Summer Series: Candid Conversations with the Pros
Get to know Resident Choreographer for Paul Taylor Dance Company & Former NYCB Principal Dancer
Photo credit: Nisian Hughes
Born in Thousand Oaks, California, Lovette began studying ballet at the age of 11 at the Cary Ballet Conservatory in Cary, North Carolina. She enrolled at SAB as a full time student in 2006. In October 2009, Ms. Lovette became an apprentice with NYCB and joined the Company as a member of the corps de ballet in September 2010. Ms. Lovette received the Clive Barnes Award for dance in December 2012 and was the 2012-2013 recipient of the Janice Levin Award. Promoted to soloist in February 2013 and to principal dancer in June 2015, she stepped down from her position at the company in 2021 in order to embark on a career devoted to dance and choreography in more equal measure.
Photo credit: Stas Komarovski
You’ve continued to dance as you grow your choreographic career. Have you discovered a new approach to your dancing as you explore the other side? Vice Versa?
"I think my respect for the dancers that I work with as a choreographer has only grown stronger as I am still choosing to dance myself. Choosing to keep my own skill set strong while choreographing as much as I am has not been easy! But I do think it has balanced me as an artist in a way that has brought a great deal of growth and joy into my life."
Take us behind the curtain of your choreographic process- how do you start developing your work? Do you start with the music, the dancers, the costumes?
"This is a difficult question! I start every creative process a different way, but I do think that the music I select remains the strongest and most consistent corner stone for me creatively. I choose music and that scatters creative seeds for me all throughout my life. I pull from everything around me and keep ideas set aside both physically in notebooks and virtually on my computer and iPhone."
Artistry is one of your strongest suits, how can dancers bring that quality to performances, or auditions?
“Artistry is when you bring yourself to whatever you are doing. It’s when you have been given second cast villager #2 by the director and decide to develop that character regardless of its recognition, but simply for the sake of how it feels within your bones to put yourself fully into what you do. I highly recommend finding yourself in your dancing because that is where the magic is and where the art form is lifted up and preserved.“
EMAIL EXCLUSIVE: How would you advise dancers who are trying to get company jobs?
“I wish I were a better help with this one! I have been so blessed in my life to have had a job straight out of school that I valued greatly and stayed within for a decade’s time. But I think I would say if you find yourself and focus on the work… if you stay the course when you feel like throwing in the towel, when you take a leap of courage when your pride would rather have you play it safe... You have given yourself every chance and there is no regret when you give it everything you have. It might not lead to the path you plan, but it could lead you to an even better one if you are open."