Juel Lane. Contemporary Dance Choreographer slays in “How To Kill A Ghost”

A guest post by Madam CJ

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Juel, an Atlanta native, is a graduate of Tri-Cities Visual & Performing Arts Magnet High School.  Lane was an active member of Youth Ensemble of Atlanta. He received his BFA from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC with a concentration in contemporary dance. Juel has taught and choreographed at Wake Forest University,  Spelman College, University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Tri- Cities Visual & Performing Arts High School,  just to name a few. He has toured and performed nationally and internationally with distinguished dance companies and choreographers, such as, Ronald K. Brown/Evidence (2003-2008), Carolyn Dorfman Dance Company (2002-2003), and Souloworks/Andrea E. Woods & Dancers (2000-2002). Juel currently dances with Camille A. Brown & Dancers. Recently Camille A. Brown & Dancers won the 2014 Bessie Award for Outstanding Production for  “Mr. TOL E. RAncE. Juel served as Dance Captain for the musical, “I Dream,” under the direction of Jasmine Guy, and he was one of the featured choreographers for “Dance Canvas” (2009) and “Lift” (2010) under the direction of Angela Harris and Daryl Foster, respectively. Lane choreographed  the musical “Rebirth,” under the direction of Rob Jackson, which featured  Emmy Award Winning actress, Lynn Whitfield Juel made his directorial debut with “Just Another Day,” a dance for film project along with cinematographer Eric Sherertz. This film was featured in Dance Magazine’s video of the month in October 2010.

In 2012, Lane became the first black independent Atlanta-based choreographer ever to be commissioned by the Atlanta Ballet, choreographing “Moments of Dis” for the company. Lane has solidified his place in the industry, as Dance Magazine recently featured him in the 2013 “25 to Watch” category. Currently, Lane is promoting his newest dance on film project, “How to Kill A Ghost.”

 

Have you danced all your life?

The energy of dance has always been present, but I didn’t take it serious until I was 17 years old. A lot of shows like “Fame”, “zooblie zoo”, and watching Michael and Janet Jackson really inspired me.

 When did you realize that dance was your calling?

I was a sophomore in high school and my drama teacher Freddie Hendricks had me doing a small role in a show. During the rehearsal, he basically put me on the spot to bring out more in the character through the use of dance. A hour later dance was my new best friend.

What are some of your self care rituals? How do you keep your mind,body and spirit balanced?

I love going to the gym. I think it’s a great stress reliever and a great way to stay shape. Honesty I love to take time and sleep. As I get older I’m learning to have more time to sit still and reflect more.

Do you set goals for yourself? What’s that process like?

The process is a continuation of defying yourself every year. I set goals for everything I want, but lately I just speak them into existence. Or if I have an idea, I act on it in the moment.

 You have accomplished a lot in the short time I’ve known you. You are truly an inspiration. Where do you see your artistry 5 years from now?

5 years from now, I hope to challenge myself to keep pushing the envelope of dance. 

“How To Kill A Ghost” is your dance film. What inspired this 21st dance film concept?

How to Kill a Ghost was inspired by a relationship that I was in. After the relationship dissolved, I personally had a need to hold on tight to it. My ego could not sit still and wanted to stay connected and be in control of the situation. So those demons inside of me were haunting me everyday. The only way I could get over it was to do this dance on film project. It was my therapy.

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