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Things I Can't Avoid Saying with Mayumi Lashbrook

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Ep. 103 ‘Things I Can't Avoid Saying with Mayumi Lashbrook’

In this episode, CP is joined by Mayumi Lashbrook, a professional dancer, choreographer and, most prominently, the social media manager and co-artistic director of Aeris Körper Contemporary Dance. They discuss her training and journey through the dance industry, her role at Aeris Körper and other avenues, and what lies ahead.

Mayumi shares her first memories of dancing, her need to take up dance classes because her older sister, who was doing the same, and her discovery of the delights of free dance and improvisation.

She decided to pursue dance as a career in her last year of high school following an apprenticeship contract with a professional company and classes with Peggy Baker, whom she credits with changing her outlook on the opportunities and variety in dance.

Mayumi talks about how studying at Ryerson University’s Theatre Performance Dance was the hardest part of her professional career, a necessary but arduous pathway to develop technical competency and understand the realities of professional dance milieu.

She credits her friend and mentor, Lisa Emmons of Aeris Körper Contemporary Dance with being one of the biggest influences and largest contributors to her professional life.

Mayumi discusses her passion for improvising, which she qualifies as “the highest moment of my being. It feels like every single cell of my body is on.” It’s when she listens to herself, the moment in which she feels most alive. She explains that, in performance, her goal with improvisation is to connect to the audience as equals.

The conversation shifts to Aeris Körper, of which Mayumi is co-artistic director alongside Lisa Emmons (Artistic Director), Mikaela Demers (Producer), and Catharine Katic (Media and Stakeholder Relations). We hear the company’s mission through the voices of the core team members in an audio montage.

Mayumi speaks of one of the projects that is dearest to her within the company, ‘Prospects’, which “encompasses everything that they want to do and provide to the community as a company”.

CP asks Mayumi to discuss the impact of her experience learning abroad at the L’Air Arts Residency program in Paris, France. She speaks of collaboration and creativity, and of international co-productions that have - already - arisen from the program, which focused on revisiting the Paris of the 1920s, one hundred years later.

Near the end of the episode, Mayumi discusses her hopes for the future as she moves deeper into her career as a dancer. She believes that she has pledged her life to dance and, no matter what, will continue honouring it.

One thing that Mayumi is excited about is people once again flooding to watch art, to delight in their senses coming alive.

Quotes from the Episode:

“Dance is, so much, about discipline; it’s about breaking habits.”

“Training with your body is so important, you need strength and physicality. Like any craft, it takes practice and time to really know what you need to do.”

“Dance on its own is not enough. It is about, what are you trying to feel? What are you trying to say? If you can’t tap into that emotion for yourself, then you’re not going to be able to ignite that emotion in another person.”

“Everything I do with dance is about discovering the beauty in the mundane. My goal is to share with the world how beautiful every single possibility is.”

“Improvisation is the most equal cellular meeting of listening, seeing and hearing each other.”

“Dance is, actually, fighting atrophy.”


The CP Pod - https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/cp-pod/id1506678421

Mayumi Lashbrook - https://www.instagram.com/mayumi.movement

Aeris Körper Contemporary Dance - http://aeriskorper.com / http://www.instagram.com/aeriskorper

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