Taylor Rodman Receives Alumni Entrepreneurial Grant
Earlier this year, Taylor Rodman (B.F.A. '16, contemporary dance) was one of three recipients of Boston Conservatory at Berklee’s Alumni Entrepreneurial Grant. The grant is part of the Conservatory’s effort to empower alumni to explore and develop their unique programmatic ideas in the arts. Rodman’s award will partially fund the latest work of Bombshell Dance Project, a nonprofit dance company that she started with her friend and coartistic director Emily Bernet.
Rodman and Bernet used to spend their lunch periods choreographing dance routines in the studio of Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, Texas. Four years later, they found themselves in the same room founding Bombshell. “We created [Bombshell Dance Project] because there’s always a need for the female choreographic voice...a lot of female dancers typically dance "pretty" or almost like the damsel-in-distress—we wanted to flip that convention.”
As a response to her personal experience in the dance industry, Rodman strives to challenge the way people experience dance performance through Bombshell’s current project, Like a Girl. In this piece, Rodman captures the female perspective, reimagines ideals of femininity, and challenges social norms. “There’s something powerful about coming at it from the angle of actual female voices rather than male choreographers trying to implant their visions of what it means to be female.”
Rodman plans to use the award to pay her company members. “I’ve already experienced several dance gigs where the pay has been very, very little or nothing at all. Because of that, it’s really a passion of mine to be able to pay my collaborators, dancers, and musicians for the time that they have put in.” Among the featured dancers in the Like a Girl premiere will be students from Booker T. Washington High School. “We’re really passionate about giving back to the community that gave us this passion for choreographing,” she explains. We want to teach students at a young age that their work and their time is valued, so we’re also compensating the students for this performance.”
Like a Girl will premiere at the Moody Performance Hall in Dallas, Texas on June 22. Visit the Bombshell Dance Project website to learn more.