On The Air co-choreographer Ariana Lallone took a moment to answer five of our quasi-choreography related questions.
1. When you were a kid, did you make up dance routines with your friends?
I was definitely more of an emulator than a creator. If I saw a performance, a role that I really dreamed about dancing some day or a dancer that I wanted “to be just like”…I would spend hours trying to re-create what I had seen. This usually occurred in front of my biggest fan, loving critic, and only audience member at the time… my mom.
2. You have appeared in Two Teatro ZinZanni dinner shows, numerous kids shows, and now you co-choreographed On The Air, Is this what you thought your retirement from PNB would be like?
I think I could write a book on that question alone. In a nutshell…I had no idea!! In my heart, I was nowhere near ready to stop performing; I had no connection to the word retirement. I was welcomed, with love, into a world that I only could have dreamed about being part of, because I was such a huge fan of Teatro ZinZanni! Through performance, training, and a tremendous amount of encouragement… I have been able to grow as an artist, performer, and person. I went from immediately saying “no” to things I thought I was not capable of doing, to “yes, sure I’ll try it.” I feel so grateful to Teatro ZinZanni for giving me this incredible opportunity to spread my wings.
3. What was it like co- choreographing a Teatro ZinZanni dinner show?
I can safely say that Mickael Bajazet and I had an incredible time working together on the choreography for On The Air. Though I was a bit nervous about it in the beginning, because I had never done anything like this before, my trepidation quickly vanished. We had immediate symmetry during our brainstorming sessions. We devoted a lot of time to talking about our ideas, blocking those ideas in the space, and then working on the choreography… before the rehearsals with the servers and the cast even started. We wanted to be prepared!! We would bounce ideas off each other, and it seemed, at times, that we were reading each other’s mind. Mickael has an innate sense of music, and I love to count… so we were perfect partners. Collaborating, as part of the creative process, is one of my most favorite things to do. l loved every minute of working with Mickael and hope we will have a chance to collaborate again.
4. Favorite song to dance to when no one is watching?
I find it hard to hone in on one particular song as a favorite. I love music that gives me energy, inspiration, and the feeling that I can’t sit still when I listen to it. That being said, I must confess that I will always have special place in my heart for disco and a good musical theater sound track.
5. Favorite song to dance to when someone is watching?
Most of “someone watching” happened during my career at PNB and then very happily continued at Teatro ZinZanni. Because I am unable to pick a favorite role that I danced, it makes it impossible for me to pick a favorite song. When I hear music to some of the roles that I loved performing (or even those that I just loved watching)…I am immediately transported to the experience of all that was involved in that process. It takes me just seconds to remember the steps or the person I worked with that helped rehearse or choreograph the role.
6. If you could teach an animal to dance, which animal would you pick and why (bonus points for picking a song)?
I’m going to have to go with a baby African Pygmy goat. I’m not sure how coachable it would be, and we would probably have to rely on frequent bottle feedings, intermittent naps, and a lot of improv. I imagine the choreography would mostly include small jumps with an occasional series of turns either in place or all over the place. I think I’d go with an original barnyard musical composition… highlighting its own spectacular newborn voice.