by Corey Bliss
Although she's only in her first year at the prestigious Vancouver Arts Umbrella Graduate Program in Vancouver, Canada, NJDTE alumna Brynne Harper (2015) is already establishing herself as an artist to watch. A dynamic and passionate performer, she was one of just four women from the program selected to perform Aszure Barton's "Busk" in March 2016.
As a member of NJDTE since age 10, Brynne spent many summers at the NJDTE Summer Dance Intensive developing her classical and contemporary technique and, as she says, "exploring new, challenging ways of moving every day."
The NJDTE Summer Dance Intensive was always an exciting and enriching part of my summer. Over the many summer intensives I did, I learned repertoire by incredible choreographers like Maurice Béjart, Kate Skarpetowska, José Limòn, and Belinda McGuire, in addition to so many more. Plus, I always made so many great memories with new friends!
Pre-MIP® had a profound influence on my development as a dancer. Wise, creative faculty created an exciting, safe atmosphere to be able to discover my own movement and feel capable of interacting more intelligently with other dancers. Loni Landon, Belinda McGuire, David Norsworthy, and Ana-Maria Lucaciu were all inspiring to work with. Being in New York City and being able to watch the artists in the MIP® Program are some of my favorite memories from Pre-MIP®.
In addition to being a talented, captivating dancer, Brynne is also an accomplished model. She appeared in catalogs for Curtain Call costumes in 2014 & 2015, and most recently worked with Pomp and Proper Salon for their L'Oréal Colortrophy contest submission. Her training and experiences with NJDTE gave her a clear advantage in the modeling industry and in photo shoots at Arts Umbrella with Michael Slobodian and other renowned dance photographers.
Ms. Turano organized an annual photo shoot for the Ensemble dancers, where we learned how to work with the camera and to make poses, angles and lines that show up best in that two-dimensional medium. Giving movements the right energy for a lively shot can take a lot of time to figure out, but it's a very useful skill. Those NJDTE photo shoot experiences were definitely helpful in my modeling work.
Phenom was special because I got to perform it at my last i Balli di Primavera performance with the girls I had danced with since I was little, and we all really had to put ourselves entirely into the piece. Belinda is one of my favorite choreographers, and the movement in Fair is Foul... is really full and circular, which I love. With Illuminations, I love the musicality and the precise energy it needs (and that saut de basque circle is still one of my favorite things to do).
Know that there are so many different paths to get to where you want to go. With hard work and passion, you'll be able to find the right journey for you. Being a part of the Ensemble is a truly incredible way to start because of all of the opportunities it offers, so respect the work you're doing and enjoy every minute of it!