Meet NYC Mover and Shaker Kimberly Giannelli: Producer and Dancer for Some Dance Company's Upcoming Show

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Officially, I met Kimberly at a New York dance audition, but, before that, this jack-of-all-trades was a LOLA-liasion and I remember editing photos of her in Candice’s asymmetrical sass leo. Once we were acquainted beyond the virtual world, I learned quickly that Kim was capable of great things. Not only is she one of New York’s wonderful freelance artists, but she also works in the marketing departments at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and New York City Ballet and, now, is producing and dancing in Some Dance Company’s upcoming benefit. Is there anything Kim can’t do?

I’m impressed by how she juggles her full plate, managing to still give 150% to everything. How the heck does she do it? Well, I decided to get the 411 from the source herself. Kim graciously gave some of her spare time to tell Dd readers how she gets it done.

Photo by Jason Berger

SW: Tell me a little bit about your dance background? Where did you train? What is your professional experience?

KM: My dance background is a bit unconventional compared to the way most stories go. I began training in ballet at a relatively late age– nearing 17, with Christian Claessens and Diana White at the Scarsdale Ballet Studio in Scarsdale New York. My mom put me in tap dance when i was 3 and I kept at it until one negative experience alongside Bebe Neuworth my sophmore year of high school. I decided i wanted to do ballet instead and that tap dancing didnt make me happy anymore. Christian (dancer with Dutch National Ballet and guest artist with NYCB) really took me under his wing…He pushed me very hard, but was also so warm and caring…If it weren’t for him I think I might still be the girl in the back of the class too scared to try anything.

I work today as a freelance performer. Not only do I dance with Some Dance Company, but have danced for  Marilyn Klaus’s Tribeca based ballet company Ballets With A Twist, for three seasons now. Other companies include Ballet Deviare, Brice Mousset Dance, Eidolon Ballet, Classics Dance Theater, and Exit 12 Dance.

SW: Can you tell me more about your experience in arts management?

KG: To be honest, my experience in Arts Managements begins here! I have worked in Arts Administration for both Lincoln Center and the New York City Ballet for many years in ticketing and marketing which has proven so helpful in this venture…I have been so fortunate to have had so many resources and supporters at my fingertips. With a pretty clear institutional understanding of how things work and need to work to make a production happen, I have called upon some of my colleagues for brainstorming and guidance. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without them and all of the things I have observed there over the years.

SW: How did you meet David Fernandez?

KM: I met David just over 10 years ago in a partnering class in Greenwich Connecticut, taught by National Ballet of Canada’s Marilyn Miles. It was one of my first partnering classes and I was very timid. We were paired up together in the class, and…David, much like he does to everyone, made me feel so at ease… I felt so grateful for his warmth and encouragement. Continuing our conversation after class, i offered to take him to the train station on my way back home to Westchester. He gave me his business card as he got out and told me to keep in touch. Im so glad i did!
SW: How long have you been working with him?

KG: My working relationship with David has taken on so many different phases! I ran into David a few years after that first partnering class at a performance that I was guesting for in Westchester. David was teaching at the school for which i was dancing, and was appearing in one of his pieces that was being performed along side his students. Our eyes met when i walked into the green room and we both said out loud to each other; “Hey! I remember you!”  We caught each other up on life- I told him where I had been dancing and what I was up to…He gave me his updated business card before he left and this time I didn’t let any time pass at all!
I called him and told him about the school i teach at- The Scarsdale Ballet Studio, and what a wonderful school it would be for him to be at. He sent me his resume and I happily passed it along to Diana White, the school’s director and former soloist with New York City Ballet. He was hired that summer! I snuck into his more advanced classes once in a while and he choreographed a solo for me in the Spring of 2011 for a Cancer Benefit produced by DanceWorks. Since then, i have performed with Some Dance Company in various festivals and showcases in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Now we are partners working very closely on this production. We speak several times a day and have many meetings each week to drive the production forward.

SW: When was Some Dance Company launched?

KG: David’s collective family of dancers has been named “Some Dance Company” for quite a while now. I think the title really resonates actually because the people, who are all freelance dancers, might change from project to project but the energy stays the same. We are just some dancers, dancing to some music, doing some steps! It is just a name to describe what we are– I think it might become an official company after this show ends though– who knows! David has already purchased a domain and people might just know who we are by the time this show finishes….(I think they will!)

SW: What is your role with the company?

KG: Wow, i have so many different roles that it is slightly overwhelming at times. I am producing this event, which alone is a huge responsibility that requires so much of my time and focus. I also oversaw the fund-raising and budgeting of the performance, as well as all marketing, ticketing, scheduling, and design aspects. And I’m dancing [in it]!

SW: Have you ever produced a show before?

KG: No, this is my first time! What a way to debut huh?

SW: What has been your favorite part? What were some of the challenges?

KG: Honestly, I have been so overwhelmed by the generosity of my friends and family during this time. So many people have donated to the project as well as volunteered their services…The dancers are donating their time and talents and have been so gracious about it. I feel so lucky to have so many angels watching over me. I thought the biggest challenge was going to be to raise enough money to fund this larger and ever growing evening. While that proved to be daunting,…[it] did not turn out to be my biggest hurdle.  I think the biggest challenge [was] not to get ahead of myself. I am a perfectionist and [a workaholic]. I have failed to maintain a sense of normalcy in my life through all of this madness!…I am not good at delegating to those who have offered to help and then get overwhelmed when I am left to do everything on my own. I have to remind myself that I am one person, and at the end of the day it will all come together…

SW: The performance raises funds for Career Transition for Dancers. What led you and David to choose this organization versus other dance related organizations? Did you approach them or did they approach you?

KG: David actually approached Career Transition for Dancers and offered to donate all of the evenings proceeds to their mission. This is Davids way of thanking all of the dancers who are coming together to make this happen– by supporting an organization that will have the capacity to support them…down the line. I am proud of this decision, as it is a wonderful organization which makes such a difference in the life of a dancer who is trying to expand themselves and their knowledge past being a performer. Something that we all will need to do one day…(as many of us Dd-ers know all too well)

SW: What can audiences expect from the February 27th performance?

KG: The cast of the show is absolutely star studded! An impressive collection of the finest dancers from the New York City Ballet, American Ballet Theater, Dance Theater of Harlem, the New Jersey Ballet and the freelance community…I want the audience to walk away having seen a performance that made them feel entertained and happy, and to have introduced them to a collection of incredible dancers and a kind and talented creator. I want those who do not know David to meet him for the first time and embrace how creative and quirky he is and how simply contagious his love of dance is.

SW: Do you think you’ll produce more in the future?

KG: Maybe! Ive already been asked to produce a Spring dance festival and a Fall opera! Who knows…maybe you will be seeing more of me in the future…

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  • candice

    Thanks for sharing this with us–I hope to see the show! Congrats on putting it all together–but then again, it just sounds like an ordinary day for you;-)

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