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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Ida Saki of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

Ida Saki arrives at BAM next Wednesday, June 3 for Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet's final farewell performances. We caught up with the dancer in the busy days leading up to opening night to learn more about her craft, career, and time spent with Cedar Lake.

How long have you been dancing with Cedar Lake? Who have been your favorite choreographers to work with? Do you have a favorite piece? 

I've been in Cedar Lake for three years. I've truly enjoyed every piece that I've been a part of, but probably learned the most from the work of Andonis Foniadakis. His movement opposes a lot of my natural tendencies, so I had to find ways to move that quickly while still being released and free, rather than tight.

My favorite piece, although difficult to say, would probably be Violet Kid by Hofesh Shechter. That piece is a constant challenge no matter where you're at, in terms of emotional and physical stamina. Not leaving the stage for 35 minutes and [being in] constant movement takes you through a journey that's different everyday. The most interesting part is seeing how we all respond to that challenge.

Of all the places you’ve traveled to with Cedar Lake, which is your favorite?

I loved our most recent trip to Australia and New Zealand. I had never been to that part of the world, and the audiences were very responsive to the work. I also have a soft spot for performing in my hometown, Dallas, TX. It was such a beautiful theater and such a heartwarming audience full of friends and family.

What ritual or superstition do you have on performance days? 

I have to have a moment to myself before every show. A little meditation helps me calm my nerves and gets me focused for the work ahead.

What's the biggest risk you've taken?

Deciding to leave school for Cedar Lake was a very difficult decision for me. School was always an important aspect in my life as well as my family's, and it was a risk to leave and lose all of my credits, scholarships, etc, before I completed my degree. Although I was nearly done, I felt ready to kickstart my professional career. Ultimately, I was happy and fulfilled with my decision.

With Cedar Lake in its final season, what’s next on your horizon?

Although it's such a sad moment for the company and the dance world, it opens a lot of new opportunities for me and the other dancers. Cedar Lake was always a dream company for me, so I need time to discover what my next big step is.

As of now, I'm actually going back to school! I left NYU three years ago with one year left when I joined Cedar Lake. Because I don't have many credits left, I'll be getting my degree by the end of the fall semester. In the meantime, I'll be auditioning on the side for various things. I was trained in a variety of styles, and I would love to dabble a little bit in everything.

Ida Saki dances with Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at BAM June 3–6, and tickets are still available. Follow her takeover of the @BAM_Brooklyn Instagram account all day Wednesday, May 27, for exclusive behind-the-scenes access while the acclaimed company prepares for its final performances.

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