From the time I was very young, I had this distinct notion that everyone early in life, first learned to crawl, then walk and then of course, dance and choreograph. I see movement, line, texture and gesture in music, art and everyday surroundings. I hear music and sound and see color, movement and gesture.
In the performing arts, especially dance, the medium includes body, sound and space. After the dancer has been trained with technical skills, the choreographer takes the movement vision and develops it. The performer then becomes part of the composition and creative process.
Having been a dance maker most of my life and dance educator for three decades, I have had the opportunity to create and teach in a vast array of settings. Among the many classes I teach, choreography and composition are my favorites. Watching, mentoring, and guiding young choreographers into the world of creating art through movement has been an exceptional experience.
Watching, mentoring, and guiding young choreographers into the world of creating art through movement has been an exceptional experience.
The process of composition has similarities regardless of the medium. This became highly evident to me several years ago when a number of our dancers needed audition photos for college scholarship and summer intensive auditions. After a great deal of frustration in orchestrating and attempting to capture the right moment, I invested in a professional camera. Following the audition season was I discovered something new… choreography for the page. The Sony camera, affectionately named Trixie, became a constant companion and fellow adventurer. She accompanied me as I enticed a dancer to pose before a cloud filled sky, against the backdrop of ornate architecture, or was showered in diffused light from a window. Trixie was named after a class lecture about the muse of dance, Terpsichore. A late-comer waltzed in, not knowing what the lecture topic was about and innocently chimed in “Who is Trixie?!” The name stuck and refers both to my camera and the creative muse. Trixie doesn’t take no for an answer and will bother me until I do something about what she is attempting to show me, be it choreography, writing, or photography.
With the addition of photography to my creative adventures, everything looks new to me, similar to when I hear music and see movement. To add to it, I see diffused light, fog, or shadows and I am drawn to create something. Often times with little warning, the nearest subject is drawn into my vortex of creating new work.
Regardless of the medium, a new piece of choreography, directing a stage production, penning a new piece or capturing a dancer on film, creativity is the basis of all… and I am fortunate to be able to act upon the creative adventures, making a living as an artist. Some things you do and some things you are… this is definitely something that is an innate part of me.
For over four decades, Julian Adair has performed in and choreographed numerous productions in the Omaha metropolitan area. As the successful business owner of Adair Dance Academy, she was one of the first to establish a modern dance venue for area choreographers. These companies, Tanzlust, Inc. and Dance Conspiracy, Inc. provided annual exhibitions for modern choreographers to showcase their work.
A recipient of a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from Creighton University, she has used this experience in creating works for major dance programs and has performed and choreographed professionally for thirty years.
As an award winning choreographer and director, she has been on the creative staff in over 100 theatrical productions and has served on the boards of the Omaha Modern Dance Collective and Theatre Arts Guild. Her latest venture involves her production company, Ever After Productions. Julian is the producer, playwright and director of the annual holiday presentation, “Nutcracker Delights” now in its eighth season.
Her supporting cast includes her husband, Steve and their daughters Camille and Colette, who are budding performers themselves. All three share her enthusiasm for the performing arts and her art photography.
To read more about Julian’s work: