Meet the Company: New Brooklyn Ballet Dancer Duane Gosa
Brooklyn Ballet welcomed several new company members this year. It's been a blast learning about them in rehearsal—who they are, how they move, why they dance and more. We thought our readers would like a chance to get to know them, too.
Name: Duane Gosa
Neighborhood: Bushwick/Bed Stuy
Q: Where did you start your dance training?
A: I started dance at a performing arts program that was offered to upperclassmen at my high school in Ohio. After graduating, I continued to study ballet more intensely at the University of Akron.
Q: How did you learn about Brooklyn Ballet? And what attracted you to audition for the company?
A: I first heard of BB through a fellow dancer in the company. We had partnered together for a contemporary Nutcracker and she encouraged me to audition for a project that was happening last fall. I was mostly attracted to the blend of classical technique with more contemporary styles of moving. Recently, I've worked more with contemporary movement so I appreciate and am excited for the chance to fiercely reinvestigate ballet technique on my body.
Q: What do you find most challenging about rehearsals so far?
A: To be honest, it's wearing ballet slippers for so long. While I understand that I am not nearly as distressed regarding footwear in comparison to the women on pointe, I haven't worn ballet shoes this much since my school days. It's great! I am happy for the challenge, and I can feel my feet getting much stronger.
Duane partnering Gabriela in rehearsal for BB's “Tracing Back”
Q: Which of the dances for this season's performances are you most excited about?
A: I'm most excited about Tracing Back. I think the production of this piece will be particularly interesting. There will be an added component that uses live video of the choreography and reconfigures the moving image into a digital illustration that will be projected during the piece. This added dimension is a cool and exciting way to look at the idea of technology-enhanced performance.
Q: Why is ballet/dance important to you?
A: Because it feels great! I have been physically active my whole life. I was an athlete and a musician while growing up so when I discovered dance it seemed to fit perfectly on my body. It's the closest way I can get to actually becoming the music.
Q: What is your favorite activity outside of dance?
A: Music has always been a major interest of mine. I've studied music for many years, so listening to music is my favorite pastime. I love finding new music, especially old music that's new to me.
Right now I'm listening to a lot of classic R&B/Soul music and Indie Electronic. The artists I play most on repeat are the band Them, Sam Cooke, Electric Guest and Azealia Banks.
Q: Where's your favorite place to hang out in Brooklyn?
A: It really depends on the time of year. Currently, my favorite place to be is warm in my home, but when the weather is fair DUMBO is a very beautiful place to hang out. The Brooklyn Bridge Park is definitely my spot in summer.