Get to know the Dancer // Patrick Griggs


Get to know the dancers of DCCD, their inspirations, and where their training began. We would like to introduce Patrick Griggs!

1.   How long have you been dancing? Close to ten years now of serious dance. More than just the stuff you get when you’re little.

2.   Why did you start dancing? I started dancing because I enjoyed moving my body around. I liked making strange shapes and being on stage. Performing for others entertainment was something I discovered I enjoyed, so it made sense to me to get into dancing.

3.   Who or what is your biggest dancing inspiration? My biggest inspiration is any dance pioneer. I find that a lot of the pioneers of dance had a huge passion for the work they were doing and gave wholly and completely of themselves. That passion still comes through today and I hope that if I throw myself into the work I am doing that my passion will come through in the work that I do and inspire others.

4.   What is your proudest dance achievement so far? Completing my BFA in dance from the University of North Texas has been my proudest moment in dance. Getting a degree in dance requires so much work and sacrifice and it’s something that I have always wanted so it’s something that I’m very proud to have accomplished.

5.   Tell us about your hobbies outside of dance. I like to collect old vinyl records, I arm knit and crochet, I play video games and binge watch different TV shows. I like to travel to new places and explore new cities. I’m a big bibliophile too. I try to read a new book a week.

6.   Choose one word to describe your dancing. Undulated

7.   What is your favorite dance quote? "To dance is to be out of yourself. Larger, more beautiful, more powerful. This is power, it is glory on earth and it is yours for the taking.” –Agnes de Mille

Backstory: Dancer Emily Bernet writes about the creation of Mike Esperanza's 'NUCLEUS'

As we approach the start of our second season in the US, the last couple of months have been both busy and exciting for Dark Circles Contemporary Dance. We are currently in the middle of a two-week residency with Mike Esperanza, New York based choreographer and artistic director of BARE dance company, and it has been a whirlwind of creation and exploration. 
Mike began the process with clear ideas and images that continue to develop as the piece progresses. Along with Mike’s unique movement, the piece will incorporate lighting and projections that reflect images of sunlight, the heart, and the cosmos. He moves quickly, following a constant stream of inspiration. As he creates he keeps us involved, following his every weight shift and direction change. The piece incorporates a range of dynamics, and Mike is helping us discover how to make the energy of the work build and fall like a wave, bringing the images together into one idea.
Mike encourages us to personalize the movement and keep it alive so that no two runs are exactly alike. Though we focus on clarity in both the movement and the message, he doesn’t want the work to become routine or robotic. I appreciate the trust Mike has for us as dancers, and I feel fresh and fully engaged in the work with every rehearsal.  
The images Mike has created are complex in organization and phrasing, creating dynamic relationships between each of us and exploring the motion of action and reaction. Like Chadi El-Koury’s work Words in Motion, which will be also be presented in our Fall Concert, Mike Esperanza’s choreography requires us to listen to each other as we dance. The piece relies on our connections, both physical and mental. While working with Mike, I feel that our trust in each other is growing. The height of the piece includes complex series of lifts and moments in which we are launched across the stage into another dancer’s arms. I see that we are slowly starting to take more risks, and Mike encourages us to keep taking these risks further every day. 
Mike’s residency has provided us with an opportunity to continue our artistic growth, and as always, has been a lot of fun. Mike’s creativity has challenged me to move in new ways and brought us closer as a company. I am extremely excited to premiere this new work in our Fall Series in September.

Fall Series will take place September 4-6 at the Hardy and Betty Sanders Theatre at 8:00 PM. Tickets are $12-20.


Next Topic

North Texas has been experiencing a boom in the growth of small dance companies over the last five years, what are the benefits of this movement, and what obstacles are presenting themselves?

Join DCCD Artistic Director Joshua L. Peugh,TheaterJones’s Mark Lowry, DGDG (Danielle Georgiou Dance Group)’s Danielle Georgiou, and Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Jamie Thompson as they consider this and other questions about the growing DFW dance community.