Michael Trusnovec, with Paul Taylor Dance Company.
What career would you choose if you could not be a dancer? MT: I think that had I not fallen I love with moving and music, I may have gone into the science and technology field. I was always fascinated with biology and anthropology classes in school and now one of my favorite magazines to read each month is FAST COMPANY. What are your worst fears (professionally or personally)? MT: I can’t think of anything I’d label a fear in my life. Concerns arise at different times and I’m the type to face them head on so they don’t become all consuming. As a dancer, I’d say I think about having a long, healthy performing career and - to be able to dance forever. The reality is that the physical demands at some point will become too great. I know that whatever I do post performing will have to be as fulfilling, physically and mentally, as the life I wake up to every day. Which person (dead or alive) would you most want to dance with if you could? MT: My first impulse is always to answer Fred Astaire, as he was such an important inspiration to me as a young, tap dance loving kid. Lately, I can’t get the image of Bob Fosse out of my head. His was such a unique way of moving - incredibly stylized, subtle, odd, intelligent, and musical. How interesting it would be to move next to him, to try to emulate his brilliance. And his inspired choreography - there's nothing like it!
If a child told you they wanted to be a dancer, what would your advice be? MT: Love what you do everyday is what I tell every young, aspiring dancer I meet. It can be a difficult path, but the rewards are incredible. What 3 items do you always have in your bag with you? MT: A mechanical pencil, a fantastic book and a pair of headphones. What career would your family have chosen for you? MT: I am so grateful that my family has always been my greatest cheerleader. They’ve seen how seriously focused I’ve been about making what I’ve loved to do since I was 6 years old into a life-long career. If given a choice, I believe they proudly would have chosen a performance life for me. What is your idea of perfect happiness? MT: Doing something you love to do, everyday, surrounded by people who care about and respect you, and make you laugh. Who would you like most to have a coffee with (could be dead or alive)? MT: Dead - Fred Astaire, as he was such an influence on the way I move. His life, and the era he was alive and working, are fascinating to me. Alive - James Cameron, or some other incredibly imaginative creator who thinks beyond what we hold as possible. What is your favorite city to tour to and why? MT: Paris is easily one of my most favorite cities in the world (next to NYC). Gorgeous, romantic, history and art filled, an easy city to get lost wandering its winding streets, sipping coffee in the quaint cafes, shopping. Performing at Paris Opera was absolutely one of the most memorable experiences of my long touring career. What was your biggest mishap in a performance? MT: With so many years of performances under my belt, little mistakes happen often and you learn to barely notice and forget them quickly. One that I actually remember took place during a live music performance of Mr. Taylor’s LE SACRE DU PRINTEMPS (THE REHEARSAL). Patrick Corbin was dancing the Private Eye role and in a sequence where I, as one of the cops, was executing a very stylized chase, the tempo accelerated to a comically fast speed. The manic look on Patrick’s face sent me into a fit of laughing that I couldn’t stop, and unsuccessfully attempted to hide behind an outstretched arm, at the expense of the choreography. Gratefully the moment was short and I was offstage soon after to compose myself. Is there a special meal you have before performances? MT: Most days, but especially performance days, I tend to be a creature of habit when it comes to eating. There are very specific foods I know will be easily digestible and will sustain my energy and strength throughout a demanding show. For years, 2 hours before the show I have a protein bar and some low- sugar oatmeal. I’ve found this combination works well for me so I rarely stray.