December 1, 2016
Emmy-nominated contemporary dancer and choreographer Travis Wall started working professionally at just 15-years-old. Today, at the ripe old age of 25, his resume lists television credits such as So You Think You Can Dance and Dancing With The Stars, as well as performances at the Oscars and MTV's Video Music Awards. Recently, his Shaping Sound company brought its first-ever tour to Miami Beach's Colony Theatre. We caught up with Wall to learn more about the tour, his creative influences, and his dream collaborator: Beyoncé.
Tell us about your company, Shaping Sound, and the shows you did in Miami.
TW: Shaping Sound is the first commercial dance company of its kind to emerge from competitive dance shows. The concept is inspired by a quote from the original Peter Pan: 'You know that place between sleep and awake, the place where you can still remember dreaming? That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I’ll be waiting.' We use a lot of contemporary music, but our show is very eclectic. Our musicality is what we’re best at. We create different movements and images based off of the music.
Is there a piece that is especially personal to you?
TW: "Fix You," a cancer piece I did for my mom, hit home. [It] was literally created step-by-step from the experience of going home and seeing my mom after her surgery.
You run the company with three other collaborators. Do you divide and conquer, or is there a little of each of you in every piece?
TW: The choreography is completely collaborative. You never know when one person’s vision ends and the next one begins.
Dance is obviously a huge part of your day to day, but you also run a business. What's that been like at 25-years-old?
TW: When I set out to start a company, I didn’t realize I was starting a business. I never imagined owning a business at 25. I’ve been working to make it a success and have an incredible production team. Though it’s more work than I could have imagined, I’ve realized this is my dream.
Any life or business lessons you've learned along the way?
TW: I’ve learned that you can’t be afraid of taking a risk. I'm becoming a bit of an older dancer now and I have had a lot trauma with a hip and knee injury. I was able to choreograph myself to work around those issues.
Who are you dying to work with?
TW: I still haven’t met or worked with Beyoncé. That’s the end all be all. When that happens, I’ll be very pleased.
BY LIANA LOZADA
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROB KIM/GETTYIMAGES.COM