Elena Valls Garcia

Interview Highlights
Q: How did you begin dancing and what has been your artistic journey?
Every artist goes through “why am I doing this? This career has no money. There is no funding. It is always the lowest thing people support” But when you think of it, our field is entertainment and allows the audience to step out of reality and escape. Like actors when we see a movie. Now in quarantine we are all watching movies and art online and it allows you to escape from your reality. As an artist, we reflect on and represent humanity, and to me dance is a full expression of being human. What is important to me as an artist is to find truth through movement, whether through improvisation or technique. I love embodying gymnasts, athletes, and runners. It's all in the same realm. It’s allowing your body to go to the full extreme, but we don't make money like NFL stars. I can't imagine my life without dance. It's what I breathe and it’s what I do.

Q: How has the COVID19 pandemic affected you as a performing artist?
I am learning a lot because the French system is very different. I am very fortunate to be getting paid right now but there is this weird line. I am still getting paid but the money is coming from the government so technically I'm under unemployment. The directors of the company Zoom called us and we were informed that we are not obliged to do anything with the company. It is voluntary. I am frustrated by this because I have always been my own manager, and now there is no creativity during this time, but I understand that everyone is dealing with this differently. The first week of quarantine I had some time to process. The company directors asked me if I wanted to teach company class, but I was not fully ready. I couldn't be involved with dance at first because for me it is about the connection and the touch of energy. So, this action or idea of not being able to touch and connect physically really affected me. I needed to give myself time to adjust to finding ways to connect without physical contact. I think I meditated on that and now I am ready.
Read full interview here

Elena was born in Madrid, Spain and raised in Arizona training at Plumb Performing Arts Center. Latter, she moved to New York to receive her Bachelor of Fine Arts at SUNY Purchase The Conservatory of Dance under the mentorship of Kazuko Hirabayashi. Then, she decided to study dance and martial arts in Taipei National University of the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan. After that, she performed in Punch Drunk’s “Sleep No More” choreographed by Maxime Doyle in New York City. During her career she worked with various companies and choreographers like, Etienne Bechard (Brussels), Maura Morales (Düsseldorf), Kyle Abraham (NYC) Shen Wei (NYC), Manuel Vignoulle (NYC), Korhan Basaran (Istanbul), Gregory Dolbashian (NYC), and Samuel Pott (NYC). He's also been featured in film and television shows like “American Crime, Season 2” created by John Ridley, “Fama, A Bailar” in Madrid, and Jeremy Shaw “Cathartic Technology” in Berlin. Elena is currently a company member of Ballet National de Marseille, and she is very thankful to be a part of (La)Horde’s vision and continue devolving her artistry and passion about dance and hope to inspire minds as they have creatively inspired her throughout her life.