a performing and teaching company

Holly Mitchell

Interview with Holly (understudy)

Name: Holly Mitchell
Hometown: Vancouver, BC

What in your dance background has shaped you into the dancer that you are today? Growing up I would observe a lot. I would see my first teachers move with a particular aesthetic, dancers whom I admired, works of classic repertoire, pedestrians, creatures, and I think all that has definitely made it’s way into my body and my dancing.

How do you feel when performing? The feeling you get from performing is incomparable. My favorite thing might have to be how incredibly present it makes you. You are there for that brief moment giving all of yourself to an audience.

What is your warm-up ritual? I always start with movements it picked up in yoga class to get myself breathing properly, work on my core, and wake up my hips. Then I mix in some simple ballet and modern work.

What’s in your dance bag? Tons of different leg warmers, back warmers, sweats; anything to keep my muscles warm! My water bottle, notebook, calendar, and some pins are in there somewhere.

What is the most rewarding aspect of being a dancer? Being able to work creatively through physicality is incredibly rewarding. Being in an artistic environment is what keeps me happy and fulfilled.

What is a normal day-in-the-life for you? It always varies depending on my schedule. My days are generally packed but I’m happy to come home at the end of the day feeling like I’ve experienced a lot.

What keeps you going? I definitely value my sleep and my time alone. As much as I enjoy being surrounded by amazing people, I need time with myself to reflect. As well as taking dance classes and workshops throughout the city, yoga has been a wonderful ritual for both my mind and body. Also, drinking tons of water keeps me going!

As an artist, what led you to the Company and what aspects of the Company and/or the repertory resonate with or interest you? I had heard about Daniel’s company and saw there was an upcoming audition. Throughout the process of auditioning and being in the company of his dancers, I was humbled to see that there is a very personal aspect to the company. That definitely drew me in and is something that can be seen throughout his work.

Describe the process of working on The Oracle? This is my first experience working in the studio with Daniel and his dancers. It is an ever-evolving process and requires a keen mind as well as a lot of trust in fellow dancers.

What has been most challenging about process and the work? I think the most challenging part of this process is trying to achieve exactly what Daniel is looking for in his movement. He has put a lot of time, thought, and consideration into this work and as a dancer you really want to be able to have his ideas come to fruition as he intended.

Have you made any new discoveries during the rehearsal process? I have discovered a new way of approaching the choreographic process. The rehearsal process has been incredibly valuable in showing me new ways of creating work and having it evolve.

Why do you think someone should come to see The Oracle at BAM at the end of May? They will find themselves in a beautiful space, viewing something entirely unique, danced by artists who move honestly and fully. This is a show worth coming out for.