British born choreographer Yolande Snaith has been creating her own work, performing, choreographing and teaching throughout the United Kingdom and beyond since 1984. Throughout her career, Snaith’s choreography has been commissioned by dance, theatre, opera, film and television companies, including the English National Opera, BBC and Channel 4 TV. In 1997, Snaith created the choreography for Stanley Kubrick’s film “Eyes Wide Shut.” Snaith joined the faculty at UCSD’s Department of Theatre & Dance in July 2002. IMAGOmoves, Yolande’s new dance theater company, was formed in 2006.
What is your favorite thing about teaching dance at UCSD?I love the artistic and academic dialogue, stimulation and exchange that being a member of a diverse faculty of dance and theater artists and practitioners provides. I also love working with both undergraduate and graduate students, and being part of their development as emerging artists and scholars. I find the work of both faculty and students inspiring, thought provoking, moving and progressive, which feeds back into my own work and life experience.
What styles of dance do you teach?I teach contemporary dance technique, choreography and improvisation.
What is the single most difficult dance move to learn?This is an impossible question to answer, as students vary enormously in what they find easy or difficult, depending upon their physical build, strength, flexibility and body proportions. In my teaching of technique, I encourage students to work with and build upon their natural physical abilities and characteristics to find the most efficient way of achieving skills.
Who or what inspires you?Visual art, photography, film, literature, architecture, music, dance, theater, nature, people, animals, everyday life, history, philosophy, psychology, dreams, different cultures and traveling.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?Queen Elizabeth I, Sor Juana de la Cruz, Frida Carlo, Joan of Arc, Henri Matisse, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Stanley Kubrick and Leonardo da Vinci.
What are you currently reading?
“Love in the Time of Cholera” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and “Sor Juana’s Dream” by Luis Harss.
What is your most prized possession?Life.
What do you do for fun?Be at home with my family and pets, play with my son, watch movies, swim, dance, walk, and go to the theater, art galleries and dance performances.
Describe your greatest accomplishment.I haven’t done it yet - I’m still evolving.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?To be “in the here and now.” To learn from the past and value the gift of life. To focus on all things positive and not dwell on the negative. To respect, value, love and treat others as I would want to be treated. To try not to hold grudges. To strive not to allow envy or greed or prejudice to lead me to act unethically or unwisely. To love and cherish life and all things good.