Podcast episode 2: Nan Giordano

Nan Giordano. Photo by Todd Rosenberg.

On the second episode of the Rogue Ballerina podcast, we chat with artistic director of Giordano Dance Chicago, Nan Giordano. Nan trained with her father, jazz dance legend Gus Giordano, dance with the company, became the associate director in 1985 and artistic director in 1993.

She developed the Nan Giordano Certification Program (R), continuing to teach the essence and discipline of the Giordano Technique and teaches master classes to student around the world.

Honors include: the Manford Byrd Jr. Wizard of Oz Award for Outstanding Service from Howland School for the Arts, the Grace Wakefield Lifetime Achievement Award by Star Dance Alliance, she serves on the International Ballet Competition, National Honorary Committee and the Advisory Board for Dance Magazine.

She is positive, delightful, and beloved by her dancers, students, and the Chicago dance community. Listen to our conversation here!

Links to topics discussed:

Uprooted: The Journey of Jazz Dance

Follow me on social @rogueballerina

Podcast Episode 1: Christopher Wheeldon

I’m so excited to finally share the first episode of the Rogue Ballerina podcast! I chatted with the ever-charming Christopher Wheeldon about two of his “reimagined” ballets, his upcoming project on Broadway, and what has kept him busy and sane during the pandemic.

You can access the first episode on Apple Podcasts (which includes Overcast, Castro, Castbox, Pocketcasts, and Podfriend apps), Spotify, and PodcastAddict. It will be available soon on other platforms. Stay tuned for updates. Or, you can listen to it right here!

Choreographer/Director Christopher Wheeldon. Photo by Angela Sterling.

Welcome to the Rogue Ballerina podcast. My first guest is Christopher Wheeldon. If you haven’t heard of him, then you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of decades. He studied and danced at The Royal Ballet, he was a soloist and the first resident choreographer at the New York City Ballet, he was on the cover of Dance Magazine, he founded his own company Morpheses, he choreographed the closing ceremony for the Olympics, and he has has created numerous ballets for companies and operas around the world.

His many awards include an O.B.E. designation from Queen Elizabeth II and a Tony Award for Best Choreography for An American In Paris. If I were to list all of his accolades, we would be here all day, so to learn more go to his website at christopherwheeldon.com. Aside from his many professional accomplishments, he is one of the nicest and most down-to-earth people I know. You can listen to our conversation here.

The Joffrey Ballet’s YouTube page offers many behind-the-scenes videos for Swan Lake and The Nutcracker. You can read the program from the 2016 world premiere here, and you can view the Emmy Award-winning documentary The Making of a New American Nutcracker at wttw.com/nutcracker. The Art on the Mart exhibition mentioned in the podcast was also featured in the Chicago Tribune.

HUGE thanks to Christopher Wheeldon for being such a gracious guinea pig and my brother – Michael Crain – for writing my theme music and sound editing. You can learn more about Ross Rayburn’s yoga classes at Peleton and follow him on Instagtram @rossrayburnyoga.

Don’t forget to subscribe and rate the podcast on your favorite platform, and follow me on social @rogueballerina.