Interview with Zoe Marinello-Kohn 09/12/2020
Zoe Marinello-Kohn is a ballet dancer and activist. Most recently, she was highlighted by Rising Arts Leaders after submitting an audition for Arts Fest 2020, where she performed live on Instagram for our audience.
What projects are you currently working on?
I have been working on a short film titled “Ash”. Ash is my exploration of the loss of control I feel when I think about the Climate Crisis. It also touches on the feelings associated with isolation as we all work though our own difficulties in the pandemic and climate emergency.
How has this pandemic affected or shifted your practice/changed your projects?
The pandemic has profoundly affected my practice. I must find new and creative ways to create performance pieces- working with film rather than live performance. Working by myself rather than with other artists. I also must maintain my personal health with class in my own home and teach through Zoom finding different ways to communicate to children the intricacies of ballet technique.
I have painted more and studied, interned for my congressman and joined the transportation committee of SD350.org, working to stop the Climate Crisis. All of these new parts of my life are inspiring my art practice.
What has your journey been like as an artist or creative person?
I have always been an artist. I spent hours painting as a child. I knew that I was going to be a professional ballet dancer the first class I took when I was 11 years old. It was not an easy path but even now as I give myself class in my own kitchen I know it is what I need to be doing. It remains the highlight of my day. Eventually I will turn to something new, but ballet, dance and art will always be ingrained in my body and guiding every part of my life.
Do you have any tips for up-and-coming, or rising artists/creatives?
I have a student who is going on pointe for the first time this week! My advice to her and all my students has been if you think you’re doing enough, you might consider working harder. Ballet is too hard to do if you kind of like it. You must love it to keep going. That said I truly believe that everyone is a dancer! I encourage my students to find their own voice in their movements and to approach dance as an artist and performance as a gift not a sport. I ask them to remember that art is not a competition, it is a journey. For me there are no wrong answers, just room for improvement and clarifying your artistic voice.