By Chris Korotky
The following is an excerpt of an article that appears in the November/December 2018 issue of Inside Dance magazine. Single issues are available at ShopInsideNation.com or search “Inside Dance” in the app store to purchase a digital version of the issue.
Feature Photo Courtesy Fox
“I look like a baby,” Travis Wall says with a laugh as he looks back at his cover of Inside Dance magazine, which just so happened to be the premiere issue in which he was featured back in 2014. The five years since have been marked by incredible growth for Wall as an artist. Already a superstar on the dance scene, he has since become a household name with multiple Emmy nominations, a robust social media following, a cross-country tour with his Shaping Sound dance company and frequent appearances on television. Yet, through it all, at the core, he has remained the same–a passionate storyteller who has impacted the lives of so many through his art. Recently, Inside Dance Publisher Chris Korotky had the chance to catch up with Wall in Los Angeles.
Travis, I must say, I continue to be mesmerized by your work… You deliver these emotional routines time after time, with so much depth… Where does your process start?
It’s very timely. It’s always about where I’m at in space. Rarely will I create fictional routines. I definitely pull from my personal life and what I’m going through because that’s where I thrive the most–when it’s realistic and I can embody what I’m feeling. I just feel like when you pull from there, you’re giving yourself a gift back. If it’s something terrible that’s happened or great that’s happened, [it can serve as inspiration]. Sometimes as a choreographer and creator, it feels like you’re always giving, giving, giving and everyone’s always taking. When I can create a piece from something that is negative, I give something positive back to it. It’s kind of like a recycled energy that I like to create.
You have so many projects going on at the same time. How do you balance it all? What’s your secret?
I don’t know… I really don’t! I started saying yes to myself, and by saying yes to myself that means I’m saying no to someone else. When someone is like, ‘Can you do this? Can you do this? Can you do this?’ Sometimes I’m just like, ‘You know what, I can’t, because I need to take time for myself.’ I can’t juggle all these things, sometimes, because then I’m not going to be the fullest version of myself when you see me.
You recently made the decision to move to New York. Why is that?
I moved to New York City by myself when I was 12 years old and grew up in the city. I really want to choreograph my first Broadway show. I really miss my friends, and I’m really opening myself up to the industry, opportunities and life. Maybe I’ll do a year and just see where it leads me. Again, I’m saying yes to myself by allowing the opportunity and space in my life for something new.
Is there a particular Broadway production that really strikes you as something you’d like to do?
I thrive with dramatic work. I’m not a kick, step, ball change kind of guy that just puts on glitter. I can do it—but it doesn’t make me wake up in the morning. I’m looking for important work–important work that speaks volumes, art that makes a difference and something that is going to [impact] somebody and change someone’s life when they walk out of the theater.
Check out the full interview in the November/December issue of Inside Dance, available at ShopInsideNation.com.
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