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Meet MMDF Performer: Lane Gifford


After receiving her BFA and MFA from the acclaimed Purchase College Conservatory of Dance, Lane Gifford didn't waste anytime establishing herself professionally. In 2006, she founded her very own dance company with a mission to "Create physically charged dance dramas that reflect meaningful social issues and expand the language of movement through lenses of drama, visual arts, film and audio experimentation." To this day, LaneCoArts has done exactly that. Lane takes a unique, multi-arts approach as a dancer, pulling from her experiences in visual arts, film and living abroad.

On September 25th, Lane Gifford and LaneCoArts will add Making Moves Dance Festival 2020 to their lenghty resume of performances. The online festival kick off on September 25th on our online platforms. Make sure to RSVP for free here: https://jcal.meeter-app.com/event/VCVsBGX64T

1. What inspired you to commit to being an artist? How did you choose dance as your art-form? Our audience would love to hear about influential moments that led you to pursue dance as a career.

From an early age I was drawn to dance. It was an innate desire I had to move. My Mom decided to send me to dance classes when I was about 6 years old. My first memorable classes were at the Boston Conservatory of Dance and from then on I was committed to dance. Additionally my basic love for the arts has fueled my pursuit of dance. I gravitate to people who combine art forms or push those idioms to new expressive domains such as Bill T. Jones and his piece “The Analogy Trilogy: Part I and II”. Sankai Juku’s “Kagemi”, Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time”, Mass MOCA in North Adams, MA, designer Alexander McQueen and 1970’s choreographers are examples of the arts redefined. Similarly I try to stretch dance composition to new areas.

2. What are some special elements of your work, regarding your upcoming performance that you'd like to share with us? Is there anything you'd like to say about what we might expect?

This experience of transferring a stage oriented work, to a virtual domain has been very challenging. I am working closely with my dancers to find a new and efficient way of collaborating as it is difficult to create and simultaneously translate my choreographic vision, while separated and communicating via Zoom meetings. My focus has been on devising a video concept with clear content and throughline so that our piece, “One Up” will connect with viewers and capture their attention.

Photo by Chuck Baker

3. What offers you inspiration for your work? What are the things in your "universe" that give you motivation to make your work?

As a choreographer, I have a multi-arts approach to creating work so my natural instinct is to study other art forms for inspiration and ideas. My work also is narrative driven so I am drawn to contemporary social issues of our time, which lead me to shape the themes I explore in my work.

4. What are your goals and aspirations going forward as a dancer and an artist?

My goal is to take the valuable experience I am having with Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning and integrate the skills I am gaining from this online performance, to my continued involvement with dance and my company LaneCoArts. Due to the COVID-19 restraints, I am forced as an artist to think outside the box and find effective solutions to dance on film. This new way of presenting dance is challenging and simultaneously a great creative exercise.

Website: lanecoarts.org

Facebook: @Lanecoarts

Instagram: @Lanecoarts

Linkedin: Lane Gifford

RSVP for free here: https://jcal.meeter-app.com/event/VCVsBGX64T

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