Interview w/ Nick Blaylock
Nick Blaylock, a 3rd year contemporary graduate student from University of Utah just finished his residency with Canyon Concert Ballet. Between January 2 through the 7th, Nick choreographed a group piece for us and two solos, as well as taught both a contemporary class and a contact improvisation class. The residency was wonderfully successful, introducing the students to new movement, a new vocabulary for that movement and a new approach to dance making. I sat down with him and asked him some questions I pulled from Dance Spirit magazine.
What is your go-to stress reliever? time, space and a book; hanging our with my dog, a good long walk; taking the wrong way home; free drawing random abstract things.
Who's your dance role model? Dancer: Jermaine Spivey - Kidd Pivot dancer. I love his work ethic and outlook on dance and how incredible he is with storytelling with his body. It's breathtaking - never boring. Choreographer: Crystal (Pite) or Pina; Bryan Strumpel - he’s young and carving out his own path. I love when people are so committed to their craft that they’ll build even when they don’t have resources.
What's your most-watched TV show? Friends (Me: LOL - seriously?)
Someone who can always make me laugh is... My friends Rico and David - and Eliza, she makes me laugh all the time too.
What's one food you can't live without? Pizza - good old-fashioned pepperoni!
Do you have any nicknames? Not really. My mom calls me Nickel-pickle.
What's your biggest piece of advice for other young performers? Either don’t perform it, live it or just perform all the time. Not faking it is a constant negotiation. I think we cheat ourselves and we cheat others. Even in class, you dance for yourself, yes, but with others in mind too. It’s a relationship. I think about even, "How can I live this plie'? How can I speak through this movement?"
What are you most proud of? The life I get to live with my wife.
Do you have any pre-performance superstitions or habits? (He laughs) No superstitions; I like to make a habit of thanking God and I like to do exercises on one foot (cuz if I can do it one one, I can definitely do it one two) and it kind of centers me. It forces me to focus on the task at hand.
What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? Drink water.
What's your favorite book? My gosh, that’s tough…either “Artisan Sole” by Erwin McManus or “Screwtape Letters,” (CS Lewis). "Practicing the Presence," by Brother Lawrence… Oh my gosh, “The Outsiders;” and, "Suzanne’s Diary for Nicholas" (James Patterson) - I cried through the whole thing.
What did you want to be when you were a kid? A million things… I loved singing when I was a kid, I loved building.. there was a time I wanted to be an architect. I wanted to be a part of making beautiful things.
What's your favorite dance piece? "Parade" by Crystal Pite. I’ve never been so messed up by a piece in so many horrifying and superb ways.