Harlem's own Gabrielle Hamilton makes a stunning, Chita Rivera Award-winning Broadway debut as the lead dancer in the Tony Award-winning revival of Oklahoma!. The young model and dancer (whose training includes the Martha Graham School, Uptown Dance Academy, & the Bolshoi Academy) opens the second act with a raw, explosive, and original take on the "Dream Ballet", created by choreographer John Heginbotham.
Scroll on as BroadwayBox gets to know Gabrielle a bit better as she talks about performing that epic dance piece, how she prepares, and her dream for herself.
1. What do you think about as you perform this epic, 13-minute dream ballet? What do you hope audiences get from it?
The trick to it for me is to release the mind and let the body have the experience and platform to explore and communicate. I only hope the audience members are moved emotionally and spiritually.
2. What were the early conversations like between you and the choreographer, John Heginbotham, about the “Dream Ballet”?
They were very personable and also stemmed off of Agnes De Mille’s original “Dream Ballet”.
3. How do you prepare for the moment in the show?
It takes me a solid hour to access my three foundations: the physical, spiritual and mental.
4. Do you listen to anything before stepping onstage for the ballet?
As for music, I started to mix it up and listen to more instrumentals and meditation rhythm.
5. What was your reaction when you first found out you’d make your Broadway debut with Oklahoma!?
I remember this day like it was yesterday, I screamed in the middle of my house—that was my first pure reaction. I knew it in my heart it was going to happen.
6. What’s your favorite thing about life backstage at the show?
I’m always appreciative of the mini celebrations we have and the snacks.
7. What do you hear most often from people after they see Oklahoma!?
Honestly, many are at a loss for words, and I can truly understand that expression. Oklahoma! is a lot to receive and digest.
8. What is your favorite film or TV show about dance or dancers?
9. As a native New Yorker, where is your NYC happy place?
I’m a sucker for parks. I love to lay out and be one with nature.
10. In Oklahoma!, you wear this now iconic “Dream Baby Dream” t-shirt. What’s your dream?
My dream is to be the best that I can be, in whatever I desire to pursue. In becoming the idol I want to see today.
Don't miss your chance to see Gabrielle Hamilton dance live in 'Oklahoma!' at Broadway's Circle in the Square Theatre through Jan 19, 2020.