We had the good fortune of connecting with Bridget L. Moore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Bridget, other than deciding to work for yourself, what was the single most important decision you made that contributed to your success?
Much of what I have been able to achieve in my life and career has come from the capacity to do what I love with freedom. I am fascinated with the art of design and have made it a part of my practice for more than three decades. At every stage of my life, dance has been my choice of art. When I made the decision to pursue dance as a profession, I never imagined that it would afford me with a career of incredible opportunities such as, residing and teaching as a Visiting Professor at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul, South Korea.
If someone told me early on that living in Korea would be a part of my artistic journey, I would not have believed it. And I don’t think anyone could have convinced me otherwise. I relocated to Korea knowing one person in the entire country and within three years, I was able to forge relationships that have been long-lasting. It still remains one of the greatest experiences I have encountered in my career. It is one of the most important decisions I made that has contributed to my success.
Please tell us more about your art. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about.
I am a proud native of Dallas, Texas and the Founder and Artistic Director of B. MOORE DANCE. The company was established as a non-profit organization in 2018, and is a Dallas-based contemporary modern dance company. B. MOORE DANCE is comprised of a diverse collective of performing artists, and I am currently the sole choreographer for the company.
Throughout my career, I have sought opportunities to give voice to my passion for teaching and choreographing. Having received international accolades and awards for my choreographic work, B. MOORE DANCE serves as a platform to present my creative work, develop company initiatives for the community and engage in collaborative projects. The mission of B. MOORE DANCE is to empower and transcend generations through the art of dance by cultivating the arts through education, leadership and performances.
Since its inception, B. MOORE DANCE has operated entirely from the support of community engagements, company master classes, performances, choreographic commissions, personal resources, residencies, and/or in-kind donations from family and friends. The company celebrated its 2nd Year Anniversary during a time of uncertainty, and persevered through the limitations of the global pandemic. Like most, if not all companies, B. MOORE DANCE had several performance engagements cancelled and/or postponed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to maintain the safety, well-being, and health of the dancers and our audiences, the company worked to adapt to this new normal and took the necessary precautions before the Arts community reopened its doors.
While seeking support to further the company’s growth and development, B. MOORE DANCE navigated this chaotic time by working virtually from home for nearly 6 months via ZOOM. The company and I were in the creative process: working towards completing, “The Neglected Heart of Soul: An Ode to Donny Hathaway” (TNHOS), dedicated to the life and music of the great and legendary soul singer. This evening-length work was scheduled to premiere July 16-18, 2020 at Hamon Hall, as a part of The Elevator Project, made possible through AT&T Performing Arts Center (ATTPAC).
In lieu of The Neglected Heart of Soul: An Ode to Donny Hathaway, we were fortunate to return to the stage, September 25, 2020, at Annette Strauss Square- ATTPAC’s outdoor venue, premiering “ROOTED: Envisage Dance Installations.” With reduced-capacity, socially-distanced seating, and ATTPAC’s new COVID-19 safety procedures, everyone was able to safely stretch out on the lawn to enjoy our live and in-person performance.
We were so thrilled to be the second company to perform in the Dallas Arts District since the closings from the pandemic! It was exciting to witness the many people that came out to support the company, the ARTS and ATTPAC. This was definitely one of the highlights for our company and I am proud of my dancers and the work that we have been able to accomplish together.
As the Artistic Director, I have designed and created three virtual events and presented four original films since the start of the pandemic. Our inaugural Virtual Block Party, followed by Elements: A Company Workshop, offered over 60 virtual classes from a team of reputable, global artists and Master teachers, reaching dancers worldwide. Our third company initiative, “Dances on the Reel,” presented re-imagined choreographic works that were transformed into a film. These works were made accessible and affordable to our patrons during these unprecedented times.
I believe there are several factors that determine one’s destiny in life. In my humble opinion, the most important are the “time” and the choices one makes. I have the understanding that anything worth accomplishing does not come easy. It demands patience, grit, tenacity and the sheer determination to be persistent in the work. I pride myself in knowing that I have an impeccable work ethic. It is my drive, determination, amongst a long list of support from individuals who have been instrumental in getting me to where I am today professionally.
