Elisa Clark: What My Teacher Taught Me

Having to learn a large chunk of new material in a short amount of time isn't a new conundrum for dancers, but that doesn't make it any less stressful. Elisa Clark, who has previously danced for Lar Lubovitch and Mark Morris, recently joined Ailey—just in time for the company's performances this weekend at Lincoln Center. Luckily, she's learned from Lubovitch that the best way to solidify choreography is to make the movement her own.

"Two years ago I was learning a piece that Lar had created on someone else, and there was a lot of intricate partnering. Every time we'd try something and it wouldn't work, I would say, 'Sorry, sorry' to my partner. Lar came over to me and said, 'Elisa, I don't want you to apologize anymore, because every time you do, your whole body says it, too.' That's when I realized how much of a connection there is between the physical and the mental in dance. Lar invited me to take the time to decide how I wanted to execute every step."

Clark will perform with AAADT July 15-16, at New York City's David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center. www.alvinailey.org

Photo courtesy of Elisa Clark

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