BWW Interview: SYTYCD's Gaby Diaz Talks Hitting the Road With Travis Wall's SHAPING SOUND Tonight

Photo by Matthew Murphy 

Gaby Diaz, season 12 winner of So You Think You Can Dance, is hitting the road tonight with Emmy Award winner Travis Wall's dance company Shaping Sound. Choreographed by Wall, Nick Lazzarini and Teddy Forance, the brand new show entitled After The Curtain is a mesmerizing dance narrative that is sure to leave audiences speechless. Diaz is performing with the company for the second time, having toured with its previous production last fall (which was, as expected, phenomenal). In the midst of tech week, Diaz was kind enough to speak with us about how surreal this whole experience has been for her.

BroadwayWorld: What is After The Curtain about?

Diaz: "This new show is a fictional story. It follows kind of the story of the director of this show, and it takes you into the behind the scenes of the relationships between the cast members of his show and all the madness and the chaos that goes on backstage. It's definitely more of a dance narrative than a concert dance piece: there's a full story that comes to life on stage."

BWW: From the promotional pictures and videos I've seen, the show looks like it is going to blow audiences away. How have rehearsals been going?

Diaz: "Rehearsals have been amazing. Getting to see the show kind of built from scratch, because this is a new piece of work that we're about to debut, has been really incredible, especially getting to be in the room with a majority of the original cast members."

BWW: How is this new show different than the one you toured with last fall?

Diaz: "This show is a complete original story. I think that the last show that I got to step in for was a show that they had been working on and toured for about five years. I think you can see that all of the choreographer's styles have really developed since then. They've changed and everyone has grown up and I think you really see that in this show."

BWW: You were amazing in last season's show. I still can't even express how much I loved that production! What have been some of your favorite parts of working with Shaping Sound?

Diaz: "Honestly, some of my favorite parts are when I'm not even dancing, but I'm just sitting in the room and watching some of these numbers get created. It's really mind blowing. The amount of ideas that just get tossed around and the creativity flowing through everyone is amazing, and I just get goose bumps sitting and watching."

Photo by Matthew Murphy

BWW: You were also on SYTYCD last season with Emma, which was so much fun to watch. Do you prefer working on television or performing in live theatre?

Diaz: "This is truly where my heart is. As much as I love being on So You Think You Can Dance and am so grateful for the opportunities that it has given me, I grew up performing live and went to an arts high school. Concert dance is what I know and what I feel most comfortable in, and I just feel like there is no better feeling than getting to perform live city after city. It gives you a chance every night to try something new or fix something you messed up on the last night. I feel like I thrive in live performance."

BWW: And there's also tapping in this new show! As a tapper, what's it like to be able to combine so many different styles into one show?

Diaz: "I couldn't be happier that we are tapping in the show. Travis actually taps very well and he loves tap, and it's fun to add it to the show because when people come to see it, they'll see that it's not just a contemporary dance show; there's so much going on and it's a marriage of so many different styles."

BWW: As a hardcore dance fan-girl myself, I have to ask this. What's it like to be able to work with Travis Wall?

Diaz: "It's a dream come true. I always joke around with him and tell him that I was ten years old when he was a contestant on SYTYCD and just looked up to him so much since then. I've seen his career just explode before my own eyes. Getting to work with him on my season of SYTYCD was so special, but I knew that I wanted to maintain a relationship with him and get to work with him outside of the show because he really has helped me a lot and I'm still learning from him every day in rehearsal."

BWW: Why should people come and see After The Curtain?

Diaz: "I think people are not going to know what to expect. I don't even know how to explain what to expect. I think it's just pushing everyone's boundaries as far as physical and emotional. You're going to watch a whole story unfold on stage and you're going to go through a roller coaster of emotions and see some really incredible dancing, of course, but also acting as well. So much thought and detail has been put into every single second of the show."

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