Andrea Miller, choreographer and artistic director of Gallim Dance, was featured on the cover of a 2011 edition of Dance Magazine and described as a “wild child” of movement invention. It is true—Miller has a clear and strong choreographic voice, which pulls from diverse influences and her ambitious training and experiences.
Salt Lake City native Andrea Miller grew up training in the Humphrey-Weidman technique under the direction of Ernestine Stodelle and Gail Corbin. In 2004, Miller received her BFA in Dance after tenaciously training as a student and performer at the Julliard School in New York.
Upon graduation, Miller relocated to Israel where she performed as a member of Ohad Naharin’s Batsheva Ensemble. Ohad Naharin is known as the inventor of the new, fresh, and innovative movement language, Gaga. Gaga is a new technique for dancers, as well as non-dancers, which provides a creative framework for reconnecting the body and imagination, allowing for discovery and self-awareness. It is a unique form of dance that is highly experiential and encourages authenticity and finding pleasure in the movement. Emphasis is placed on sensations rather than positions to allow for a more experiential practice.
The Batsheva Ensemble fully integrated this new technique, and specifically, revolutionized Miller’s movement. Miller says, “I think what most impacted me while I was there was Gaga—the way of accessing movement and physicality, of using your intelligence to access sensations and different textures. Gaga demands/invites people to teach themselves how to investigate their imaginations. It has the end appearance of looking like you’re moving from your instincts, but truthfully it’s becoming like a sophisticated animal—who knows where your bones are, what’s around them and behind them—and looking completely aware and focused.”
Blush, Miller’s work to be presented this weekend at The O’Shaughnessy, exhibits ferocious intensity met with sudden stops. Her choreography and movement vocabulary in Gallim’s work demonstrates a full-body experience that is gaining much attention in today’s dance world, much like the Gaga technique.
Minnesota is fortunate to have certified Gaga instructor, Berit Ahlgren, as a part of our diverse dance community. Ahlgren was first introduced to Gaga after seeing Batsheva perform in Minneapolis in 2008, and was attracted to the dancers’ suppleness and strength. In 2011, Ahlgren enrolled in the Gaga Intensive in Tel Aviv and shortly after joined the pilot Gaga Teacher Training Program. Ahlgren has returned as a TU Dance company member and frequently teaches Gaga classes at TU Dance.
-Written by Northrop Marketing Interns Nicole Stumpf and Alex Pham