Thursday, October 6, 2011

GUEST STAR: Anna Sapozhnikov

I try to take care of everyone.  

My kid, my husband, my dog and my cat.

For most of my waking hours, I dance. 

To the car, to the daycare, to work, at work, in the bathroom, back to the daycare, back home.

Then I dance myself to sleep.

I'm tired. 

And I suck.

I used to be good at sucking things…getting all the juice out of the CapriSun juice box, the frozen artificial icees that were presented to me as a child, long pieces of spaghetti, and of course, I never left a man unhappy. 


But I've now discovered a new type of ‘suck.’ 

How about walking out on stage at thirty-five years of age, post-baby-out-of-shape body, jaded and weathered, and presenting my lackluster modern dance skills to a whole bunch of past colleagues and artists that I admire. This type of ‘suck’ has now become my reality. 

I have spent my whole life on stage, dancing away, trying to be myself while portraying this and that. I remember being pretty good at it; I thought of myself as a quirky dancer, one without all the technique, but with a special something that made up for that deficiency. 

Of course, my mother was my biggest supporter. 

She came to every show, near and far, sat in the 100+ degree room known as Links Hall too many times to count. And after every performance, she conveyed her positive and supportive comments to me… “Anna, why weren’t you in that ‘ballet’ piece? Those were beautiful,” or “I think he/she could have lifted you a few more times,” or “You were only in half the show?” 

She’s a gem.

Anyway, she knows I’m performing this week, and I haven’t invited her to see the show because, well, I’m only in one piece.

And like I said before.  I suck.

My mothering ain't so hot either.  At 5:30 a.m., I remembered that there was no milk left in the fridge for Oscar's wake-up bottle.  I guess I forgot about this in my exhausted state the night before.

I suck.

Anna wrote this piece after her performance in Week 3 of Chicago's Other Dance Festival - an annual performance series showcasing the city's best modern dance companies and choreographers.

According to some very trusted and very critical friends in the audience, she decidedly did not 'suck.'  

In 2008, Anna Sapozhnikov founded the dance program within the Performing Arts Department at York High School in Elmhurst Illinois, where she is currently on faculty. Prior to York, Anna had the pleasure of working on the faculty of such institutions such as the Dance Center of Columbia College Chicago, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago's MAP Program, and the Youth Performing Arts High School in Louisville, Kentucky as well as the Louisville Ballet School. Anna received her MFA in dance from the University of Illinois in Champaign, where she was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Dance during the 2005-2006 school year. 

Her company MOYAMO DANCE, has produced various works in venues throughout Chicago, including Links Hall, Hamlin Park, the Athenaum Theatre, and in Thodos Dance Chicago's “New Dances” at Ruth Page. Outside of Chicago, Anna's choreography has also been produced at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts in Champaign, at the American College Dance Festival at the University of Michigan and University of Iowa, and various venues throughout Louisville, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Colorado. Anna is the recipient of numerous grants from the Illinois Arts Council, the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Kentucky Arts Council.

Over the last decade, Anna has enjoyed collaborating with dance partners Erika Randall, Sara Hook, Elizabeth Johnson, Nikki Pinchott, the girls of Thread Meddle Outfit, Mysteriam, RE/Dance, Keesha Beckfordand New York City based David Parker & the Bang Group. She considers herself lucky to have been part of the dance community in Chicago over the last decade, and hopes to dive back into the waters soon.   


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