A Woman of Leisure and Panic at The New York International Fringe Festival
Dancing Up Close to Charlotte Bydwell
Garnet Henderson for The Dance Enthusiast
What do you get when you combine years of conservatory training, plus pressure to stay creative, thin, financially stable and romantically fulfilled? A woman of leisure and panic.
At least, that’s how Charlotte Bydwell felt upon graduating from Juilliard. She channeled her experiences into a clever one-woman show, incorporating movement, text, sound and several props. Bydwell’s inner monologues are revealed through recorded voice overs, and her repertoire of facial expressions speaks volumes.
Charlotte Talks About The Origins of her "Woman of Leisure and Panic"
Bydwell, a natural comedian, invites laughter with her easy wit and strong sense of timing. The struggles that pop up throughout her 80-minute performance will be painfully – and hilariously – familiar to her fellow dancers and artists: attempting to juggle unpaid artistic work with a restaurant job, sizing up the competition at auditions, and sacrificing a date to get enough sleep the night before.
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Woman of Leisure and Panic premiered in 2011, and was nominated for a New York Innovative Theater Award. Bydwell collaborated with dramaturge Carlye Eckert and costume designer Erica Evans to complete the work, which began as a solo she choreographed at the end of her time at Juilliard.
Following graduation, Bydwell toured with Monica Bill Barnes and Company, and has become increasingly involved in theater. Most recently, she has appeared with the resident acting company of The Flea Theatre and in the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Bydwell spins these acting and dancing experiences into a delightful web. She is a compelling storyteller with just the right combination of introspection, playfulness, and design. Bydwell says that the Fringe Festival is the “perfect venue” for her piece, “because it’s all about artists freaking out and trying to make money, and trying to do their art, and there’s nothing like a Fringe atmosphere to really heighten that.”