Unscripted. Unstaged. Alexis Fletcher.Unscripted. Unstaged. is an interview series from Laura Murray Public Relations that speaks with fascinating artists, advocates, administrators, and other individuals who keep the Canadian artistic community visible, viable, and vibrant. This week we spoke with Alexis Fletcher who, right off the bat, made her own introductions…
Q: If we were introduced at a party – what are the three things you would be excited to share about yourself?
That I am an artist – a contemporary dancer working professionally in Vancouver with Ballet BC, and also sometimes independently. I think it is really exciting to be able to open a dialogue about art and about the cutting edge contemporary work I am part of at Ballet BC. It is inspiring to work with a director (Emily Molnar) and group of people who are so passionate about staying and working as artists in North America, supporting Canadian choreographers, and bringing beautiful work from international choreographers to Canada.
That my partner Sylvain and I run a little B&B business on the side out of our home.
That I am getting married this year!
Q: If we checked your nightstand, what books would we find you reading right now?
I always have many going at once. These are in the mix right now: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Letters To A Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, The Gift – Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World by Lewis Hyde, and Soulmates – Honouring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship by Thomas Moore.
Q: If we checked your computer, what favourite sites would be bookmarked?
Many! Some examples: Airbnb (where we advertise our B&B); Siddha Yoga – the meditation and chanting community I am a part of; Sacred Sounds – a yoga online radio site; La Maison de Mr. Figlio – the paintings and writings of Serge Bennethan; Inner Space Yoga in Gastown; Translink; and Dancer Transition Resource Centre– but no, I’m not on Facebook!
Q: How did you come to do what you do – was there a defining moment you can tell us about?
When I was 14 years old, I was starting to become more and more serious about my dancing. I was accepted into Dancestreams, which is a youth performance company on Vancouver Island, where I grew up. As I began to experience more of a company environment and my horizons broadened in terms of training, I was struck with this undeniable “knowledge” that in my life I was supposed to dance. I have never wavered from this since.
It truly is an incredible feeling to be blessed with that kind of surety, and I am filled with gratitude not only to have experienced it at such a young age, but also that I was given the opportunity to follow this calling and make it my life’s path and work.
Q: When it comes to marketing, is there a particular campaign or a poster, advertisement, or promotion that made a significant impact or that stands out in your mind?
I like advertising with a lot of movement and feeling, or with a stark and powerful image that grabs the eye immediately. This past season’s Vancouver International Dance Festival with the image of one of the dancers from Alonzo King’s Lines Ballet comes to mind as an example of captured movement that was strong and eye-catching.
Also – I know this will sound biased, so forgive me, but Ballet BC is starting to do video newsletters and posting them to the website. I think that they are well done and give a more intimate view of the company than posters and ads are able to do.
I think video newsletters are important because electronic media offers so many opportunities to arts and culture organizations. It can be such a strong statement and way of making art accessible. It is a great way of reaching out to people, and especially young people – a way of getting others excited about coming out and supporting all the many art forms, and, most importantly, hopefully being inspired in their own lives by them.
Q: Lastly, what inspires you?
I am fortunate to feel inspired on many levels, but here I decided to share a couple aspects of my life that are especially inspiring.
For me, being an artist is a life and spiritual path. As soon as your work takes on this importance, each part of your life is affected and infused with meaning, presenting endless opportunities to gain more insight.
As someone whose physical body is my instrument, there is a great opportunity there to develop sensitivity, awareness, and respect for it. I strive to live in a mindful way that, if I may be so lucky, will allow my body to flourish and dance for a long time. I find it inspiring that each day in the studio, the work itself, and the amazing other artists I work with, cause me to question, inform, and deeply peel back the layers of my own humanity in a humbling and awe-inspiring way. It allows me to look at the most beautiful parts of myself and others, as well as examine the un-evolved, darker aspects of myself in an effort to understand them and bring them into the light.
I believe that this work gives me an unordinary way of living and that, like a spiritual path, it inspires me everyday to lead a life full of reverence, compassion, and humility.
Finally, I am fortunate to be sharing my life with another artist whom I deeply respect and work alongside, and who inspires me everyday.
Vancouver audiences can next see Alexis on stage with Ballet BC when the company presents IN/VERSE at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre from November 22-24, 2012.