Columbus Underground, December 21, 2023
We sat down with local dancer Alex Graban to talk about his work with Hixon Dance and what it is like beginning a dance career in Columbus. Graban will perform with Hixon Dance in Black Angels on March 15-17, 2024.
Alex Graban performing. Photo by Ken Falk
Sarah: Can you tell us about what it is like to start a professional career in dance in Columbus? How long have you been working with Hixon Dance?
Alex: Beginning my career as a dancer here in Columbus is a dream come true! I love that I get to be a part of an expanding city’s rapidly growing arts community. I have been able to perform, create my own work and participate in meaningful collaborations. Last season I was able to perform with the Hixon Dance company at the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Cleveland Dance Festival and the McConnell Arts Center, among others. It was a great experience! This is my second season with Hixon Dance.
Sarah: As an artist, what do you find fulfilling about working with Hixon Dance?
Alex: With Hixon Dance, I love how the company gets to have a voice in the creation process. Artistic director Sarah Hixon will give us fun but complex creative problems to explore. Sometimes that involves using visual art, text, sound and improvisation to come up with movement ideas. We work together in the studio to play with the movement we create and blend it together.
Sarah: The company just completed a performance with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. What was your favorite part of the experience?
Alex: My favorite part of collaborating with the orchestra was to hear the power of the music performed live. It was totally different than using recorded music. I also enjoyed working with the directors and other dancers and musicians on the details of the collaboration, such as how fast or slow the musicians need to play in certain areas of the piece to facilitate the choreography.
Sarah: What are you looking forward to this season with the company?
Alex: I am looking forward to gaining more experience and learning all there is to know about the world of dance. The company is very collaborative and has a lot of camaraderie. I have learned a lot not only from the artistic and music directors, but also from our rehearsal director, company manager and fellow company members.
Sarah: What is something you want readers to know about you?
Alex: I am very passionate about all aspects of physical fitness. To be a dancer, you need to have strength, endurance and flexibility, and I love to see how my physical fitness journey translates into my dance journey.
Sarah: What’s the best thing about the Columbus art scene right now?
Alex: I think the best thing about the Columbus arts scene right now is just the continual growth of the scene. I think it is an exciting time to be in the city as it is on the path to expanding and attracting new people.
Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting and advancing the arts and cultural fabric of Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art.