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Mar 9, 2022

This week on 5.6.7.EIGHT, Aleksandra interviews Tony Bordonaro and Ingrid Kapteyn, Co-Artistic Directors at Welcome to Campfire — an experiential dance platform that merges dance and theater to immerse performers and audiences into incredible dystopian settings. Tony and Ingrid first met while performing in Sleep No More NYC in 2013. After a run of the show in Shanghai, the two went on to develop four evening-length immersive dance experiences that have spanned New York City and Shanghai. The company’s name is derived from its first danceplay, titled CAMPFIRE.

Tony and Ingrid are addicted to the thrill of acting on an idea — of feeling an instinct, getting into a room, and putting skin on the bones. After all, their entire dance company started as an idea inspired by the raw reality of Shanghai — a novel idea that took an artform traditionally defined by a stage and dropped it into a nontraditional setting, effectively shattering the mythological “fourth wall.” On the podcast, Tony and Ingrid retell the Welcome to Campfire origin story and hope it inspires others to act on ideas and push the boundaries of traditional storytelling.


Moving Quotes:

"Dancers can wear so many hats. And, as a dancer, when you have an idea, the idea tells you what to do. They key is to show up, go into the room, and do the work of making and dancing and doing. And everything else follows."

"[With Welcome to Campfire], people can expect to have an experience that's up close. An experience that definitely feels like they're an active participant... We invite audience members to be in the world with us. To experience that intimacy, one-on-one."

"With our most recent piece, we've asked, 'Have we bitten off more than we can chew?' And we've just had to trust in the work we were doing. I like to call it 'following charm.' To think, 'This is what feels right. This is what feels good. Let's go in this direction.' And, since COVID, we've learned to constantly redirect if things aren't working."

"When you don't know, you can listen to your body. It will tell you."

"When you're performing is the time in life that you can be the most present. Because you can't think about anything else. You can only do what you're doing."

"Something that happens so often when I see auditions that are successful is that it's the people who are the best at being themselves that travel far… Mindfulness is a tool to use in uncovering what it is that you do that no one else can do.”

"Young dancers especially need to figure out a way to connect and take care of their spirits and their minds, as well as their physical bodies. So that they can deal with all of this craziness that comes with life as an artist."

“Dance has been a ticket to the world.”


Bullet Points (w/ timestamps) - Highlighting key topics discussed:

3:16: Tony and Ingrid describe their dance company — Welcome to Campfire — and how their name came to be.

5:32: The two explain how Shanghai served as an inspiration for their first piece that was choreographed inside of a post-apocalyptic, abandoned office building.

7:10: Welcome to Campfire, which started in Shanghai, has since moved back to Manhattan. Tony and Ingrid tell audiences what they can expect from its shows.

10:06: Tony and Ingrid discuss their newest project, Subject.

12:41: The duo each discuss their own individual journeys in dance.

18:19: Tony and Ingrid share some advice on how to stand out during auditions, and Tony gives a peak at his audition-day routine.

22:07: Ingrid explains how her choreography has historically come to life and how acting on ideas is key to making art.

25:38: The two discuss how COVID taught them some valuable lessons about flexibility and creativity.

31:07: Ingrid and Tony elaborate on their definitions of “success” and what a success for Welcome to Campfire would look like in five years.

34:40: Tony and Ingrid give some parting advice for any aspiring dancers who are listening to the podcast.


Bullet List of Resources – 

Tony Bordonaro


Ingrid Kapteyn


Welcome to Campfire