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Saturday, June 7, 2014

BAM Blog Questionnaire: Nickemil Concepcion of Cedar Lake

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet celebrates its tenth anniversary next week with a BAM debut. We caught up with Nick Concepcion, who's been with the company since the beginning, to talk travel tips, risk, and ritual.


1. You’ve been in Cedar Lake from the beginning. Who have been your favorite choreographers to work with? Do you have a favorite piece?

Yes, I've been with the company since the beginning (2003) and have had the privilege to work with so many talented choreographers. It's difficult to just pick one, as they all challenge me in different ways and have molded me into the dancer I've become today mentally, physically, and historically. One of my favorites is Ten Duets on a Theme of Rescue by Crystal Pite*, who is now the company's associate choreographer. I am really looking forward to working with her again.

*Pite’s Grace Engine will be performed in Program C on June 14

2. Cedar Lake tours a lot. How do you stay healthy while traveling? Do you have tips for other dancers who tour?  


A little over a year ago I quit drinking alcohol which has made quite a difference in my overall energy and versatility. Hydrating is key to staying fit on these tours which can be very demanding on the body. 

3. Of all the places you’ve traveled to with Cedar Lake, which is your favorite?

By far it would be Israel! However, I'm really looking forward to going to Australia next season.

4. What ritual or superstition do you have on performance days?

Right before we are called for places, all the dancers round up in a circle and put our hands together in the center of that circle and to me it means giving each other strength and encouragement. Regardless of what is going on, we come together as a family. It's a very special time for us.

5. What's the biggest risk you've taken?

The biggest risk is actually having a family. I have a wife and four kids ranging from 5—17. Traveling and touring can be hard on them. I am so blessed to have such an understanding and supportive family. They support me in being a professional dancer, and I wouldn't be able to do this without their encouragement. It has definitely been worth the risk.

6. You are from New York. What is it like to perform here as opposed to other cities around the world?

When performing in foreign countries it always baffles me how welcoming and responsive the audience is. Perhaps it's the simple fact that we are from New York City. For me, New York is the best city in the world, and there is just so much talent that comes in and out of this city. So when you perform in New York you have to be ready for the hard criticism, but to me it's home and always an honor. When I am performing here, I feel like I've made it!

Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet will perform three different programs at BAM June 11—14. Learn more about the choreographers here.

1 comment:

  1. Nice to hear that Nickemil Concepcion's decision to quit alcohol took him places. The way I see it, fighing addiction isn't just a health thing, its also a social thing. A sea change that starts when you cut into a droning routine, and not let it dictate the course of your life. Soon as one steps back, it opens up a horizon full of possibilities.

    Scott McKinney @ Midwest Institute For Addiction

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