Backstage at the Egyptian: An Interview with Beth Fowler of Beth Fowler Dance Company

Interview conducted by Brandon Pugh- Egyptian Theatre Intern

The Beth Fowler School of Dance has locations in both Genoa, IL and St. Charles, IL. They are determined in executing the best experience for the dancer. The Beth Fowler School of Dance will host its annual Nutcracker performance on December 4-6, 2015. Don’t miss out!

Beth FowlerBrandon: How long has Beth Fowler Dance Company been established?

Beth: I started the Beth Fowler School of Dance when I was just 15 years old in 1983.  10 years later, in 1993 I decided to start the Beth Fowler Dance Company as the dancers grew to higher advanced and professional levels.  The Dance Company would put on full length dance productions dancing the main parts while the dancers in the school would dance the children’s roles.  Now the school has been going strong for 32 years and the company for 22 years while performing at the Egyptian Theater now for 23 years.

Brandon: How did you begin dancing, meaning did you dance for hobby or competitively?

Beth:  I started dancing when I was about 8 years old, dancing professionally when I was 13 years old, started my own studio when I was 15 years old while dancing with professional dance companies like Rockford Dance Company, Judith Svalander Dance Theatre, and the Milwaukee Ballet.

Brandon: Have you attended events at the theatre outside of the events the company sponsors?

Beth:  I enjoy attend events the theatre brings in. It is so relaxing to be in the audience to enjoy a show.  Very different than putting on a show from behind the scenes.

Brandon: What is your favorite memory of being at the theatre?

Beth: After performing at the theatre for 23 years it is too difficult to choose just one memory.  I would have to say that my favorite memories are the ones that magically happen every Christmas Season when we present our annual production of the Nutcracker!  Every year families come back to the theatre to see this beautiful holiday classic come to life because it has become a holiday tradition for their families that gets everyone in the Christmas spirit.

Brandon: If you could possess one talent you don’t already have, what would it be and why?

Beth: I sometimes wish I had the ability to simply say “no”.  Life has so much to offer and I never want to turn down any opportunity that comes to our dancers.  We get asked to perform and take part in so many wonderful events almost on a weekly basis opportunities come to us.  Life is full of so many great opportunities but at some point decisions need to be made when it becomes too much.

Brandon:  What is one thing you enjoy most about working at the Dance Company?

Beth:  The thing I enjoy most about working with the dancers is watching them progress and become stronger for the many years that I am lucky enough to work with them.  Almost all of our dancers come to us at a very beginning level.  Many start at age 3 and stay with us until college.  It is very rewarding and motivating for us teachers to see the progression over the years and to have that bond with them.

Brandon: Do you have a favorite dance that you or a member of your staff has choreographed?

Beth: I love putting stories on stage where the audience feels as though they are witnessing the story coming to life right in front of them live!  Some of these productions that we rotate are Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Wizard of Oz, West Side Story, Grease, Fame, Snow White, Little Mermaid, Aladdin, Beauty & the Beast, Nutcracker to name a few.

Brandon: Is there anything special about performing in a historic theatre?

Beth: Yes!  Definitely!  We are so lucky to have this beautiful historic theatre right here in Dekalb!  It makes us all feel like we are going into Chicago to see a big production or beautiful Ballet.  It is the full experience of feeling and appreciating the art of theatre.

Interested in learning more about the Beth Fowler School of Dance? Check them out! For more information regarding The Nutcracker, click here.

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