August 17th, 2006

Rob Bettmann- Fabian Barnes, you are Artistic Director of The Dance Institute of Washington and Reflections Dance Company. In a few months your company will move into a brand new building that will be the home for both school and company. In all of the experiences you have had as a dancer, choreographer, company director, and teacher, is there one you can cite as a favorite experience?

FB- I’ve been involved in the dance world for thirty-four years. And I think the most valuable experience I’ve had to date, in totality of all the incarnations I’ve had in the field, from student to professional dancer to trying to work as a choreographer to facilitating dance for future generations would be just that: trying to give opportunities to dancers and choreographers who are coming up today.

RB- Can you think of a specific experience representing that?

FB – I’ve had a lot of students who have come through my program who have decided to pursue dance. To have been an integral part of their dance upbringing, the person who largely gave them their first exposure to dance, that would be the most fulfilling part to me. A student who graduated last week – when his mom brought him to me he had no dance. He danced with me for the four years of his high school. He started late. He came to me last week excited about preparing to go to Scotland with Suzanne Farrell, and that he was joining the American Repertory Ballet once he got back from Scotland. That was one of those moments. And there are many of those moments, but the one that sticks out most recently is that one. To sum it all up and say what’s the most important thing, or the most rewarding thing for me is that ability to facilitate future generations of dancers. As we all know there are not a lot of opportunities. To be able to offer that is a very meaningful thing to me.

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