Today on “10 Questions With…” we have pianist Lisa Harris…
1. Can you tell readers a bit about how you got into music?
I studied music and Dance at The Ohio State University. They have a great music and dance department.
2. How did you wind up working on music for dancers?
I majored in dance and music and ended up getting a job in Monte Carlo Monaco at the Princess Grace ballet school. What a great experience. From there I was offered a job in London at The London Festival Ballet, and at the Ecole de Danse de Geneve.
3. What are some of the special things you do when playing music for dancers?
Watch the dancers, and not look at the music–and become one with the dancer. When they are dancing I feel like I am inside their body dancing and we have an amazing connection.
4. What do you enjoy most about working on this type of music?
I love being one with dance and being able to travel and work with amazing artists all over the world in beautiful theaters.
5. What kind of music do you listen to for enjoyment?
I love Madonna, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Chopin, Mozart, Bach. I used to also do catering at concerts and have met many artists!
6. Has a dancer (or teacher, or choreographer) ever told you anything about your music that surprised you or made you feel good?
Hiring me when I traveled looking for a job, like Nacho Duato in Madrid Spain for the Compania Nacional de Danza, my favorite ballet company!
7. Is there a particular pattern you follow when playing music for a dance class?
I have a lot of memorized tunes in many time signatures that I use when the teacher demonstrates the exercise and I also can improvise and come up with music that matches the steps. The steps come first, then the music follows.
8. How long does it usually take you to create a complete CD for dance class from start to finish?
It usually takes me 2 to 3 weeks.
9. Do you have a favorite piece of music?
I love so many types of music, and it fills my soul when I listen to it, and I have so much passion for music and a great sense of timing.
10. What’s next for you?
I’m a Bikram yoga Instructor and I just played piano for Bikram Choudhury and he told me how talented I am.
I plan on going to Los Angeles and play for the Los Angeles Ballet, and visit Nacho Duato in St Petersburg where he is the new artistic director.
BIO: Lisa Harris is a graduate ofOhio State University, and has played music all over the world.
She currently lives on Orcas Island, in Washington, and she conducts master classes around the country and abroad. Most recently, her work has taken her to Spain, where she worked for Nacho Duato of the Compañia Nacional de Danza.
Other credits include Pacific Northwest Ballet, SAB, Juilliard, The Feld Ballet, Alvin Ailey, Ballets de Monte Carlo, and London Festival Ballet. You can learn more about Lisa and how to purchase her music on her website, and she also has digital only CDs (“Love” and “Legendary”) that are available on iTunes.