Time in the (LEIMAY) Studio with...

Mariana Taragano 

LEIMAY Studio Manager Lou Mandolini in conversation with LEIMAY Fellow Mariana Taragano. Mariana is a movement artist, choreographer, mother, and all around great human.

  • LOU- What is the first thing you do when you begin your rehearsal at CAVE?

MARIANA- I warm up! I try and begin with fifteen minutes of improvisation for myself and the dancers. The idea is that you move through whatever it is that you feel your body needs rather than thinking “this is what I do” or “this is what I have been told to do (as a dancer)”. From there I have set warm-up that we do every single time. It is technique-based, a hybrid of different things I have done (in the past) like ballet and Cunningham. It has the structure of a traditional progression, pliés into tendus, with additional focus the upper body.

  • How have weekly rehearsals impacted the way you work?

They have given me a really great structure. I was trying for a few years, to work in spaces that I came across or spaces that I taught in but somehow the momentum gets kind of lost within daily life. Just having to come here and rehearse has been really helpful. To really show up and commit, whether I am inspired or not, I have to do it. Show up and do the work. Sometimes I arrive with no energy and no inspiration and those are the best rehearsals.

Just keeping things consistent — whether you have the mental capacity or not

Exactly and I think that’s something when you really are a creator that you have to tap into. Of course, some days are better than others but you can’t just wait around for a muse.

  • In one sentence, what is at the core of your work? What drives you to create?

CommunicatingI am interested in creating work that moves something in the person that is observing it.

  • Tell me about your first experience with LEIMAY, CAVE, or Ximena and Shige?

My first encounter with CAVE was a workshop previous Fellow Danielle Russo (LEIMAY Fellow 2015-2016) about Site-Specific work.

Oh my gosh! I took part of that workshop. I believe you were expecting your first child…

That right! That’s how I learned that the space even existed. Afterwards, I started researching the Fellowship and the first time I met Ximena and Shige was during my interview.

  • What does it mean to you to be a producing artist, working collectively, to create SOAK 2018?

On a personal level, it’s an oasis of hope. I know it sounds corny but I think that working as a community and creating something with a group of people that are driven by the goal of sharing and expressing is amazing. Especially in the arts world when even to apply for a festival you have to pay. The arts world, I mean the entire world, but especially the arts are so driven by capitalism right now. I wish that more projects, not just creative endeavors, would be done in this way. It’s honest and I think the world needs a bit more of that.

  • Agreed. If you ran your own space, what would be your focus and how would connect to the community?

My dream is to actually have a building with different floors in which a variety of art forms are taught. I dream big! I would love to make the arts approachable and accessible to young ages and grow artists that will stay in the community that could eventually grow into being a company. It’s important to me that it comes from the school first and develops and not the other way around like an existing theater or dance company that creates a school. To start when they are children and create something out of that. I grew up in Argentina and I was raised in Israel but most of my professional career was spent in London. I went back to Israel for a few years and now I’m here. I don’t know where I want the space to be but definitely a smaller town where the organization has the potential to be the heart of the community. Now, all we need is money for a building. [laughs]

Thank you so much for meeting with me early this morning. Enjoy your rehearsal! You can catch Mariana's work In:Fantasy at SOAKJune 15.

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