Spotlight: Shura Baryshnikov

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On Facebook and here on the SITI Company blog, SITI has been spotlighting alumni of our many training programs. Today, we have the great pleasure of spotlighting Shura Baryshnikov. Shura is an interdisciplinary performer, movement designer, and choreographer working in both dance and theatre. She has performed with Lostwax Multimedia Dance, Festival Ballet Providence, Bridge Rep of Boston, and Elemental Theatre Collective, among others, and her work has been presented by the RISD Museum, the Providence Fringe Festival, the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, and Earthdance’s Moving Arts Lab. Shura instructs in the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA Programs and co-directs Rhode Island-based Doppelgänger Dance Collective. She is performing in Trinity Rep’s Oklahoma! until Sunday – tickets can be purchased here.

Shura recently answered some questions for us and we are delighted to share her answers with you.

1. When did you first train with SITI?  

I first trained with SITI in 2009 at the Columbia University Summer Intensive. If memory serves, the whole company was in residence, and they were performing Radio Macbeth.

2. What are you most excited that you’re doing or working on right now?

I’m performing in my first musical ever right now — Oklahoma! directed by Richard and Sharon Jenkins at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, RI. It has been incredibly rewarding to be in this production and to work with Sharon and Richard, and we have a wonderful cast. I am also traveling with my company, Doppelgänger Dance Collective, to the Seattle International Dance Festival as soon as Oklahoma! closes in June. My creative partner, Danielle Davidson, and I will be headlining in the first weekend of the festival. We’ll present two duets from this season’s repertory, new works by choreographers Paul Singh and B.J. Sullivan, which premiered at Brown University in March of this year.    

3. What is the most important thing you learned from SITI?

I learned how to be in a room. The attention and respect that SITI members carry with them when they enter a training/creative space is profound, and I am constantly trying to emulate that environment in my own classroom. There is a rigorous standard and clear code of conduct that I deeply appreciate.    

4. What in your creative life are you proudest of?

I am proud of being an active generalist versus a specialist. I dance, act, choreograph, design for ensemble, coach actors, produce performance projects, instruct in multiple disciplines. I believe there is a cycle of renewal in the diversity which feeds my work. I want to create in a non-binary, interdisciplinary space.      

5. Tell us about a piece of art that has recently inspired you.

The second-year students in the Brown/Trinity MFA Programs where I instruct recently mounted a production of Russell and Krieger’s Side Show. I was inspired to see the physical work that they tackled and the Contact Improvisation, contemporary dance technique, and the Viewpoints Technique surfacing in the material. It is always inspiring to see the fruits of one’s labors!  

Read more about Shura at http://www.shurabaryshnikov.com/. Keep up with our blog to read and learn about more SITI Alumni and what they’re up to by following SITI’s blogs at siti.org/blog. If there’s an alum you want an update on, email us at alumniupdates@siti.org!

 Photo by Geneviève Du Paul