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EMAV 10 Bites: Benjamin Tucker, Dancer & Choreographer

In every neighborhood, there is someone who makes the Arts a part of their life, and our community. You'd be surprised to discover how many different people use the arts to improve the quality of life in our hometown. EAT MORE ART! VEGAS will feature them regularly in our series "10 Bites."

What kinds of art do you enjoy, create, or perform in?

Ever since my first class, I have always loved dance. The discipline of a ballet class and the comradery I feel with the other dancers in the room is something very special. I also love the creative process of choreography. With my company Ballet120, we have a strong focus on the creation of new work and I love the collaboration that thrives in that environment.

Why do you do it?

As a dancer and performer, I did it because of the challenge, both physically and mentally. Now as the director of a company, my inspiration comes from all the dancers. Their work is incredible and my job is to make sure it is seen. I believe there is a place for dance and ballet here within the greater Las Vegas community and my goal is to make it an integral part of our community.

Ballet 120 collaborated with Henderson Symphony Orchestra and the City of Henderson in Oct 2020

What’s your favorite production/performance experience so far?

To date, my favorite experience has been when Ballet120 performed our first ever live-streamed show at The Space lv in October of 2020. When the pandemic hit, it obviously changed everyone's world. And the dance community was no exception. I am very proud we were able to find a way to evolve and keep going.

What jobs have you done other than being an artist, or what do you do when you are "at work?"

I enjoy refurbishing vintage bicycles and have had that as a side job throughout my dancing career. I enjoy the restoration of it. Taking something that might be viewed as worthless and transforming it into something seen as beautiful is something I take pride in.

What is an Arts experience that you will never forget or a memorable response to your work?

A response that I've often heard after a Ballet120 performance is how people are stunned at the versatility of the dancers. The dancers often go from one extreme in the art form to the next in a "gala style" show. I take that as a huge compliment and something I strive for within building a show and the choreography I choose.

What would you be doing if you weren't performing, creating, or enjoying the Arts in Las Vegas?

This is the hardest question because quite frankly I'd be lost without all of these aspects of the arts. I guess I would put more time into bicycles. Perhaps I would travel more.

Name something you love about Las Vegas, and why.

I love the possibilities that are here. Las Vegas is a constantly evolving city. I feel I have a lot of freedom here when it comes to creating new work and finding performance spaces. As an example, Ballet120's upcoming show is going to be at MEET Las Vegas. MEET isn't a performance venue per say but everyone there has been beyond accommodating and so supportive in making the performance happen. I don't know if you find that in other cities.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

Some of the best advice I received in my career was being told not to be afraid to try new things/ don't back down from uncharted territory. If it doesn't work out, it's ok. Then you know for next time and you can change course. But you'll never know unless you go for it. That has been hard to live by but when I'm able to, I'm able to live without regrets.

What superpower would you have and why?

Anyone who knows me knows I am perhaps the biggest Superman fan of all time! If I were to have a superpower, I would pick to the ability to fly. I think flying would make me better at dancing, allowing me to turn more and jump higher.

What future projects are you looking forward to?

I am most looking forward to Ballet120's upcoming show at MEET Las Vegas. This is the largest undertaking for the company to date and it is going to be a full evening celebration of live performance, which is something so many people have been craving.

Are you a local artist of any discipline? Do you work with a company as a designer, stagehand or administrative staff? Do you love to experience it as the audience? We'd love to get your 10 Bites to share. Fill out a form here, and you might be featured in a post!


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