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Monday, June 1, 2015

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Ebony Williams of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet

This June 3—6, Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet performs their final farewell performances at BAM. We caught up with dancer Ebony Williams (who you may recognize from Beyoncé's "Single Ladies" video) 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 ten years. My favorite choreographers to work with have been Crystal Pite, Jacopo Godani, Ohad Naharin, Richard Siegal, and my favorite pieces are [Pite's] Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue and Hofesh Shechter's Violet Kid.

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

New Zealand, which was our last tour out of the country. London, Israel, and of course Paris!

What ritual or superstition do you have on performance days?

On performance days I have to be well-rested and I cannot get ready too early before a show because I have the potential to over-think things! I do hair and makeup and only give myself 1ten minutes maximum before places to reflect or go through things.

Ebony Williams in Rain Dogs. Photo: Jim Stott.
What's the biggest risk you've taken?

Every day is a risk! Being with Cedar Lake was a risk... When I joined the company it was a small company that no one knew about, and now we are known all over the world! Going into auditions for commercial jobs were a risk especially because I could have automatically been categorized by them as only a concert dancer.

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

After Cedar Lake I see endless possibilities for myself! As of now I am taking my time, but I see myself maybe on a tour with an artist, Broadway, and maybe some acting. I will also teach and choreograph quite a bit. I am teaching at the Boston Conservatory and Park Cities Dance for the summer, along with a few other programs and possibly [going to] Barbados. I am also working on my own intensive program that will travel to at least four cities a year enriching the youth on their creative discoveries. I'm also collaborating with other well-known dancers such as Jamal Stories and Desmond Richardson. But to know where I really end up planting my feet, I can be followed on Facebook as Ebony Williams, Instagram as @enwilliams1, or Twitter as @EwNeyo09! My website is currently under construction, so look out for that as well!

Ebony Williams 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 Monday, June 1, for exclusive behind-the-scenes access while the acclaimed company prepares for its final performances.

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