“If dance only does what we assume it can do, it will expire”.
Even after graduating with a degree in dance and leaving 4 years of life in New York City behind, I still ask myself exactly why dance has become my life’s work. It is a question with a million answers, one that I am dissecting every day.
Just like William Forsythe says, dance can never be assumed to do anything. In all my years of training and studying, I have found that it’s very nature, like the human body, depends entirely on our ability to see past the barriers that define it.
Dance has taken me to a ballet folkórico workshop in Oaxaca, Mexico, where I engaged with students who were so passionate about sharing their culture. It has taken me to a flamenco class in New York City where I learned that maybe my body is actually stronger than I thought. Today, it has brought me to a group of kids in the outer edges of downtown Los Angeles who are helping me discover the power of the body in relationship to its chaotic surroundings.
Through my work with JUNTOS, dance has led me to believe that we hold so much more power in our bodies than we realize. Through my experiences performing in outside community centers, I have witnessed how dance can literally change the flow of a city and affect someone in the most spontaneous way. I have witnessed just how immensely grateful we can be towards people we don’t know, simply because we shared a moment of movement. JUNTOS has inspired me throughout my college education to keep rediscovering the power of human connection. After 4 abroad trips with JUNTOS and several outreach workshops at New York’s Hearthstone Alzheimer Center, I can say without a doubt that my journey is about continually discovering those connections.
Four years after living the serendipitous life of New York, I find myself back in Los Angeles constantly piecing together the meaning of dance for myself. As I encounter the people and places of home that have changed, I find myself in the center of a growing circle of dance, constantly transforming my movement so that it never ceases to surpass expectations.
For me, dance will forever be a vessel into the unknown possibilities of human connection. It is an impermanent, shifting ability to see what lies in every human, with or without extensive training. As a JUNTOS Ambassador of 2016, I feel that it is my responsibility to erase those barriers that wish to define who or what can be presented on the stage of dance.
Together with my team member, Ariane Michaud, we hope that this blog serves as an outlet to further guide us into a new realm of discovery for us dancers, creators, educators and business leaders.
About the blogger:
Julianna Bulgarelli is a dancer, choreographer, teacher and arts advocate based in Los Angeles, California. She graduated magna cum laude with a BFA in Dance and Spanish Studies from Fordham University/The Ailey School in May of 2015.
Julianna is currently a member of an innovative physical theater dance company, Theater Jazzo and is choreographing her own work as part of a 6-week residency program with Rosanna Gamson. Her passion for teaching has led her to Angelica Center for Arts and Music, where she is the ballet and modern dance instructor for kids ages 4-17. Her travels and performance experience with JUNTOS Collective have been a major influence in her life and she is proud to be an Ambassador, bringing dance programs to Los Angeles. As a facilitator of the Ambassador Blog, she hopes that the voice of JUNTOS can continue to reach different communities; reminding us of the infinite possibilities we can bring to the world as dancers.