Meagan Stukel (better known to her BTM Family as Meagan Helman), former Ballet Mistress and Principal Dancer, danced with Ballet Theatre of Maryland for 11 years. It would be impossible to overstate the contribution to she brought to the company during her tenure. As a dancer she brought richness and artistry to so many memorable performances and as Ballet Mistress she served whole-heartedly, pouring so much of herself into the company. She retired from the stage in 2014 and in the Spring of 2015 she married her husband Mike. The two of them now live in Flordia, where Meagan has been pursuing her Masters Degree as well as working on Faculty at the Tallahassee Ballet. During Meagan's tenure with BTM, in addition to dancing she would also stage her own choreography. This year for our final performance of the Season: "Innovations 2017" she is returning to the company to create a new choreography. In between the rehearsals for setting her piece, she was able to answer some of our questions.
What is the title of the piece?
Triptych (from the art term generally referring to something that is in three parts, the piece is 3 movements which are each about 3 mins in length)
What's the music?
The music is Vivaldi's Concerto for 2 Cellos
What came first, the title/music/choreography? How did one inform the next?
The piece of music is one that I have liked for a long time and have always wanted to choreography to and this seemed like a good opportunity.
What was your inspiration? What story does the piece tell?
The inspiration is really the music. I don't have a particular story in mind, I am thinking more about creating a visual expressional of what I hear musically.
Did you have Ballet Theatre of Maryland dancers specifically in mind for this piece?
I definitely had BTM in mind when I was thinking about this piece. Many of the dancers I performed with for years are still here so I had a pretty clear idea of what would look good on the company and kept that in mind while I was choreographing.
How is the piece of reflection of your time at BTM?
Of your time since you left BTM? I think all of my choreography is some what of a reflection of the way I like to move, which was very strongly influenced by the time I spent at BTM. Dianna's choreography and how she likes her dancers to move had a strong impact on me as a dancer and I think some of that permeates my own work.