Posted on April 05 2017
It's April first, which calls for a new month-a fresh start is ahead of us!!
So because I feel super festive I am more than excited to introduce you to a very special guest we got the chance to talk to-Darrell Grand Moultrie,
Which might be one of my personal favorite choreographers. Back in the day, When Dance Theatre of Harlem visited Israel, They preformed a piece named "Vessels", which touched me truly .. And the brains behind this masterpiece is Mr. Moultrie, So ever since then I was a keen follower of his work.
I hope you'd find this interview as inspiring as I found it, and I'm wishing you a month full of inspiration, may your spirit never rest seeking for change and newness!!!
DGM: I was born and raised in New York City in Harlem (very proud New Yorker) youngest of five and introduced to the Arts through Public School. There was a very special woman in my life. Ms. Gwendolyn McLoud my 3rd grade music teacher who saw something in me and made it her business to expose me to EVERYTHING New York had to offer. She told my mother...."he's mine!" She made me sign a contract in the third grade that I would do great in school and she would pay for everything I needed for dance. i kept my end of the bargain and excelled in school and so did she. She paid for every dance class, every piece of clothing and shoes I needed. She took me to Broadway shows, Symphonies, Alvin Ailey, New York City Ballet, Plays, Dance Theatre of Harlem. It gives me goosebumps when I think of what she did for me. Before she passed she told me she was very specific about showing me a very DIVERSE look in to the Arts. She told me the world would try to label me as one thing based on where i was from......and her goal was to make sure I appreciated many forms of Art. My career today is a direct reflection of what she did for me. I am blessed to be able to jump in to different genres as a choreographer thanks to her commitment to me. I hope to be an inspiration for young people of all races who come from disadvantaged surroundings.
Darrell Grand Moultrie by Franklin Thompson
Q: What made you realize you want to become a choreographer?
DGM: I was choreographing as a kid! I was always bossing the kids around and making them dance in my creations in the hallways of the housing projects! Usually it was the latest dances. As I got older there was a great school I attended in East harlem called The Harbor Conservatory for the Arts where I met more passionate teachers who changed my life. We would do student choreography there also. Then it continued at Laguardia High School for the Performing Arts and Juilliard.
DGM: I would say the hardest part about being a choreographer is that you have to stay passionate for all of the dancers you meet. To inspire, challenge and lead is extremely difficult. You have to keep your mind and spirit strong. Each year you are on a course to change the artistic paths of many dancers. Not easy...... but amazing. Also to make sure people don't see my skin color and try to prejudge what I'm going to do. My biggest challenge has been getting people to really investigate the diversity of my work.
DGM: I'm a big music fan. I usually have my music first. I am a true believer in the marriage of music and choreography. A very essential relationship to move audiences.
DGM: I used to try to predict where I could see myself...but I've learned to not even think about that. None of us know what the heck is next! I try to stay present and do great work. I would love to honor my grandmother and see a very strong savings account in 3 years. lol Freelance life is a financial rollercoaster.
DGM: If I wasn't a choreographer, I could see my self as a movie director. I am fascinated with filmmaking and actors.
DGM: My favorite part of the day is 3am to 6am. There is a very unique type of silence during this time no matter where you are in the world. Its a great time to think and listen to music.
DGM: If you heard my music rotation you would think I was crazy. Rotation Beyonce, lots of Gospel, Prokofiev, Kendrick Lamar, Kenji Bunch, Brahms, The Hamilton soundtrack, Vogue chants by Kevin JZ Prodigy, Nirvana
DGM: Balanchine!!!! I grew up on his work.
DGM: My dream destination Hawaii, Greece, Australia.
Just give me an amazing beach, chair, umbrella, cocktail, and an iPod.
So there we go!! I feel extremely inspired and honored to have the chance to speak with such a talented choreographer, look out, world!! Darrell Grand Moultrie is coming at you ;)