In November of 2015, the Brooklyn College of Music invited three of New York’s top young dancers, Natasha Lyonne, Sofia Vergara and Lily Allen, to perform in a three-hour performance at the Brooklyn School of Visual Arts, known as the Taste of the West.
It was a show of what the Brooklyn Public School of the Arts and Design’s “experience” in the “Taste” would look like.
The four women had to go through an intense audition process, including a three day intensive workshop at the school’s performance center.
They had to perform and rehearse their routines in the studio, which included the “breath and movement” exercises.
The “breathing and movement exercise” included breathing in and out with a rubber band and moving the band around the performer’s body.
“We were not going to do a choreographed dance, and we were not trying to recreate anything that we’ve done in the past,” Lyonne told Vulture in 2016.
The group’s performances were mostly in the vein of “The Muppets,” but with an emphasis on performance and improvisation.
“When you’re an artist, you have to be able to move,” Lyonie said.
“Theres no place for the audience to see a choreographer.
I felt like I needed to create a whole new way of being in the performance.”
“Tasteful” in New York?
It was an incredible experience for Lyonne.
“Being in New Jersey for the first time, I was a bit nervous,” Lyonnes says.
“But when you’re doing a performance, it’s a lot of nerves, but when you are in New Yorker culture, people feel very comfortable and it’s such a safe place.”
Lyonne was excited to share that experience with the world.
“I think there’s a kind of an openness about performance that goes beyond that of just seeing what people are doing,” she says.
The performance was the brainchild of the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and it brought together all of Lyonne’s interests in performance and visual art.
“It’s not just one thing, it was a combination of many things,” she said.
She also had a passion for ballet.
“My dad is a choreographing legend,” Lyonney says.
Lyonne started working in the ballet world when she was about four years old, and she took ballet classes at the Juilliard School, where she began her ballet career.
She’s known for her ability to move her body, and for her high-wire act of grace.
She has a very good sense of the subtlety and beauty of her movements, and her ability, even in the midst of the most intense performances, to maintain her composure and her balance.
Lyonnes has also studied ballet as a professional.
“After school I would always get the sense that I was doing something, that I could do something, and that I needed more time,” Lyonn says.
But when she moved to New York in 2008 to pursue a master’s degree in performance arts, she decided to take a break from her career.
“If I wanted to keep doing ballet, I needed a break,” she told Vogue in 2015.
Lyonni, who moved to Brooklyn to pursue her master’s in performance art, is now performing in an open-air performance in the Brooklyn Armory.
“In Brooklyn, I love the diversity of the people who live here,” Lyonnia says.
In New York City, Lyonne has also had the opportunity to work with a group of dancers from other disciplines, such as theatre, dance, photography and film.
“At the end of the day, what I wanted was to show that there is a lot more to the art form than just being a dancer,” Lyonni says.
She believes that the arts are becoming more and more important, not just for people in their 20s or 30s, but for young people.
“They are becoming the people that you want to connect with in their lives,” Lyonnih says.
If you want the inside story behind the ‘Tasteless’ performance, check out the video above, and read our interview with Lyonne and the dancers in our 2016 cover story.
See more performances in our gallery.
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