November Digest: A Conversation with Efren Corado

Below is a conversation with Efren Corado, local choreographer and dancer who's performed with RDT for the last six years.

 photo by Sharon Kain

photo by Sharon Kain

loveDANCEmore: We’ve heard that you're leaving RDT at the end of the season. What are your future plans?

Efren Corado: Yes, that is true. After an incredible six years with Repertory Dance Theater, I have decided to move on. I am undoubtedly nervous, excited and eager to uncover a new future. What's next? I have no idea. I need a break from the past six years. I want to find a new perspective regarding my role in the world.

Making this decision took over a year of processing experiences, the good and the bad. I asked myself to assess everything and figure out what I wanted for myself. I made my decision last spring. I knew that I wanted to give myself time to track this huge life change. I wanted to have one more season where I could savor the cumulative experiences of past years, while building new ones. 

RDT always acted as a catalyst for new adventures on stage and in my personal life. Working as a full-time artist is not easy. At the end of the day I wanted to find a way to live a more simple life. It sounds silly, but I want to invest more in my friends and my dog and to allow room for more adventures. 

What's going on this last season that you're excited about?

Diversity. We are presenting a season celebrating diversity.  It makes me happy to be dancing the work of racially diverse choreographers. In addition, we have the opportunity to work with the legendary Bebe Miller. I have been anticipating working with Miller all year. All year!

What have been your favorite experiences dancing with the company through the last six years?

I have many and I'll try to be short by giving you a few that were pivotal. 

Performing Rainwood by Ze'eva Cohen. It was a dream! Rainwood turned out to be my favorite dance for years. I wore my first unitard performing this dance. One never forgets wearing their first unitard.

Energizer and Desert Sea by Molisa Fenley. These two dances made me feel like I was an astute and educated dancer. The complexity in each work, the head space necessary to execute these dances taught me to think, to ask of myself to be better. 

Dancing historical work has brought me immense joy. Historical work is a beautiful, decadent and unforgiving creature. It demands determination and a will to fight, because most of it was made for robots and otherworldly creatures bound to gravity. Dancing my first Ted Shawn solo felt like I was a part of history. Missa Brevis by Jose Limon was my Moby Dick. One does not often get to run on stage as a lonesome soldier to a parting sea of dancers, while accompanied by a live choir of over forty singers. I felt validated and made to feel like a magical creature. I was asked to grow up, think and process information differently.

 Corado lifts a fellow performer in  Tin Tal,  photo by Sharon Kain

Corado lifts a fellow performer in Tin Tal, photo by Sharon Kain

Tin Tal by Bill Evans encouraged me to find the sensuality and strength in my body. To feel the coil churning my core, whispering all thru my body all while in sync with my partners’ heartbeat and breath. At the end of every run, I felt I had had a fully lived experience. 

There are so many! I should stop by saying just this. I loved making mistakes, and having failed, meeting myself again thru my interaction with all of my coworkers. The women taught me to listen to intuition, held my hand when I needed it. Zvi Gothiener always made me feel like an artist. These are but seconds inside six years of memories.

What else have you been working on outside of RDT, either in terms of dance or otherwise?

I have started a new work. Come May I will be presenting it through RDT’s Link Series. I couldn't be more excited!

What has recently inspired you artistically in these dark times?

A tough question.

In my mind, I cling to the prospect that change will bring less chaotic and emotionally exhausting times. In the studio, being present in my body. Knowing it's my last year has me enjoying the varying processes embedded in our daily schedule. As a choreographer, public dialogue about representation. For many years, I danced the stories of other people. I want to see a Guatemalan dance. I've seen enough white dance, Japanese and black dance. Wanting to have a seat at the table makes me feel ignited to tell my story, a Guatemalan story. 

 Corado with Lauren Curley in Donald McKayle’s  Rainbow Round My Shoulder,  photo by Sharon Kain

Corado with Lauren Curley in Donald McKayle’s Rainbow Round My Shoulder, photo by Sharon Kain