We had the good fortune of connecting with Cindy Brandle and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Cindy, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I’m not sure which came first…did I pursue an artistic career or did it choose me? I tend to lean to the latter of the two options. I firmly believe that being a choreographer, director, dance educator, and performer is so deeply embedded in me I had no choice but to immerse my whole being into making art and making it my life. Through all of the struggles, financially and professionally I have encountered during my 30+ year career there is something so inherently entrenched in my being I cannot give it up. With all of that said, I love creating. Simply stated, I love dance. I love making work that has a purpose, meaning, and depth. This past year of moving through a pandemic, watching our world unravel through social and political unrest, and experiencing loss I have learned that I must hold on to the practice of creating and producing. I have had periods of time where I was not working on a project and I felt I had disappeared and was out of touch with myself. And then, when I began working, even virtually, on festivals, in rehearsals, and teaching it brought me back to life. And, so, the mutual pursuit of this “calling” between myself and creativity continues.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Cindy Brandle Dance Company is committed to making high-quality, athletic, beautifully crafted socio-political multi-media dance events that investigate the human condition. In our efforts to dissect the fluid unfolding world events we aim to find hope and resilience as we let the worlds of film, dance, and spoken word collide. I’m proud of the work we create, the collaborative nature of our creations, and our products resulting in powerful, emotional, and provocative journeys. Moving through the world of performing arts, and in particular, the contemporary/modern dance world can be challenging, financially and in building audience numbers. Working as a professional artist is not for the faint of heart. One has to have a thick skin and know that if you make work about what you know, what you are passionate about, you will have lived an authentic, rich life. Through my years as a professional dance artist, I have learned that perseverance, patience, and little persistence can go a long way. Honing your craft takes time, it takes determination and it takes work. You need to support other artists and show up. You can’t expect others to support you if you are not there for them. I’ve also discovered that not every show is a winner. Sometimes you make great work and sometimes you fail. But that’s life, isn’t it? You rebound, recover, try again. But, you always create. You strive to make the world a better place, a more beautiful place. Art heals.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Ah, what joy it will be when my best friend can visit again, after the darkness of the pandemic has lifted. Well, we enjoy cocktails, so I’m sure I’d take her to some of my favorite places for a drink…let’s see…for a beer (and delicious food) I’d take her to Avery Brewing Co., for a dirty martini (oh no…a few of my favorites have closed because of COVID), and for wine…my house! I’m sure once the Dairy Arts Center is back up and running there is no doubt we would check out some dance and theatre and maybe pop on down to Denver to see a show at the Buell! oooh, I bet I could find a decent dirty martini in Denver! And, of course, lots of hikes. Boulder has a myriad of beautiful walks to bask in the forests, see the snow-covered peaks and get a good workout in! It all sounds so dreamy right about now, don’t ya think? The idea of a dear friend spending time, face-t0-face.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are many people on this list. I dedicate my shoutout to the members of my company, Cindy Brandle Dance Company. These dance artists not only perform the work but are collaborators and creators. I have never felt the need to be the sole choreographer in my work. I am the director, yes, and conceive the thematic work, but the dancers assist in fleshing out my ideas all while giving it heart, soul, and depth. I feel like the luckiest director to work with dancers who believe in the work, trust my process, and lend me their time and talent. I also credit my grant-writer Tara Oldfield. As a collaborative team, we work so well together when fleshing out the ideas residing in my creative brain. Tara was a member of the company for several years, so she has an insider’s view of how I work and my overall vision for the company. When the time comes to write a new grant she takes my stream-of-conscious writings and shapes them into beautiful, poetic expressions of our goal for each evening-length concert we produce. It amazes me time and time again to read what she writes. In fact, I’m often nervous I won’t live up to her description of a show we are requesting grants for! My family has always been such a great support system. My daughter, Akasha has been my biggest fan…always there to work the tickets, ushering and never missing a concert! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my husband, Ashay Brahmbhatt. Over our 25+ years together he has championed my work without fail! He joined our board of directors, attends every show, donates, and, most importantly, cheers me on when I feel like giving up!
Peter Holderness, Arianna Stout