Jessica Lang: What My Teacher Taught Me

Posted on February 21, 2014 by

Choreographer Jessica Lang started her professional performing career  as a member of Twyla Tharp’s company THARP! But when Lang quickly found herself disillusioned with the life of a touring dancer, she sought out her former ballet teacher Benjamin Harkarvy, then director of Juilliard, for advice.

“I was unhappy with the life of being a dancer on the road. I came back and shared everything with Benjamin. He told me that I needed to stop thinking in terms of a single job and instead think about it as a career. ‘If you can get past your thoughts on this,’ he told me, ‘you will find success.’ And that’s what I did. I started focusing on the collective whole, whether I was teaching or choreographing or dancing, and the balance among those defined me as having a career in dance.”

Jessica Lang Dance will perform at The Joyce Theater February 22-23.

Photos from top: by Sharen Bradford; both courtesy of Billy Zavelson

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