"I like to think of myself as an accident: some combination of the theatrical, filmic, and physical gifts from my parents and grandparents. My father was a filmmaker and screenwriter born in Tunisia, whose father was a champion gymnast in his native country. My mother is a second-generation theater director (born in the United States with Scottish/Welsh heritage), whose father was a prolific American director, Arthur Lithgow. Something about my parents gave our six siblings a sense of humanity and fearlessness. I think having parents from two different cultures was very pivotal: It taught me that making artwork and taking social action are inseparable."
Take the Lead
"Instead of a 'dance company,' we have four modes of working: solos, group choreographies (usually one to eight people), film or media works, opera (or let’s just say big, special projects). I could be wrong, but I definitely think this is different than how others are working today. It happens across different channels and requires different ideas about dance production. What inspires me most is the artist who goes back to zero, square one, every time, with the willingness to recreate their system all over again."
The Jurassic Diet
"Directors of a modern-dance company once advised me to lose weight. Which is fine — it was their company, they governed how they wished. But I also think dance companies are sort of a Jurassic creation. You could spend money preserving fossils, too, I suppose...but actually, fossils get better funding than dance companies."
Home on the Range
"There is one incredible secret to the work, which is the range of dancers. They are my heroes. They are not "diverse" in the unusual grant-proposal way, but look deeper: They hail from Taiwan, Israel, Croatia, U.K., now even Iceland and Canada. They're the reason to show up. Actually, maybe watching performers is my guilty pleasure. It's heaven."
Save the Last Dance
"I'm very thankful to be able to expand each year, continue developing, and keep inspiring others. Staying humble yet very driven is the best way to think about the future. The future holds lots of fun, lots of trouble, and lots of history...I hope people will sign on early enough to enjoy all three."