To celebrate The Place’s 50s anniversary – we caught up with Ruben Brown to showcase a career path in contemporary dance, through his experience and what he has learnt about being a dance artist.
When did you study at LCDS? Why did you decide to study contemporary dance?
I started at LCDS in September 2014. Funnily enough it wasn’t my first choice. During my recall audition interview I remember being asked ‘why do you want to study here?’ Quite simply I replied with ‘I don’t really.’ I did however feel like LCDS was where I should be during my recall audition. David Steele went on to tell me why I should choose LCDS. At the end of the interview he said ‘Have I convinced you?’ My reply was yes and David said ‘Great, I’ll see you in September.’ The rest is history.
Tells us a little bit about what happened since! What are the key moments in your career?
I kickstarted my career with Requardt & Rosenberg’s ’Dead Club’ straight after graduation. I then quickly became a dancer for Thierry Smits’ Compagnie Thor in Brussels. In the last year, I’ve performed in South Korea for MODAFE dance festival with Unplugged Bodies. I also had the immense pleasure to work with Daniel Hay-Gordon choreographing for Blind Summit Theatre. Dancing the role of ‘the Wolf’ alongside a great cast, in a production of Peter & The Wolf, accompanied by The Philharmonic Orchestra of Los Angeles and performed at The Hollywood Bowl.
What did you take away from your creative education? What lessons did you carry with you through your career?
I think if I’ve learned anything from my time at LCDS it’s just to be open to new experiences. The limitations we put onto ourselves as artists and people can be stretched and overcome, if you are just willing to accept the possibility of difference. I think I will always hold onto the feeling that my potential is limitless: it will be whatever I want it to be.
How has dance shaped your life? What were the challenges you had to overcome to keep dancing or to remain in the dance industry?
Very honestly I’ve had a much easier ride of it than most. It feels like I’ve always just fell into things or things have found me. I do believe however that this is because of the amazing community and friends I’ve made. That is how dance has really shaped my life. It’s surrounded me with incredibly talented people who continue to enrich my life.
What are your hopes for the dance community? What will it look like to be a dance artist in the future?
I hope, and I’m sure, that the dance community will continue to push the boundaries of culture in our society. To keep asking the difficult questions and create spaces for every spectrum of humanity to be expressed and celebrated. I can’t think what it will be like to be a dance artist in the future, at least I hope, it will still mean questioning and experimenting with the possibilities of our art form.