The unofficial NoHo motto is: “NoHo is only as great as its people.” This summer we are highlighting some of our awesome creative neighbors. This week features a North Hollywood dancer. Meet Rosanna Tavarez, a NoHo choreographer, a dance artist.
Rosanna shot her dance video “(Re)volver” entirely in North Hollywood which captures the moment of its reawakening post-pandemic lockdown.
“(Re)volver” is a joyful romp through landmark areas of the NoHo Arts District danced to the playful, milonga tune “No Hay Tierra Como La Mia” (There is No Land Like Mine) by Francisco Canaro, filmed by Roberta Shaw. The solo blends traditional tango elements with contemporary dance via structured improvisation and taps into the anticipation of dancing in community once again.
Why did you choose the NoHo Arts District as the backdrop for this piece?
I chose the NoHo Arts District as the backdrop for this piece because, after being in lockdown for 14 months, I felt inspired to create a love letter to NoHo right as it’s coming back to life. As an artist who’s lived here for five years, it also made sense to highlight it, as it is an arts district! I’ve been so inspired by the tenacity and creativity of artists this last year, continuing to teach and make compelling work, it just felt fitting.
Lastly, though I understand the desire to burst outside of one’s own neighborhood after so much isolation, I felt the opposite: a kind of gratitude for my neighborhood and community. I really wanted to express that in this dance film.
Tell us more about Countertechnique®.
Countertechnique is a system that I am certified in that encourages the dancer to create space in their body and mind so that they can move bolder and bigger with less impact on the joints and less self judgement. There are specific tools that you learn over time that aid you in this, and it’s been tremendously helpful in my dance career. I’m no spring chicken, and this technique has really extended my dancing years. I was actively using those tools while doing this film, because dancing on concrete for hours is no joke!
I would love to teach in person in NoHo. There are a lot of commercial dancers that live and work in this community. I’ve been teaching Countertechnique to students in a commercial dance BFA program and it’s been really rewarding to see them transform how they work with their bodies and how they perceive themselves as dancing humans. Commercial dance can be so thrilling but also very demanding, so I do hope to share it with more dancers in the entertainment world.
What do you like about living in NoHo?
I love that bars, restaurants, dance studios and theaters are within earshot of my apartment. I also appreciate the diversity of this neighborhood.
What would you like to see more of in NoHo?
I would love to NoHo to have a block party! There are so many talented people in this neighborhood and so many venues that would benefit from that kind of event. A DJ, food, dancing, singing, some general merrymaking…that would be incredible.
What projects are coming up now that we are reopening?
I am traveling to Amsterdam to teach Countertechnique and to complete my second certification. It’s hard to wrap my head around getting on a plane, much less going to another country, but the dancing calls. I am also starting a new work that I hope to premiere in the fall or in the spring of next year.
More About Rosanna
Rosanna received an MFA in Choreography from The Ohio State University and a BFA in Choreography from University of Michigan. She has a diverse background as a performer/entertainer and has had the honor of working with Marina Ambramovic, Ryan Heffington (Sia), Travis Payne (Michael Jackson), Tony Michaels (Beyonce) and Rosanna Gamson/Worldwide. She also toured with N’SYNC and Jessica Simpson as one-fifth of the girl group Eden’s Crush and covered the Emmys, Grammys and Oscars in addition to hosting her own shows as a television personality for FOX, E!, TVGuide Network, and Telemundo/NBC.
As a dance educator, Rosanna has taught as faculty and guest artist at numerous institutions including CalArts, University of Michigan, Loyola Marymount University, Scripps College, CalState Long Beach, Studio School, University of Southern Mississippi, Texas State University and Cal State LA. She has also had the honor of teaching Countertechnique workshops across the country for dance companies and schools, and to an international audience via the Countertechnique Online platform.
Rosanna creates her own dance-theatre work in Los Angeles under the moniker LA DANSA DANSA. Her work has been presented at The Broad Museum, American Dance Festival, REDCAT, Highways Performance Space, Breaking Ground Dance Festival, Sarasota Contemporary Dance and the LA Department of Cultural Affair’s LA Dance Platform and have been supported by ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, UCLA Hothouse Residency and Show Box LA.