Marika Brussel trained on scholarship at the
and at the Joffrey Ballet School in NYC. She performed
with companies around the country, including Joffrey Concert Group. She has
worked with students from 2-101, and has taught at the National Dance Institute
of New Mexico, and in the public schools in High School of Performing Arts and in New York, New Mexico . She earned an
MFA in creative writing at Berkeley , and taught college
writing at Sarah Lawrence College , the Hunter College and the College of Santa Fe . She currently
teaches ballet at ODC Dance and dance to people with Parkinson's Disease
through Berkeley Ballet Theater. University of New Mexico
Here is what Marika had to say as she was attending a rehearsal in New York in December.
Rehearsal with Wendy and Brian at
: City Center December 20, 2012
Philip Glass emanated from the laptop in the corner, as Wendy Whelan and Brian Brooks knit themselves together through the center of the studio.
“Hey!” Brian said. “Thanks for coming. I’m Brian”
“And I’m Wendy,” she said with a little jig, and a smile that made her look like a teenager.
“Risa.” An elegant woman in street clothes said. Risa Steinberg is the special coach working with Wendy and Brian for this duet
A few minutes later they started working on the piece again. The fluid connection between Brian and Wendy set the tone for their work—easy, easy. They seemed to read each other’s movements like a first language.
Having never seen Wendy in a purely contemporary piece, I was delighted, but not surprised, by the ease and beauty with which she approached and enveloped the work. Bare-footed, in a green leotard—Brooks’ unique choreography moved through her naturally.
“Sorry, sorry,” each said when a movement was awkward, didn’t work. And went back.
Each subsequent time the piece grew deeper. Steinberg suggested subtle, brilliant changes, demonstrating her ideas. And the piece connected more.
Wendy’s face lit in a smile as they serpentined through the room. Her passion for dance and for this partnership shone with a bright clarity. She is exquisite.