Andrea Miller

Onward and upward

Andrea Miller—of the Juilliard pedigree, prestigious commissions and wildly inventive choreography—isn’t one to back down from a challenge. Next month, her company, Gallim Dance (Hebrew for “waves”), will premiere an immersive installation piece in Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium—a long and narrow space that will limit the sightlines of the audience members, depending on where they’re standing. Rather than viewing the venue’s layout as an impediment, Miller considers it a choreographic stimulant. “That’s the obstacle that the environment is providing for us,” she says. “I do think about it, but then I ignore it.” She pauses. “Then I think about it, and then I ignore it.”

Solving choreographic problems “In any piece there are all sorts of problems that need to be solved. I’m not good at solving them all at the same time, so I try to solve one problem. I just try to make incremental progress toward what the voice of the piece will be. I never know which problems I’m going to confront or which will be answered and in what order.”

The disadvantages of youth “I definitely experience ageism. [Miller is 32.] Somehow, in the dance world, if you’re not Martha Graham or Alvin Ailey, you don’t count. It’s extremely frustrating, especially because I feel like youth is appreciated in other fields, like the tech world. The innovation is coming from extremely young minds.”

Loneliness “Choreographing for a huge community that you’re engaging with—it’s a very lonely thing, somehow. You’re on one side of the room by yourself. And then there are eight dancers looking at you, staff looking at you, the audience looking at you. It’s a collaborative thing, but it’s sometimes very lonely.”

Why she has her dancers teach “I feel like everyone’s dancing in the studio totally changes once they start teaching. If you have to figure out how to explain something to somebody, it really has to be legible in your body and your mind. That process just trickles down into all parts of the dancer.” DT

Training: BFA from The Juilliard School

Performance: Danced with the Batsheva Ensemble 2004–2006

Choreography: Created Gallim Dance in 2007, which has performed at New York’s Fall for Dance Festival and Colorado’s Vail International Dance Festival; Princess Grace Award winner and 2014 Guggenheim Fellow

Photo courtesy of First Republic Bank

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