Winter 2023 In Dance

company and working in numerous independent projects, why come back to AXIS? NA: Being asked back felt like I came full circle. First of all, it was an honor when I got asked to do a pre- sentation for the board and then went through the interview process. This is where I started, where I found the support I needed and where I found people like me. It’s where I feel I can change the world of dance and

you have to be creative, you have to give your body, your brain and your soul to the work. And more often than not dancers have to find a second job or they have to teach to afford these expensive Bay Area prices. So, within the first month of 2022, I was able to increase the salary of the dancers by 30%, thanks to the Mellon Founda- tion. It was huge for us. A big ambition of mine is to do a lot more international work. We have a huge project in Germany in September and I’m trying to put together a tour of Spain and Italy. I am hoping to solidify all of this in January. And finally, I want to continue lis- tening and giving back. Both previ- ous artistic directors, Judith Smith and Mark Brew, had such a connection with our community. I want to continue and expand that legacy. Back when I was performing with AXIS, we taught many community classes for children. That was a huge thing for me. Provide young disabled people with the training they wanted and needed. That’s where every- thing starts; finding disabled dancers is a struggle because of the lack of oppor- tunities to train. NADIA ADAME is a Spanish multidisciplinary award-winning disabled artist. She studied Ballet & Flamenco at the Royal Dance Conservatory of Madrid and has a BA in Theatre from the Universi- ty of Colorado. She was a company member with AXIS (2001-2003) and Candoco Dance Company (2007-2008). In 2004, she co-founded and was the Co-Artistic Director of Compañía Y in Spain, a multimedia and performance collective. Nadia’s credits include dance, theater, commercial, and independent film projects in the UK, Spain, US, and Canada. In 2022 she became the Artistic Director of AXIS Dance Company. Born and raised in Bolivia , NATALIA VELARDE began her dance education at Summa – Artis Escuela de Ballet Clásico y Contemporáneo in the city of La Paz. She obtained her B.A. in Dance and Arts Administration from Goucher College. Natalia has performed with the Washington Ballet, Deep Vision Dance Company and The National Ballet Company, among others. As a freelancer and guest artist, she has performed in Philadelphia, New York, Virginia, La Paz, London, Marseille, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. She currently serves as faculty member at Pepperdine University, Westside School of Ballet and Debbie Allen Dance Academy.

disability and maybe I can change the field of dance. It feels like home.

NV: Where do you hope to take AXIS during your tenure as artistic director? NA: One of the biggest goals I had when I joined as artistic director was to raise the salary of my dancers. I remember as a dancer, it was always a struggle and pay is usually low. As a dancer you come into the studio,

All dance All free All week

DANCERS’ GROUP is bringing back the Bay Area Dance Week festival

SAVE THE DATES APRIL 21–30, 2023 Registration to Host a free event will open March 1



in dance WINTER 2023 34

WINTER 2023 in dance 35

In Dance | May 2014 |

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