April Rose is a sought after teacher and performer internationally, being a regular tutor at Tribal Massive in Las Vegas, and a featured teacher on Datura Online as well as running her own regular classes and intensives out of Rose Movement Studio in Austin, Texas. April has had an illustrious dance career including as a principal performer for Bellydance Superstars, and as a member of Unmata with Amy Sigil. She has spent time living in India studying dance, and holds a Masters degree (hons) in Dance Studies.
Q. How long does it normally take you to put together a new choreography?
I give myself about 8 weeks. Sometimes it takes much longer than that to refine and every once in a while the process will take less than 8 weeks.
Q. I hear that your 2018 schedule is already pretty hectic – are there any key events or happenings (apart from a visit to NZ of course!) that you are particularly looking forward to?
In addition to visiting New Zealand for the first time, I have the honor of teaching at some really great US events. Some of those are: Migrations in Austin Texas, Massive in Vegas, Cues and Tattoos in Seattle, Elevation in Colorado, Revolution in Chicago, and Bayou Belly in Louisiana. I’ll also be making a long-awaited trip back to China (Chongqing).
(For info about April's workshops in NZ: April Rose Workshops )
Q: What non-dance art forms or ideas inspire your dance aesthetic?
I’m very inspired by the mathematical idea of elegance, efficiency, and simplicity when it comes to technique and composition. I find myself interested in humanist themes, as well: emotions and experiences that many humans share.
Q: Do you design most of your own costumes or are there particular designers and artists you like to work with on that side of things?
I used to design and make my costumes, then I became too busy with and interested by other aspects of dance. Now I work mostly with a designer in Houston Texas named “Larkspur Designs.” I love her costume aesthetic and tailoring because it is elegant, danceable, and unique. When not wearing Larkspur Designs, I usually find myself wearing baubles and items from Benne Gezeritt Witch Designs, Melodia, or crafty friends of mine.
Q: What is the best piece of dance-related advise you’ve ever received?
One time I was upset backstage mid-performance at a Bellydance Superstars show because I had made several mistakes in the choreography. One of the dancers in the dressing room looked at me and said, “you are making this show all about you right now.” It was tough love but it worked to snap me out of my solipsism and reminded me that my performance is only a small part of the audience’s entire experience.
Q: Do you currently study any other dance form or movement practice on a regular basis?
I feel very grateful that one of my technique teachers from the dance department at UCLA, Hassan Christopher, moved to Austin Texas and began teaching at Rose Movement Studio! From Hassan I take hiphop, house, and contemporary. Outside of his classes I also take a barre class and study with bellydancers I admire, like Aziza, Bozenka, and Sadie, whenever I can. I have been newly obsessed with percussion and I’m lucky to have a riq and finger cymbal teacher in Austin as well, named Lauren Checchio.
Q: It must be challenging to stay motivated and inspired to keep creating when you have done so many shows and created so many dances - what motivates you to continue growing & creating as a dancer?
My ever-deepening love for and understanding of bellydance technique, music, and history continues to inspire me to be thoughtful, referential, and innovative within and outside of that genre. Outside of my fascination for bellydance and it’s variations I am inspired by the individuals I have the honor of teaching, collaborating with, and learning from. have had several students this year whose abilities and thoughtfulness are absolutely humbling and inspiring to me. Some of those incredible dancers have been Alisa Gurova, Serena Spears, Michelle Sorensen, & Rosanna Setu. Some of my collaborators this year have been Kimberly Larkspur, Rin Ajna, Lauren Checchio, Carly Fischer, & Blair Logan.The teachers who have inspired me a lot this year have been Sadie and Aziza. Other dancers inspire me to continue digging deep.
Q: Where was the strangest place you have performed to date?
There is a small and long-standing club in Austin called “Carousel Lounge.” It has a children’s circus theme, complete with a giant pink elephant statue on the stage. It’s an old favorite in the city even though it is very strange!
Q: What is the one thing you can't travel without?
Hmm...the real answer is probably my phone. Next up I’d say my eye-mask and earplugs. And third: probiotic supplements. Very practical items.