The Heroine’s Journey of Niquelle LaTouche

What is the best thing that I love about my work?  I am in love with the arts – period, any art form can act as a universal language and can be understood by everyone irrespective of their individual circumstances or background. Communication is a very powerful tool and that is important for me as I’m aiming to bring different people together.

What is my idea of perfect happiness? Let’s scrap the word “perfect” to begin with, ideally happiness to me is to continue being driven by passion and love. I’ve been lucky to never have worked a day in a job I didn’t love and continue never having to “work” a day in my life because I honestly love what I am doing.

What is my greatest fear? I fear technology will hinder our humanity. As technology advances it also continues to encourage “unsociable socialising” ; you could be at a dinner, concert, party etc and so busy filming it for social media that you forget to live in the moment, that is becoming more popular and I feel like we are becoming less in tune with each other .

What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?  I have found that I work well under pressure and have a tendency to say yes to loads at once. Having been studying my joint bachelors , running my company and tutoring has been super busy but I am used to always having many fingers in many different pies but in the last year or so, I have realised saying no and really sitting and breathing life into a piece of work and leaving  more time specific to one project has allowed a clearer focus and a lot less rushing.
What is my greatest extravagance? FOOD!! Mmmmm I love me some good flavoursome food, Sushi is a favourite and gosh I loveeee CHEESE! I wish to taste every continent before I am 50.
On what occasion would I lie? Family is everything to me, and it is not something determined to me by blood. There are a select few who I would definitely lie for as they are family to me and that is a word I do not use lightly.
What is the influence of role models, in my work and in my life?  What a question, I take influence from my everyday role models as well as academics and historical figures, but anyone who thinks about thinking and questions the world inspires me. I recently completed my dissertation “Constructions of Ethnic Minority Females in Contemporary Literature” and the writers I cited such as: Virginia Woolf, Werner Sollors, Karl Marx, Dr. Maya Angelou, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Octavia Butler, Gish Jen , Toni morrison have all pushed me to really open up my ways of thinking about my own existence as both a black person and a woman.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?  I am my biggest critic so I always see room to improve or things I want to change in my work. I do like the growth and development of a piece when I get to perform several times and being critical when practicing any art form means you are always bettering yourself but my work is always “in progress”.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?
When I created my first docu-dance film “On Her Way”, that was the beginning of an upward spiral and an important moment for me on my journey to really share my personal story, culture and form narrative through movement. I have since been developing it into a stage performance.

If I could, what would I change about myself?  I have learned to love myself, every day. I say I have learned to do this because I think we often pick away at the smallest things and forget to see how awesome we are sometimes, so I will toot my horn for myself and wouldn’t change a thing.

What is my greatest achievement in work?  My #CaribbeanCrush workshops by far have been by far my favourite thing I have done, I was raised as a Caribbean (Dominican- NOT Republic) child and Soca, Dancehall and African dance and music is where my heart is and hip hop and commercial is my base, this is what sparked the idea, it’s everything me . I love exploring the links between the forms and grooves and sharing my culture to those who may  not be exposed otherwise and seeing different people together having the same enjoyment as I feel when I am playing mas in carnival.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city?  I am honestly in love with London but I really love East London in particular, I may be biased (coming from Hackney and all) but East has an energy to it that no other part does , the  buzz is all day (and night) and although I am saddened to see the past community being priced out, home is home , I feel grounded here.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city?  If it has wasabi , soya sauce and ginger , chances are I am there! Pan asian , yes please – sushi ? a-mazing.  There was a restaurant I went to for my 21st birthday near bond street and I had Blue Fin Tuna , damn it was the freshest fish ever!
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime? My brother, he may not shout it from the rooftops but he is always so proud of his big sister and vice versa. He is the ONLY person who could tell me “Urm nah Niq” and I would genuinely question myself, he knows me better than anyone, I love him more than anything and he has my back always.
Whom would I like to work with in the future? Thomas Presto who is pushing Talawa technique in Norway. I went I would love to train and work with Tabanka crew , I trained with Thomas and his principal dancers Joel and Luciano  summer ’15  and they are insanely good! I am an academic and love what Thomas is doing  with Afro-Caribbean dance forms as it maintains integrity and also sets it up as a credible style  of dance which unfortunately I do not feel in comparison to say ballet, Afro- Caribbean dance is always regarded.
What project, in the nearby future, am I looking forward to work on? I am going HOME (Dominica) in October for a month to do research and development for a future project I want to do with my people. I won’t say too much about it but I have always felt an affinity toward home and cannot wait to reconnect with my roots and grow – that is a key theme for this piece.
How can you contact me?   

 

www.twitter.com/niquelle_l

https://www.instagram.com/niquelle_l/

niquelle.latouche.arts@live.com
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