Arts & Events

Artist of the Issue: Liv Forney

Liv Forney dances during RDG's Fall 2023 performance. Photo by asupsphotoservices.

By Kailey Kairo

  Congratulations to this month’s Artist of the Issue, Liv Forney! Liv is a sophomore double-majoring in business leadership and African American studies. She both dances and choreographs for the University’s Repertory Dance Group (RDG), and is a dedicated member of the club’s executive board. Liv’s passion for their art form is made clear with every dance move – if you want to check out her work for yourself, be sure to make it to the RDG performance this April.

Q: What first drew you to the University’s Repertory Dance Group (RDG)? Have you always been a dancer?

A: I have danced in various dance environments for my whole life. From Cheerleading, Jazz and Tap with a company, and Afro Haitian dance in high school! When touring UPS as a high school senior, my tour guide began asking me about my different hobbies to try and place me on the campus. I began stating my love for dance, and she mentioned RDG. She talked about how hyped the whole school gets for it and how amazing it had been for her to participate in it all four years of her time at UPS. 

When I first set foot on campus I DMed the RDG Instagram immediately to ask for audition information. Since then I have participated in RDG for four semesters now, and am on the RDG exec board and am choreographing for this semester’s show! 

Q: Your preferred dance style is hip-hop – what draws you to this genre in particular? Are there any dancers or choreographers whom you admire?

A: I think what draws me to hip-hop is that it is a super interpretive, flowy, and a distinct dance style. I’ve danced hip-hop for many years and although the window for what qualifies as hip-hop is very large, I have enjoyed any type I have gotten the opportunity to learn. Hip-hop is something I’ve enjoyed because it directly applies to the background beats of the music. Where other styles such as lyrical, contemporary, and jazz follow lyrics and 8-counts, hip-hop is able to directly code your body to the beat. I enjoy this because things are sharper, you can flow with the music better and I feel the most myself when I am dancing hip-hop. 

A dance group that I aim to perform more like in the future is a Korean Dance group known as Jam Republic. Their energy is so impeccable. They dance in competitions that are similar to Streetfighter but hip-hop dancing! I aim to dance in the ways they can :) 

Q: How do you get into the mindset to develop choreography? When do you know that a piece is complete?

A: In order to develop choreography I start by looking online for inspiration, vibes, and music. Once I’ve found the music I’m looking for I start mapping out my vision for my piece. Having the dance room as a space was really helpful in choreographing my piece for this semester’s show as I can use the space as my dancers will when I teach. From what I am experiencing this semester, I am always thinking of new things to add or change about my choreo, and I am going to keep adding up until tech week! This dance is my baby and I plan on perfecting her as much as I can!

Q: What’s been your favorite memory in the performing arts so far?

A: I think my second RDG performance, which was spring of 2023. Dance has always been a very toxic environment for me as it becomes very competitive as you move up farther and farther into companies. When joining RDG I was initially attracted to the “no cuts” part of auditions as it automatically sounded more inclusive. After my first show, I was able to convince a bunch of my friends to also try out for RDG and they were in my dances. I had so much fun dancing with them and had so much fun eventually being elected onto RDG exec. I love this club and I hope that it has the same effect that it had on me on any other future members as well. 

Q: What should we look forward to seeing during the next RDG performance? Are there any concepts or themes that you’d like to share about your upcoming work?

A: I sadly can’t disclose this! But know that this show is full of some amazing dances, dancers, and choreography! (The shows are on April 12 and 13th! Be there!)