T H EE N S E M B L E
TY BOOMERSHINE, DANCER
Ty Boomershine © Dorothea Tuch
„As a young dancer I always gravitated towards the older dancers that I saw perform and got to know in classes, both for their abilities and for the weight, emotionally and intellectually, that they carried with them, on and off stage. As I'm now in my 40's, I've found the emphasis on youth in the current dance work on display disappointing. I've seen several examples of companies celebrating the "older" dancer, but this is usually regarding dancers well into their retirement, not dancers who are currently active but aren't in their 20's. So the opportunity to be a part of this project is very exciting and relevant for me.“
Ty Boomershine, born in the USA in 1968, studied dance at the Fort Hayes School for the Performing Arts in Columbus, Ohio, completing his studies with a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri.
In addition to dancing with various companies (including the Lucinda Childs Dance Company, Emio Greco | PC, the Merce Cunningham Repertory Emsemble, the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company, Leine Roebana Dance, Dance Works Rotterdam and ICKamsterdam), he has also performed in various works by individual choreographers, e.g. Dan Wagoner, Gus Solomons Jr., Ton Simons and Giulia Mureddu. He was involved – as rehearsal manager and dancer – in the Field Dances in Robert Wilson’s opera Einstein on the Beach. Since 2007, he has been Artistic Assistant for Lucinda Childs. He was also tour manager for Pere Faura and Nicole Beutler. He has been presenting his own choreographic works since 1993.
2012 Robert Wilson „Einstein on the Beach“
2009 Lucinda Childs Dance Company
2009 Nicole Beutler nb projects
2005 Emio Greco | PC
2005 Giulia Mureddu
2004 Irish Modern Dance Theater
1998–2005 Leine & Roebana
1997–98 Dance Works Rotterdam
1991–97 Lucinda Childs Dance Company
1992–93 Merce Cunningham Dance Company
1990–97 Ton Simons & Dancers
1991–96 Solomons Company/Dance, Gus Solomons Jr.
1990, 1992 Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane & Co.
1990–92 Dan Wagoner and Dancers
He taught the technique he learned with Merce Cunningham at different international academies and universities, and festivals, i. e. at University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Project Sally, University of Chichester, University of Michigan, Amsterdamse Hoogeschool voor de Kunsten, Codarts, Rotterdamse Dansacademie, Henny Jurriens Stichting, CODA Festival (Oslo) und New York University/Tisch School of the Arts.
Ty Boomerhine has given workshops and master classes at the Lucinda Childs Dance Company, Emio Greco | PC, Dansgroep Amsterdam, Dance Works Rotterdam, Krisztina de Chatel, and Kamea Dance Company.
Ty Boomershine has been presenting his own works at Movement Research and at Danspace Project in New York, as well as at OT301 and the Holland Festival in Amsterdam.
Other Professional Activities
At ICKamsterdam, he undertook curatorial and organisational tasks.
Rehearsal Direction and Tour Management
2010 Pere Faura, Amsterdam, NL / Barcelona, ES; Tour manager and production director for international touring. Rehearsal director and assistant to Pere Faura
Since 2009 Company rehearsal director and assistant to Lucinda Childs. Responsible for rehearsal schedules, tour planning, master classes and workshops during international touring
Since 2008 Rehearsal assistant for various projects of the Emio Greco | PC company, as well as visiting artists within the ICKamsterdam (International Choreographic Arts Center Amsterdam) organization
2004 Leine & Roebana; Rehearsal director and choreographic assistant. Responsible for touring the production
Rehearsal and (Re-)Staging
Initiated the collaboration between Nicole Beutler and Lucinda Childs. Taught, rehearsed and maintained two early works (1977, 1978) of Lucinda Childs that were interpreted and re-staged as part of the cover festival 2 in Amsterdam
2007; 2010 Introdans, Arnhem, NL; Responsible for the teaching, setting and maintenance of Lucinda Childs works on the company
‚Field Dances’ in Robert Wilsons Oper „Einstein on the Beach“
Interview with Ty Boomershine
In Evening Programme 1
"I'm not interested in making a point of my age."
Boomershine. The name grabs your attention like the man himself: tall and lanky with reddish-blond beard and an eccentric dress sense – with a modern, British flavour. For a long time, Ty considered his name to be very normal, as there are many Boomershines in his hometown. It was only when he left Ohio and everyone kept saying, “What? Boomershine?” that he saw things differently. According to his family’s genealogical research, it’s originally a German name from Hesse. Much of this inheritance has been lost, apart from the obligatory sauerkraut on New Year’s Eve, which is meant to bring luck. Ty started dancing when he was young. He lost interest but took it up again at 16.
At 21, he began to dance professionally. At the time he couldn’t think in terms of dance career and international travel: coming from modest circumstances, as a young dancer he was far more concerned about whether he would end up half-starved and homeless. But it all turned out quite differently. Merce Cunningham, Lucinda Childs, Emio Greco, Bill T. Jones – Ty is very grateful for having worked for and with some very famous and important modern-dance choreographers, not because of their prominence, but because they either are, or were, singular artists with clear ideas about their work, and the creators of unique works. Ty wanted to be a Cunningham dancer or a Childs dancer rather than a dancer searching for himself, for his own movement vocabulary.
“I always felt particularly myself when I danced other people’s pieces, and in this sense I really am a ‘dancer’.”
Seven years ago, Ty considered stopping. He was 40 and wondered if it wasn’t the time to start something new, go back to university, maybe. Ironically it was during this phase that Lucinda Childs called and asked him to return to work with her. He says he’s sometimes amazed he’s still dancing – but not because of his age, as that doesn’t interest him at all. In fact he displaces it, not by denying it but by simply forgetting it. Others bring it up, for example young dancers and their unspoken question, in class or an audition: “What’s he doing here?” This is why Ty immediately deleted the email introducing the DANCE ON project to him. A company for dancers aged 40+? What’s the point of that? A month later, a friend sent him the offer again.
“I thought, ‘Oh God, not again,’ but this time I read the email all the way through and thought, ‘Actually, it sounds quite interesting.’”
Ty wasn’t looking for a job, but he applied – with great reservation. He was impressed by the audition. He liked the people and what he was asked to do. The role age played was clear to him. He met experienced, mature artists and they behaved differently. Everyone was relaxed, no one was visibly nervous and no one was stressed or wanted the job at any price. There was competition, but the way people handled it was different, more along the lines of “I’ll show you what I can do, it’s the best I can do, and I trust that everyone appreciates that”. Everyone was understanding and respectful of each other. It was immediately clear in the audition that
“it’s not about what I can (still) do physically, or what I could do at 21. If the truth be known, I’m better today than before,”
says Ty, laughing. He likes to laugh. At the end of 2015, after a week of working with the ensemble in Berlin, he notes that everyone is very disciplined and sets very high demands on themselves. No one in the DANCE ON ENSEMBLE rests on their laurels. Ty believes this has something to do with age and maturity. For Ty, the project he initially didn’t take seriously has turned out to be a wonderful opportunity to experience something new. Dance on! He just finds it a shame that there can only be six dancers involved.
The other DANCE ON ensemble members: