by Eliza Ingle
Julie Clark has just been named Associate Artistic Director of Annex Dance, the company she joined in 2011. I was able to talk to Julie by phone to ask about her growing responsibilities with one of Charleston’s only professional dance companies.
How did you come to live in Charleston?
I’m originally from North Carolina and I came to Charleston in 2006 to study at the College of Charleston. A big draw was dancing with Robert Ivey who directed the program. My secondary interests were in education and history. I was able to pursue my interest in dance and teaching dance with Annex after graduation.
Aside from working with Annex as a performer, what else do you do?
I’m the Director for a local studio called Dance Moves where I teach all levels of dance as well as work in the administrative side. Working with the students and some of the added ensembles, Ive been able to explore my voice as a choreographer and grow artistically. I also work as a freelance teacher and offer master classes and residencies in schools and studios around the state. This is a great way to share my work in a condensed setting and really articulate what is most important to me as a mover, teacher and artist.
How do you think the pandemic has changed dance?
One issue that we face as dancers is creating work we can share with a wide audience, and that can’t happen right now. So we are finding creative ways to make dance accessible. We’ve been forced to share smaller formats like live video and social media. Annex has produced two fantastic digital projects
I really miss partner work and in person collaborations, but that will come back. I’ve just been thankful to be pushed in new directions.
How will things change for you as the Associate Artistic Director of Annex?
Kristin always has had a clear vision for Annex, and having danced with the company for 10 years I understand how Kristin works and how and when I can add something. I’m excited to have a larger role in passing on repertoire to new company members. I’ve always felt that my work with Annex allows me to grow as a teacher for my own students, especially those that are considering a career in dance. I probably won’t always be onstage performing, and I’m honored that my new role provides a path for my artistic growth behind the scenes.
Is there anything else you want to add?
I’m grateful and lucky that Annex came around when it did in my life. Being with the Company has provided the challenges and experiences I’m looking for as a dancer, performer, educator, and choreographer. The past ten years with Annex have been amazing, and I’m so excited to see what the next decade brings!