Two Dancers to Watch: Achugar and Fredrickson

Excerpt from The Sublime is Us by luciana achugar (video).

Dance magazine’s recent feature, “25 to Watch: Past Picks Choose the Next Generation” (January 2011) recognized two alumni of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts as up-and-comers.

Choreographer and dancer with the Limón Dance Company, Jonathan Fredrickson (Dance BFA 06) was chosen by 2003 selection, Hubbard Street 2 director and HSDC artistic associate Taryn Kaschok Russell. She writes: “There was something incredible about watching the changes that were happening inside his mind and then how he would translate them…He has a strength of vision, but with an open mind…I think he’s right at that catching-fire point.”

Fredrickson’s entree to Limón occurred while still a student at CalArts. Interviewed in our ’07-’09 recruitment Bulletin, Fredrickson recalled the “moment”: [It was] “an awesome opportunity to dance with the Limón Company at the Ahmanson Theater in downtown Los Angeles…I think I matured a lot technically in those three weeks, specifically in terms of stability and balance.”

Uruguayan-born luciana achugar (Dance 95) was selected by a 2004 “One to Watch,” choreographer Noémie Lafrance, who writes: “luciana is doing something that has an edge, but it’s also very clean, concise, together. I feel like her work, while experimental, is also accessible. You could see it if you hadn’t been exposed to dance and still be moved. It has a touch of being universal. As a performer, she’s powerful without being arrogant; her power is very pure. She’s a very down-to-earth human being–generous and natural.”

When CalArts magazine spoke with her for its Fall/Winter 2008 feature on former Wasserman Scholars, achugar was already the recipient of a 2007 New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for her Exhausting Love at Danspace Project. Last year she picked up another one for Puro Deseo. In our interview she remembered her time at the Institute this way: “…I discovered why I was dancing. When you start, it’s such a visceral thing–you just like to dance; it’s fun. But at CalArts my work became much more sophisticated just by seeing so much, by being encouraged to make work, to think about it, and to learn to be articulate about it…Many people from other places don’t talk about composition or their relationship to the art form. CalArts defined me as an artist.”

Jonathan Fredrickson’s choreographic reel (video)

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