Who is the Rubans Rouges Dance Company?
I've been raised up under the wings of my mentors as primarily a dancer by the loving and guiding hands of: Robert Salas and Beth Megill from Moorpark College. They always encouraged me to reach for the stars and that included the inception of my dance company: Rubans Rouges Dance Company in 2009.
It was a dance I formally performed on stage at Moorpark College that actually birthed my company into being. That dance was called: "Shattered Innocence - RED RIBBONS". This was my first break-out dance that propelled me from being only a ballet dancer to a modern dancer as well. Rubans Rouges is French for Red Ribbons (more on the significance to this below). I actually have my then beloved ballet teacher Georgeanne Wright (LAVC, where I currently study) to deeply thank for this dance being created originally as she once challenged me to do something different, so I did. This dance took on a life of its own and has an incredible back story as well. After graduating from Moorpark College with an AA in dance I was able to focus full time on the company and mold it.
Why do you dance?
I consider myself mainly a dancer that likes to share artistic expression in many ways. I just want to share a message of HOPE. That people can get beyond their current situations and have peace. It just doesn't seem right not to give back.
I also dance because I realized that after my first encounter with breast cancer, that I was not living my authentic life. I was hiding. Cancer was a wake-up call that served me well. I had danced on and off from the time I was 4 years old (ballet) through high school (jazz, some modern) and did semi professional dancing through early college years (stage musicals) in the Palm Desert area. I met my husband while working on a show at the Bob Hope McCallum Theatre in Palm Desert and we just happened to be going along the same path at the same time. We're both artists. He also was my inspiration. I may have fallen in love with him through his music, it just moved my inner being and made me want to dance and express what I was feeling.
What makes your company unique?
One of the things that is unique about my company is that I have dancers from 18 to 70 years of age and all body sizes and types. I believe that all dancers are beautiful and everyone has something to offer to express their art/heart. I also love to explore social subjects, even if it means bringing to light things that people don't want to talk about. To get back to why I call my dance company Rubans Rouges, not only does it mean red ribbons, but it's symbolically significant to me because of my past.
Here's a link to more details: http://www.rubansrougesdance.com/rubansrougesredribbonsstory.htm
I've made this public for years and have helped many women over come their past abuse/rape incidents. I am a survivor of many things: one of which is also having been raped as a child. My dance company also serves the community and reaches out to those who have found themselves in the recovery process. I have a dance series called "Red Ribbons" based off the original "Shattered Innocence RED RIBBONS" dance. It is a full length 45 minute dance concert about a young woman's struggle to overcome this very issue in her life.
So there is no misunderstanding, my dance company doesn't only tackle social issues and help raise awareness for charities, we also love to entertain just for the joy of it all. One of our favorites is doing Butoh like movements as Living Statues, with white make-up all over ourselves and surprising people. Many times people will touch us wondering if we are real or not. Quite a thrill to dance in this manner.
Another unique aspect to my company is that we incorporate all media, especially film. Pre-cancer battles, my husband and I were well on our way to becoming full time indie filmmakers (we still kinda are). Our very first professional project as BFA graduates out of film school (UNLV) garnered several regional Emmy nominations for our crafts as: writers, producers and musicians/music composers. It dawned on both of us that we should incorporate our filmmaking in my dance productions and so we do. Here is an example of that: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0Uvm1JWV7w&feature=plcp (the music on yYoutube isn't the original music. due to copyright law, we had to replace the original: Da Vinci Code music with this composition instead)
We also make dance films. This is exciting for us. This is an example of one of our very first dance films: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fR41GyQ6spY
We have several more in various stages of production.
Another unique element is that this is definitely a husband and wife team effort along with my dancers. My husband scores most of our current dance pieces. There's something about his compositions that make me want to move and express things to the viewer. I love that the two of us can reach the world with our most treasured arts combined. I want to touch the human heart and make people think while entertaining them.
What advice would you give an emerging dancer?
Never give up - ever. If you find yourself ready to quit, that's when you need to press in harder--FIGHT for it-fight through it.
Perseverance is the one thing that has kept me going. I never saw a "road block" as a "dead end", it was only a hurdle that I'd have to problem solve and would serve me to better myself as a person and artist. Most people fail due to lack of trying, quitting too soon, not working hard enough, or not keeping on the path; lack of support can also play a role too unfortunately so be sure to surround yourself with positive influences. My grandmother was the dancer in the family and she would always tell me that if I followed my heart I would find my life and should I lose my way: start back at the beginning. For me my beginning was ballet and after the cancer in 2007 I planted myself back at my beginning in a ballet class at LAVC. Then many times over the years I had gotten off the "dancer" path and dabbled in the other arts: drawing, singing, writing, music composition, etc. and I would always find myself back in the dance realm. I love all these other avenues of artistic expression, but Dancing--dancing is my heartbeat. That is what any emerging dancer has to ask themselves: "Is it my heartbeat?" If you answer yes to that, then you need to keep following it and listen to its beckoning calls--it will guide you to where you need to go when times get difficult. It did for me and I share my examples so you as an emerging dancer can be encouraged and fight through whatever it is that keeps you at bay. Had I given up at any point, I would not be where I am today.
Other thoughts to live by:
- Keep training-keep studying.
- Don't compete with others.
- Dancers should always work on their acting skills to build stage presence.
- Be gracious to everyone.
Tell me about your upcoming the event.
The event is called: "Awakenings & Beginnings - 2013 Dance Festival" presented by Noelle Andressen's Rubans Rouges Dance Company.
Location: in the Diavolo Space at The Brewery Arts Center
Address: 616 Moulton Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90031
Time: 7:00 pm
Date: Saturday, January 19th, 2013
The reason it is called "Awakenings & Beginnings" is because something pulled on my heartstrings. Not only is it a neat title being the beginning of the year, but it's also part of the mission statement for this project. I want to give dancers and other companies a "beginning". It's very hard to get started and to get your work out there. This is a perfect venue for new artists to emerge. It's also a great space for seasoned veterans to show their new works and for my company and dancers to continue to grow and "awaken".