What are the Spotlight Sessions?
I was the child who asked “why” 150 times in a row, to the dismay and occasional annoyance of the adults around me. That curiosity and need for discovery grew with me and became a guide on my artistic path. Determination, inquisitiveness, and the drive to connect with others led me to write, dance, choreograph, produce, and educate.
I started my company, Six Degrees Dance, with the mission of creating community. Embodying the theory that all people are connected through a social network of 6 or fewer degrees, we collaborate in an environment where the exchange of ideas is the building block for innovation and growth. We approach dance making with the belief that the contribution of the individual benefits the group, and results in a body of work reflective of the sum of its parts.
To that end, we have developed several initiatives that connect artists with audiences and with each other, maintaining the idea of six degrees of separation as the foundation for those connections. Our annual showcase brings together national and international choreographers, most of whom have never met. Our Choreographic Commission series allows the dancers of Six Degrees to work with a variety of choreographers in different styles. In The Spotlight Sessions, I will present a different artist each cycle, and through interviews, short feature articles, previews, and capsule reviews, offer a behind the scenes look into their work and their process. I hope you enjoy getting to know these unique, talented individuals as much as I have, and continue to follow them on their creative paths.
A native of Norfolk ,Virginia, Dareon Blowe is a Dancer/Choreographer who is interested in investigative movement research, disrupting hierarchies in the body, and tuning into Impulses. He obtained his BFA from The George Mason School of Dance on a full scholarship, under the artistic direction of Susan Shields & Karen Reedy. During his time there, Dareon was awarded the Excellence in Performance award due to his adaptability in multiple Residencies. Throughout his career he has worked with the likes of Kyle Abraham, Rena Butler, Sidra Bell, Doug Varone, Wayne Mcgregor, Robert Battle, Rafael Bonachela, Micaela Taylor, Camille Brown and more. He has attended professional development programs like SpringBoard Danse Montreal, The School at Jacob’s Pillow, and Bodytraffic SI. Currently, he is going into his first year as an Apprentice with Rubberband Dance Company under the artistic direction of Victor Quijada.
1. How did your artistic journey begin? My artistic journey began when I was 14 years old because my mother decided to sign me up for a Hip Hop and Gymnastics Class while I was visiting family in North Carolina. I vividly remember opposing her wishes, but after a year of taking recreational classes I was offered an opportunity to join the company competition team. Which soon after led me to pursue dance full time.
2. What drives you as an individual artist? What do you hope to express/convey to the world through your work?
I’m usually inspired by our primal instincts as human beings. I tend to seek out dancers' natural impulses, the way we build architecture in the body, and how it can deteriorate. Due to my background within multiple genres of movement, I wish to place more emphasis on non classical dance forms while discussing global crises and the cultural stipulations that come as a Black man in America.
3. When do you feel most powerful? I feel most powerful when I feel secure in what I have to offer to the community.
4. What has been your biggest challenge and your proudest moment during your artistic growth? My biggest challenge has been balancing my cross training in both classical and non classical genres of dance. My proudest moment in my artistic growth would be getting to witness the effort in my cross training translate into new movement ideologies.
5. Can you describe your creative process? My creative process shifts based on what I'm creating at the moment and who is in the room, but it normally stays in the realm of me replacing dancers' positions and trusting my decision making. I have an initial concept, but I allow myself to take the journey with dancers and see what comes out of my original impetus.
6.What do you do when you are not creating? What things outside of the dance industry inspire you and fuel your creativity?
I’m usually inspired by museums, films, photography, nature, and the ebb & flow of life.
7. What is next for you? I’m not quite sure what’s next, but I'm trusting the process. Ideally continuing to choreograph for companies and studios across the globe, dancing in both in concert and commercial settings, and teaching as much as possible.
8. Is there a piece of advice you'd give to younger or emerging artists? I think I would say to Remember that the work is the reward. Yes, there are goals to be met, but try to enjoy the effort that it takes to get there.
Now for a quick peak at Dareon's work: