Getting Over the Hump: Choreographer Monica Bill Barnes Schedules in Happy Hour (the show)

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Monica Bill Barnes has been on roll for the last year and seems intent on keeping the momentum going. As she continues to tour her incredibly poignant show with This American Life‘s Ira Glass, Three Acts Two Dancers One Radio Host, Barnes is also adding in a weekly Wednesday gig in NYC, Happy Hour, as part of her Season of Unlikely Combinations. Plus if you happen to be in the New Jersey area on Sundays 10/4 or 10/15, you can catch MBB’s The Museum Workout, which will be a guided exercise tour of the collections at the Princeton University Art in collaboration with artist and author Maira Kalman. With a schedule as frenetic and varied as hers, Dd just had to check in about how she keeps up the positive energy mid-week.


{ Dd }: What gets you over the hump?


Monica Bill Barnes: We tend to be on tour over the weekends and we try to take Monday off, but that does not happen too often. So Wednesdays can feel like the ninth day in a really long week. A few months ago, we were trying to figure how to bring our new show, Happy Hour, to NYC. With all the touring we had booked, it was hard to find a full week to be in New York. I have always wanted to do a weekly gig (like Saturday Night Live, for example, would be a perfect regular gig) and given our schedule, this seemed like the right moment to make that dream a reality. So we decided to do a weekly Wednesday show starting October 7th (at Gibney Dance Center, Studio G) and just keep doing it until someone makes us stop, which may be January 2016.


Photo by Mallory Lynn.

Photo by Mallory Lynn.


Hands down my favorite part of the job is performing. On a show day, I feel like I get a pass from all the other things that I should be doing–such as answering email, answering my phone, just answering anything–and I can just focus on one thing. It is such a pure and simple pleasure. I have some of the best conversations in my life in a dressing room with my dancing partner, Anna, and during strike with my producing partner, Robbie. So, putting on a show every Wednesday is going to make my week amazing. I will probably get so much less done and my inbox will probably explode, but I will be happier and at the end of the day, that’s sort of the point, I think.


Tickets for Happy Hour start at $20, though every show will offer five tickets for $5!


What gets you over the hump? Tell us in an email to or tweet us @diydancer #getoverthehump


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