Gina Lee and her newish outfit of dancers, the Gaudium Dance Company, are set to premiere their first full-length evening of work, “The Problem of Pain,” which is inspired by the writing of C.S. Lewis under the same title, at Plano’s Courtyard Theater this October.
Collaborating with other professional artists, speakers, and published writers, Gaudium’s show sets out to illuminate the issue of pain in our world while bringing a promise of hope and purpose. That is an idea close to Lee’s heart.
A+C writer Danielle M. Georgiou spoke with Lee about the development of Gaudium and their upcoming show.
A+C: How did Gaudium come about?
Gina Lee: I had been directing for about two years before Gaudium was formed, and I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to do next. I was feeling discouraged and defeated, and then one day, I realized that I needed to start my own company, do things my way. Gaudium means joy in Latin, and that’s what I felt, joy, thinking of starting my own company.
A+C: So what was you motivation?
GL: I was coming from a place of hope and renewed joy when the idea of Gaudium came about. I wanted to begin a dance company that exemplified that feeling. I wanted to begin a company under the foundation of Christian principles. Not that everything produced is religious; but a place where I could utilize my passion for literature, music, dance, and film in a way that would highlight those principles in the world we live in today. I wanted to impact the artists within Gaudium, as well as the artists and non-artists outside of Gaudium.
A+C: There are many pressures facing young dance companies, the main one being the financial obstacle of starting up a new business. How are you confronting that issue?
GL: I have been saving up and working with what I have. I knew that with any startup business, I would have to put money into it to produce something that will last. I work with what I’ve got.
A+C: What are you looking for in a dancer?
GL: A dancer with a passion for dance, an open heart to the principles in Christianity, a willingness to uphold the mission, and a dedication to make Gaudium into something that will impact the arts; going beyond the norm.
A+C: As a dancer and choreographer myself, I’m always interested in other people’s process and their ideas on creating performances. What is your take on the performance experience?
GL: Well, I truly believe that a choreographer must consider several things. One, to know your audience, something too abstract may not be fitting at that time or place. Two, is the choreography for your or to impact your audience? You have to know ho to balance that. And three, know what inspires you. For me, that is music and literature.
A+C: What can we expect from the show?
GL: Variety, great dancers, and something moving. A topic that every human can identify with.
A+C: What are you hopes and goals for the future?
GL: To impact the dancers that I work with as a role model and for my company to be a beacon of light.
A+C: Is there anything else you would like to add?
GL: Dance is one of the most beautiful pictures of art. It is important that we understand why we do it, and what our goal is in this field since our audience can read motivation behind our art.
Gaudium Dance Company will perform at the Courtyard Theatre on October 6 at 8:00pm.