“I’ve had experience choreographing for other groups before, even young dancers of our own Junior Company, but never in another country,” explained Company Member and Choreographic Associate Steven McMahon.
In May, McMahon, traveled to Guatemala City to choreograph on a group of young dancers who would perform his creation on a program with Ballet Memphis later that same week at Organización Para Las Artes. “It was easy to be inspired by the amazing talent of the students, their ability to learn so quickly and the hospitality of the program.”
“Every time you make a dance, it’s a challenge, but you learn new things,” explained Steven. “I have the luxury of working with our consummate professional dancers who know me and the technique very well. But this experience will help me as I work more with younger, less experienced dancers.”
Two of Steven’s works appeared on stage in Guatemala, both the one choreographed for the local students and Being Here With Other People, which premiered on The Orpheum stage in 2009, served as the finale of the 2011 Spring to Dance Festival in St. Louis and toured extensively in between.
Steven is proud that he and Ballet Memphis were asked to be involved with the wonderful program in Guatemala. “Any time we leave Memphis and take Ballet Memphis anywhere else, whether it’s Guatemala or California, we are always received with open arms,” said Steven. “People come see us and they love us, and it makes Memphis appear in a really positive light and shows that we have something unique to say.”
This season Ballet Memphis dancers will again be touring Steven’s work, performing his Wizard of Oz in St. Louis, Mo., and Overland Park, Kan.