Lazaro is a fellow Juilliard graduate. Actually he was probably one of the first Juilliard kids to come to Europe to look for work. That was back in the day when you HAD to learn the language. Now almost everyone speaks English… at least in Switzerland. When I was in my last year of Juilliard, I got to know Lazaro through Larry Rhodes and my European job search. Larry told us that a Juilliard Alum was working in Switzerland and maybe he could give us some insight in to the European dance scene. I think I even wrote him one of those, hello can you recommend some places for me to audition even though you have never seen me dance emails. Once I moved to Europe, I started to follow Lazaro’s work as a choreographer, which always grabbed my attention.
Lazaro Godoy, Pinar del Rio, Cuba 1977. Lazaro trained at The National Arts School in Cuba, graduated New World School of the Arts in 1996, and then from Juilliard School, NYC, in 2000. He received full scholarship to Juilliard after receiving first place for a dance solo he choreographed for (YoungArts) back then NFAA. After graduating Juilliard, he first joined Introdans (Netherlands) then Bern Ballet at Stadttheater, Switzerland, performing works by Hans van Manen, Nils Christie, Jiri Kylian, David Parsons, and Stijn Cellis among many others. He also choreographed original works for the Bern Ballet Company. In 2006, as a freelance dancer and choreographer he presented work at international festivals in Germany, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Israel and Russia. In 2007, Lazaro was rehearsal assistant for Stijin Cellis (Bern Ballet’s director), then later selected for the Swiss International Coaching Project for Choreographers working with Susanne Linke.
From 2008 to 2013, Lazaro created socially aware projects in Israel, including StreetStage with African refugees, as well as performing for the Inbal Pinto and Avshalom Pollac Dance Company. Late 2013, Lazaro Godoy and Carlota Pradera began the foundation of work that has become GodoyPradera Projects & Programs. In 2015, Lazaro directs and creates Harmonicum Accordion | Act l with premiere performances for Here & Now 2015 commission by the Miami Light Project. Recently, Lazaro has been commissioned Medaka’s solo by Tigertail Productions premiering April 2016 and BrookDale’s solo, a SandBox Series award by the Miami Theater Center and The John S. & James L. Knight Foundation premiering June 2016. GodoyPradera Projects has presented work locally at MTC Sandbox, Little Haiti Cultural Center, Inkub8, The Bakehouse, The Bridge, Miami Light Project. As well, they have founded Mi Casa Su Casa events across South Florida.
As Lazaro continues to pursue his career as a choreographer, I continue to be deeply inspired by his journey and his passion.Thank you Lazaro for your inspiration.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a visual artist and I’m still doing it in my free time, just doing it anyway. Painting a lot, even, I have had exhibitions of my art work. You can see it on my Facebook page.
Favorite Things to eat?
Sushi. Love it.
The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran. Brilliant,
Never Ending Story! of course.
Favorite Dance Piece or Show/Musical or both?
Can’t answer that. There is too much good work out there.
I like dancers who…
I like mature dancers, who bring their experience and contribute it to the work. Dancers that take risks and transform on stage.
I am afraid of…
I’m afraid of airports, now. Long story, we’ll have to have a drink on that one.
A dance piece should…
A dance piece should make you feel. Should excite you. It cannot just be visual. There are many layers and elements that it should have. It communicates beyond movement.
Photo: Theater Bern- Rite of Spring by Stijn Celis
What’s the hardest thing about your job?
What job?!? Discipline.
One of the happiest moments in your life?
When my mom told me that I was leaving Cuba.
One of your most unusual or coolest experiences?
Other than my life? let me think on that one……
One of the most embarrassing moments in your professional career?
I’ve never really had an embarrassed moment. I’m a risk taker, and was one on-stage. If something didn’t work, OK. It’s not embarrassing. There is no shame in taking risks, in falling down and getting up again. That’s life.
Who has been the most influential person/people in your life? or Career? and why?
My mom. She has always been there for me, and she has made the most decisions to take me where I am. She always tells me to keep going and to not stop. It’s because of her that I’m dancing and creating. I’m coming from her.
One of the hardest things in your job?
What job?!? discipline.
Do you have any goals you still hope to achieve?
One thing may be important now, and then later, it becomes trivial.
What is something you would change in the DANCE world?
That’s a big one, it really is. There are so many things. First of all, I would get rid of all mirrors. Dancers are too self conscious – all they do is look in the mirror and obsess about how they look. Dancers need to get over looking in the mirrors. The training is another big thing. Sticking to one method of training makes dancers less open, less able to transform into something else. Also, dancers are too much like good soldiers waiting for someone to tell them what to do. They should be masters of their own craft and body.
Something you would change in the REAL world?
Consciousness. More conscious people….More conscious people would create more positive shifts in how we live life on the planet, with each other, and in relation to other species.
A piece of advice for aspiring artists?
Follow your heart, and be honest to yourself. Do not stop what you are doing no matter what others would say.