this piece on several stages in NYC as well as California at San Jose State. They awarded it the Audience Choice for choreography. 

Eventually, I started creating work on my own apart from the Collaborative group and choreographed a piece called, "Old Pine" that premiered at Peridance for the Pushing Progress  Showcase Series. Full Circle! 

Which choreographers inspire you the most and/or your favorite piece of choreography? 

I saw Kidd Pivot: Dark Matters live when I was 18 and I've never gotten over it! So beautiful and inventive and clear. It was a huge inspiration and will always be one of my favorite works. 

What made you fall in love with choreography? Can you think of any specific moment in your life that made you realize you loved choreographing?

My home studio didn't offer me the best training. We didn't take ballet, out jazz training was not very strong, but every first Monday of each month we did improvisation and composition in our lyrical classes. It was always my favorite and it came very naturally to me. I think I was able to express my truest, most genuine self. 

What is your goal as a choreographer? Do you want to start your own company? Or, work project based?

metaphors&similesDANCE is just over a year old and growing fast. I hope to build recognition and momentum so that I can keep creating and exploring and telling my story. 

 

Where do you see yourself in ten years as a choreographer? 

 

I'd like to travel and create. I'd like to create more than just dance; theatrical works, stage blocking, film movement, etc. I want to create and travel and enjoy. I don't know exactly where I see myself in 10 years, but I'm excited with where I am now, and trying to give my best self to everything I'm involved with in my life.