Supporting the NYC Choreographers Forum and Dance Community: Adela Azses
The path of a dancer in New York City may be the most physically and emotionally challenging of all artistic paths in the US, perhaps the world. NYC is most certainly the dance epicenter for America and its purveyors push themselves to the limits. Understanding this, they also take comfort in the support which reinvigorates them. Dancer Adela Azses may not be a native New Yorker but she is fully committed to the fellow members of its dance community. Azses recently took part in the NYC Choreographers Forum which presents new works through this long running tradition. The event is both figuratively and literally hallowed ground for the NYC dancers as it’s held at the West Park Presbyterian Church. It’s a fitting venue as New York dancers feel that their vocation is a calling to which they are deeply committed. This February saw Azses as one of only two dancers given the honor of featured soloist and the NYC Choreographers Forum, vetting her as both purveyor and recipient of the city’s attention in its historic lineage of dance.
The NYC Choreographers Forum was founded by Denise Caston. A globally acclaimed musical theater performer recognized for her touring work with the Tony Award winning musical Crazy For You, Caston is deeply rooted in dance with a decade as a Radio City Rockette. As founder and director of the NYC Choreographers Forum, Denise wanted to create a noncommercial space for the city’s top choreographers and dancers to present new works; something of an insiders group space for experimentation. In addition to her solo at this year’s performance, Adela also shared the stage with Caston, stage director and choreographer of Bullets Over Broadway on Broadway’s Katharine Pettit, and a number of other prestigious dancers. The event opened with the number “The Other Side”, set to music from The Greatest Showman (Oscar nominated film starring Hugh Jackman). Azses presented the choreography of Jill Kenneys (Broadway Dance Center and 92 Street Y faculty) aptly titled “Changes” as it was set to the song by the same name from (Grammy nominated and Dove award-winning band) Mutemath. Adela describes this piece stating, “It has three sections: the beginning is me, fighting with myself because I know dance is what I love the most but I’m also plagued with insecurities about whether I’m good enough. The type of things that make you hesitate about pursuing what you love. Then there’s a fight but external, with society and other boundaries that limit you from pursuing arts as your career. The ending is about me embracing this is my reality and that pursuing dance is the right thing. It’s a personal story for myself and so many dancers.”
Azses concedes that the experience was stressful as well as invigorating. Industry elites and premier educators like Lynn Schwab and others were in attendance to witness the advancement of those pushing dance forward in New York. While there is comfort in community, there is also the need to prove oneself. The thunderous applause received by Adela and her fellow dancers confirms that their abilities found admirers throughout the audience in attendance. Even so, Azses admits to being most delighted by specific attendees. She relates, “The most memorable moment was walking after the show. My parents came all the way from Mexico to see me perform and I could see the pride and the joy in their faces. My parents and my sister are very supportive and are always rooting for me. It always feels good to make them part of the journey and to show them why I love what I do.”