Rachel Riveros graduated from Northern Ballet School having danced there with Manchester City Ballet Company. After this, she came to London and joined Re:birth Dance Company and toured a lot – including the USA. She was a lead in West Ends “Once Upon a Thames” at Leicester Square Theatre and has also danced with numerous Contemporary Companies, at various “Resolutions” at The Place, and other festivals. Rachel has done some film work – both music videos and dance films. So she is quite an all rounder! The last two years she has also been highly involved with Project Dance London, in management and also as a performer. Rachel is currently working on a new project which will be presented at the 25th Resolution! Dance Festival 2014. The project is called Pursue Me.
VOTA: What inspired you to choreograph a dance piece which combines capoeira, ballet and contemporary dance?
RR: I come from a rigid Classical Ballet background but after arriving in London in 2005, I saw some people one day dancing Capoeira and I knew I had to learn it! I fell in love with the fluidity of the movements, and the sheer strength and skill of the Capoeiristas. I began to train in both ballet and Capoeira simultaneously- just because I loved them both, but never considered until a lot later fusing these two styles together!
VOTA: What was your process like for creating the choreography and selecting the dancers?
RR: For me, like any artist I suppose, I get a story or a vision in my head, then its hard to think of anything else. The idea came to me on a snowy train ride last Christmas coming back from my home in Yorkshire. I began scribbling and drawing in my notepad and from that moment the story and bringing it to life consumed me. It came in stages however. I got together with Simeon John Wake (an excellent dancer) and we began the research and development phase. He was great at drawing me out and getting me to vocalise what was in my head. Then there came many other faces who all contributed to the research period, but we finally created the work on myself, Daniel Cossette and Ponciano Almeida. Dan is the most talented and yet humble dancer you can find, and if we were going to create a piece with Capoeira we couldn’t have done better than Ponciano. He was actually my first Capoeira teacher and he is now world famous with a company of his own Guarini.
For me, it was difficult being the Artistic Director and also a dancer in the performance. I feel passionately about creating work with meaning, but then I also want the joy of dancing in the piece. I admit I find it very hard just choreographing and not being in it. If I made something I love, I have to be part of it. It’s not selfish, it’s a passion to share my story.
VOTA: What’s the story behind Pursue Me?
RR: The story behind Pursue Me? That’s an interesting question. My faith affects a lot of my choreography, because for me, it’s all part of the same thing: Life, Choreography, Meaning. They are all interlinked. It is basically about our innate desire to be pursued in relationship, and how very often we don’t feel like we are. we can sometimes feel like we do all the work and that we aren’t passionately loved or fought for. It’s a look at those dynamics in human relationships, but also my personal journey with God. That’s someone who I feel always pursues me.
VOTA: You have been selected to perform at the 25th Resolution! Dance Festival in 2014, in London. How does it feel to be a part of such a prestigious dance event?
RR: It’s such an honour to have been selected. This year they were inundated with applications so to have been picked out is a blessing for sure. We hope to do it justice!
VOTA: I heard you have launched an Indiegogo Campaign to create funding for the project?
RR: Yes. If you want to help us, we would so much appreciate any help financially. Our Indiegogo Campaign is up and running to raise all the funds to make this vision a reality. And of course, with any project like this, there’s a lot of expenses involved. If you can, please sponsor us. There’s some awesome perks for our givers! Or failing that- just come see the show!
VOTA: Could you tell me more about the cast and crew?
RR: We have a really great team on board this project. I am lucky to be surrounded by a group of such talented individuals, and I’m not just saying that! They really are!
VOTA: What would like to do with Pursue Me project after performing at the RDF?
RR: Again, it’s just one of my seeds of an idea, but the next dream/vision is to create the piece into a dance film. I was walking through St Pancras one day, and imagined a couple dancing next to a piano in front of the great clock. They often have some one playing live piano there which I find so inspiring. It’s a great place to think and dream over a cup of coffee! I could really imagine the choreography there. I think I get a lot of inspiration in train stations! I really must hang out in them more often! And drink more coffee…which isn’t an issue for me!
VOTA: Thank you and good luck with the project.
Please take a look at Rachel’s campaign, it is worth supporting.