Uptown/Downtown Dance | Essays

On Stage: Interview with Amanda Treiber of New York Theatre Ballet

Apr 25, 2017

16-17 SEASON | April 25, 2017

Amanda Treiber Courtesy of New York Theatre Ballet

This Friday and Saturday, April 28 and 29, our audiences are in for a treat. The New York Theatre ballet is back for an all new program of Uptown/Downtown Dance celebrating the best repertoire from the past alongside new pieces by leading contemporary choreographers. The evenings will include world premieres by Martin Lawrence and Zhong-Jing Fang alongside a re-staging of former NYTB resident choreographer Edward Henkel’s Re-Vision which originally debuted in 1986. Audiences will also be treated to three pieces by choreographer Pam Tanowitz. Below, we talk with Amanda Treiber, one of the dancers who bring the works to life.

SC: How long have you been with New York Theatre Ballet? What distinguishes the company from other ballet companies?

AT: I have been a dancer with New York Theatre Ballet for nine years. Since it is a small chamber company, each dancer gets to bring a unique quality to the work, and the audience gets to see this individuality because we are all soloists. But what I find the most interesting is the programming. NYTB specializes in bringing revivals of rarely seen ballets as well as doing new works by many up and coming choreographers. Diana Byer, the founder and artistic director, has a good eye for interesting and diverse pieces. Our programs are so varied, I’m sure everyone in the audience will find at least one piece they love!

SC: What can audiences look forward to in Uptown/Downtown Dance?

AT: NYTB is known for having live music. In this program not only are all the pieces played live by pianist and music director Michael Scales, he will also be joined by a violinist, Chloé Kiffer, and a cellist, Amy Kang.

SC: Do you have a favorite piece from the production? Why does that piece resonate with you?

AT: It’s hard to pick just one favorite from this upcoming performance…. they are all so different. I enjoy the movement of “Re-Vision.” The way the movement sits on the music is very satisfying I think for both the performer and the audience. But I would say I’m most looking forward to performing Pam Tanowitz’s “Double Andante.” It is an abstract piece first made for NYTB 2 years ago but has not been performed much in the past year. Coming back to it this year we have had to replace some of the original dancers and in doing so I have become more aware of my relationship to the others on stage including the musician, who Pam cleverly integrates into the piece.

SC: Do you have an all-time favorite piece that you have performed with NYTB? Why is that one your favorite?

AT: I would say currently my favorite piece to perform is Richard Alston’s “Such Longing.” The cast of four (4) move in and out of solos, duets and group pieces set to Choppin. We have been fortunate to perform this piece many times over the past (3) years. Sometimes in excerpts, sometimes in large spaces and sometimes in tiny spaces. But every time we come back to it I learn something new of myself. I trust myself and partners more. I find I can let myself go deeper into the music. On the best of nights I feel that I can fly.

SC: What advice would you give to a young dance student who dreams of being a part of a prestigious dance company one day?

AT: Being a professional dancer is tough. It takes determination, passion and constant training to have a sustained career. It’s important to stay in the moment not just onstage but in the studio too.

Below: enjoy an excerpt of Pam Tanowitz’s “Double Andante.”

New York Theatre Ballet Uptown/ Downtown Dance; Friday, April 28 at 7:30PM and Saturday, April 29 at 7:30 PM ; Price $29; Schimmel Center at Pace University; 3 Spruce St, New York, NY 10038; (212) 346-1715; Tickets available at http://schimmelcenter.org/event/uptown-downtown-dance