I have an unwavering faith in the ARTS, but it has not left me without challenges and disappointment. With all that I have been able to accomplish in my professional career, I also stand as a testament that not all opportunities are meant for your success. Particularly, when coupled with political bureaucracy and duplicitous agendas that ignore professional standards of transparency and accountability. Nevertheless, these experiences have not derailed my position from purpose nor progress. I continue to do the work without compromising my integrity or sacrificing my craft.
What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
Dance is a creative practice that allows me to access parts of myself, enabling me to be imaginative and productive. As a practitioner who delights in crafting dances and as an Artistic Director, I am able to share in ways that are nurturing and transformative for both the company and myself. Like most artists, it is that initial thought, developed conceptually and seeing it come to fruition, that I find exhilarating and quite fulfilling!
My choreographic works provide both cultural and kinesthetic experiences rooted in African-American and global dance aesthetics. My choreography is physical, technically challenging and, at times, period-specific integrating historical and cultural perspectives through research and development. My movement vernacular is defined as lines of energy that extend beyond the extremities.
My organizational goals are to develop the artistic profile, expand worldwide visibility and exposure through national and international touring, creating new collaborative, community engagement projects and performances that are groundbreaking.
I am proud to say that B. MOORE DANCE received the Texas Shining Star Award, presented by TAHPERD and most recently received its very first Culture of Value Micro Grant from the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend were to visit Dallas and we weren’t in the midst of a pandemic, we would definitely venture out to various areas of the City.. Because she is also an artist and Educator in the Arts, we would mask up and find our way to the Bishop Arts District for breakfast at Oddfellows. There are many shops and restaurants in the area, so there would be plenty to do and see. Next up would be a stop through Trinity Groves since the location is within close distance. The beautiful Margaret Hunt Bridge would be nice to walk and explore. Of course, we would find our way to the Downtown Dallas Arts District and take a tour of the museums, Dallas Museum of Art, Nasher Sculpture Center and Crow Museum of Asian Art. We would more than likely see a dance or theater concert at one of the performance venues, Moody Performing Arts Center, Wyly Theater or Winspear Opera House. Any live music performance at Sandaga’s would be a hit,. Hopefully, we would be able to catch a jazz jam played by a popular or local jazz musician. Mercy Wine Bar in Addison also provides a great vibe and laid-back atmosphere for the evening.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The Nigerian Igbo proverb that says, “it takes a village to raise a child,” stands true when I think of the people who have championed in support of me and the work I have done. Some of my most influential and life-changing role models have been my teachers. I hold them in high regard and carry a great respect for many who have listened, given advice, direction, guidance and have simply been present as role models. Many are now colleagues and friends and I would be remiss if I didn’t give them a collective “SHOUT OUT” for being such an inspiration and a beacon of light in the world for me and others!
In addition, I give much gratitude and appreciation to the dancers that I have worked with in various capacities and to those that have been a part of my company. I cherish the team of individuals with whom I have been able to build and establish rapport. Dancers are true galvanizers in their craft and they work extremely hard. I am able to do the work that I do because they allow themselves to be complete vessels for creativity. It emboldens me to always be an advocate on their behalf and I am beyond blessed to know and work with so many!
Lastly, but certainly not least, I pay homage and celebrate the spirit of my ancestors, whose vision still inspire me today. I thank them for their life sacrifices and for paving the way for me and generations to come. I honor and remember their names through every initiative, choreographic work, challenges and creative endeavors!
Ashe’ & Ashe’
SPECIAL SHOUT OUT TO:
Kitty Carter- Kitty Carter Dance Factory, Susan Armijo-Centre for Dance, Kate Walker- Booker T. Washington HSPVA, Gayle Halperin-Bruce Wood Dance *On behalf of B. MOORE DANCE, thank you so much for providing space for us when we needed it. Your generosity and support are greatly appreciated.
Bret & Melissa Myers-LeGraphics, Inc., Fernando Hernandez-Costume Designer *Thank you so much for your never-ending support to our company! We are grateful for your support!
Omar Ramos Photography, Sharen Bradford-The Dancing Image, Erik Jair Moyao Ponce