Borderless Dance with “Son of the World” Nicolas Fiery
Being an artist requires such immense commitment to rehearsal that many professionals lose themselves to secluded lives of technical dedication. Dancer/choreographer Nicolas Fiery has established himself as a master of the medium while constantly maintaining an awareness that dance is life and must be undertaken as such. He’s a world traveler who has interacted with dozens of different cultures (check out his docuseries World Dance Sessions) and continues to espouse the benevolent effect of dance in bringing the world together. Whether in Europe, the Americas, Asia, or numerous locations across the globe, Fiery has become a de facto dance ambassador to all. As Nicolas himself states, “I’ve travelled and lived in so many places, I consider myself a son of the world. I believe that my identity is defined by what I did, where I went, and who I met.” His performances display influences of a host of dance styles from traditional and modern, vetting Fiery as a truly universal talent.
Eluding strict categorization is a quality of many great artists. The “unexpected” is key in setting them apart. Fiery’s recognitions in France range from Jazz Soloist Dancer Awards (including a Gold Medal in Paris Region) to Locking Winner of the Hip Hop Battle, both bestowed upon him by the French Federation of Dance. A luminary of this community, Nicolas toured as a principal dancer in Delphine “Lady Del” Schoevaert’s “Les Valises.” When not touring Europe displaying his “locking” proficiency, Fiery was appearing in films such as the Cesar Award Nominated Best Short Film Les Indes Galantes created by Clement Cogitore with The Opera de Paris. On working with a supreme talent like Nicolas, Schoëvaërt declares, “Dance is the expression of feelings through the body. So working with Nicolas is absolutely awesome. It also offers many possibilities for a choreographer like me to take a step further, to propose more technical pieces because he has the physical and intellectual capacities to bring a strong presence in a choreographic project. It was a very beautiful time in my career as a choreographer when I worked with Nicolas and I keep only good memories.”
Fiery is well known for his international presence. His aforementioned docuseries features him interacting with artists and people in nearly every corner of the planet. He seems prescient at times, understanding where he might want to be to spark interest and positivity. This was clearly a factor when a video clip of Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer went viral as he professed his love for the band Alice Valentine and dance group Solo (of which Nicolas is a featured dancer). The collaboration, known as “Oasis”, is a five section improvised piece which changes at every performance. Their performance, which took place near the entrance of Prospect Park in Brooklyn on the historical Grand Army Plaza, caused a sensation that was covered by such media outlets as the New York Post, The Hill, and others. Fiery concedes that being in the United States offered one opportunity that he could not refuse. He explains, “I can without a doubt say that performing ‘Rocka My Soul on the Bosom of Abraham’ at the Macy’s Thanksgiving day parade performance was the most surreal experience of my life. When I look back, it is hard to believe that I walked from The National History Museum to 34th Street dancing the work of Mr. Alvin Ailey (legendary dancer and choreographer) in front of millions of people. The amplitude of this American tradition is something I have never seen before in France and seems literally incredible; so incredible that it is very hard to explain and describe the feeling of this performance. I remember walking and feeling grateful to tears as I was seeing such manifestation of joy and unity around me, from the sidewalks to the balcony, behind the windows, and on the rooftops. What would usually be the back of the last seats of a theater was the New York City skyline rolling down my sight. The excitement is growing exponentially as you are being cheered constantly for a few miles.”
The struggle we all feel in today’s world is that of evolving with the world’s sense of connectivity and attention span. It seems all too often that the world is distracted by screens. Artists have lost the ability to present an uninterrupted performance which unearths an emotional catharsis. The antidote for this is unpredictability and an even greater dedication to one’s creative identity. Nicolas Fiery is trailblazing this concept by bringing his own style and personality to keep the fans of dance in a constant state of wonderment.