with certain agencies has been unsatisfactory so far. Not being paid by due dates, not being offered enough work, disorganisation within the agencies have all come to play. So, I decided to take my modeling career into my own hands." - said Chad Allen Ortiz, dancer and model from Philadelphia whom we recently introduce inside our pages. Now, we present him in duo role - as model in our new editorial and as dancer and teacher through interview.
and lensed by an upcoming professional photographer, Ashlyn Kudranski, located in Los Angeles, California. Ashlyn had the wonderful idea of shooting location which was on top of a high apartment complex building in Downtown Los Angeles.
The day happened to be exceptionally beautiful with clear blue skies which really popped all of the photography’s background. Most of Chad's movement in the photography was improved. Sometimes posed positions can look stiff, so movement brings life to an image.
What was it that first drew you to dance?
What first drew me to dance was my brother, George Ortiz, who was a professional commercial dancer. He worked on many films, commercials, music videos, touring artists such as Jennifer Lopez, P!NK, and Ricky Martin nationally and internationally. George moved to my hometown in Temecula, California, and began teaching classes in local dance studios. His connections to the studios created opportunities for me to train and perform with scholarships. If it was not for my brother I would not be dancing in the first place.
Are there ideas or concepts that you return to a lot in your work?
The concepts that are presented in my work often expose moments in my personal life or the people around me. If I am going through a hard time, my work will more likely reflect that in some way and vice versa. When I hear an inspiring story my mind often translated those thoughts into a dance.
What makes your work distinctive?
My work is incredibly inspired by the company I work with, Nickerson-Rossi Dance, and the Artistic Director of the company, Michael Nickerson-Rossi. Nickerson-Rossi Dance is a contemporary modern dance company who also instills many balletic principles. I have been with the company for over threes years now. Many of the choreographic tools I use today I have learned through the company. Before my professional career, I trained with my brother who had more commercial jazz training to offer. What makes my work distinctive is the blend of these two worlds meeting. My work is technical and applies classical foundations, but at the same time is presented with new age, cutting edge contemporary and jazz movements. I have taken all that I learned and have formed my own interpretation of what that is and mean. You either learn to develop with what you know or rebel from it. I have chosen to develop.
What has been your favourite choreographic credit and why?
My favorite choreographic credit would go to my Artistic Director’s, Michael Nickerson-Rossi, work titled "Deeply Rooted". This work jump started my professional career as a dancer. "Deeply Rooted" premiered at the Cape Cod Dance Festival in Cape Cod, Massachusetts alongside companies Martha Graham Dance Company, American Ballet Theater, Boston Ballet, and Doug Varone and Dancers. The work has been quoted to be "incredibly moving", "organic and passionate" and "edgy and sexy". This work is a joy to perform and leaves audiences awe struck each time is it presented.
You must create your own path. I often feel blind on my journey through life. I cannot see anything ahead of me, but I continue to shift my feet towards my goals. Sometimes I fall into a hole and other times I find gold. It’s a mysterious journey that does not have answers jumping out at you. Sometimes you walk alone and then there are times you find your path crosses with others. It may be for a moment, a year, or even the rest of your lifetime. And along that path, you will discover what is wrong or what is right for you. If you keep focused, keep shifting your feet towards your goals, you will eventually find what you are looking for. It requires determination, it requires failure, it requires learning, and it require sacrifices. Many people give up and walk a common, beaten path because it is a safe choice that they see many other people doing. It is a hard life, but it is a beautiful life, to discover something new by creating your own path. These thoughts are from my own personal experiences and a collection of people that have crossed my path.
What do you enjoy most about teaching?
We are all different people, with different goals, and dance has so many layers. Each layer you remove reveals something new. That is what I enjoy most about teaching. It is an environment where you are always learning something new and useful by being provided tools to achieve greatness. I find that much of what I learn from dance can be applied to day to day life, such as: discipline, focus, expression, and connection. There is so much that fires off inside your brain when you are dancing, it’s quite dynamic. So, to be able to share these experiences with students is such a reward because the feeling of excitement they get is so relatable.
Outside of dance, what are your current inspirations and motivations?
Outside of dance, I am a model. I love the world of modeling because it offers a platform for creativity and business marketing to collide. To be able to capture a complete moment in one image that then provokes the way a person thinks is fascinating to me. We are all seduced by something and visual arts knows that. It is a lot like dance. Whether an image is meant to be artistic and complex or simply beautiful and elegant, we create a story through our experience when stimulated by an image we see; whether that image is still in a photo or moving on a dancer.
What is your next move related to new projects?
My next move in dance is performing in a show titled "Blueprints" with Nickerson-Rossi Dance at the Knauer Performing Arts Center (Uptown! Entertainment Alliance) in West Chester, Pennsylvania June 2, 3, and 4th 2017. I am the male Principal Dancer and Educational Director of the company. I do all the graphic design work, social media, and rehearse and perform in much of the company’s repertoire. In addition, I work with the company’s outreach program titled "uNdeRstanD", where we create opportunities for pre-professional dancers, underprivileged children, special needs people, and retired senior citizens. We are active within our communities to show the ties that dance creates between each other. Nickerson-Rossi Dance is an immersive company that cross pollenates through many platforms of art and human connection.
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