Victoria Olender

Another artist gracing our stages Friday and Saturday evenings will be dancer Victoria Olender, who performed here a few years ago in another open call cabaret, returning to dance and choreography after a long hiatus due to injuries and a decision to pursue other interests for awhile. She gushes, “The dance community that performs at Patrick’s is fantastic, and extremely varied…I loved the intimacy and support of the fellow dancers and audience.  It helps me greatly to have a warm environment to present work in.”

Aww. Now the Cabaret is blushing.

Victoria has performed all over the world: England, Scotland, Crete, India, Egypt, France and Russia. Of the experience she says, “The biggest surprise is how much alike everyone is!  I was hoping for major surprises, but I’ve found the connection between people through movement is immediate and common.    Dancers seem to be able to connect and mobilize quickly without much ado!” It reminded her of actors who meet for the first time only seconds before shooting a romantic scene, where “you just lose yourself in the focus and pleasure of creative work and everyone follows suit.” One place that made a deep impression upon her was Russia, where “the people were so hungry for modern dance and other ways of self-expression.  They were open to everyone presenting and sincerely appreciated each person’s contribution.  They were the most sincere and giving people I have encountered.” Her translator presented her with chocolates and souvenirs each day, and a woman in the class presented her with an apple (a token of great artistic appreciation, as it would have been very expensive and difficult to get) and also painted her a beautiful picture that Victoria has to this day. She says those she enountered were ” people of the heart…They are the warmest and most joyful people.”

 Victoria also does significant work a little closer to home. She calls herself privileged to be a resident artist in the Minnesota public school system, saying that “students long to move their bodies and explore what they can do.  The ease and natural creativity of students was awe inspiring to me.  I love seeing them jump up and go for a movement with their whole being, not restricted by judgement or some outside authority.  I love working with kids because they are their own innate authority when it comes to creative expression, and I don’t get to see that much in the adult world, we get so self-conscious and afraid of messing-up.'”

Victoria is looking forward to presenting work that she loves for an audience this weekend, and thanks her “phenomenal dancer as Kirstin Ostebee…a magnificent dancer, performer and person.” Come see her work this weekend!