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Your Source For The Arts In Atlanta

In 2017, Tara Lee was one of five cofounding members of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre, where she teaches and is resident choreographer. Her latest work is The Poet, a dance film available to stream through July 10. Lee has had a 24-year dance career with Atlanta Ballet, Ballet British Columbia and the Joffrey Ballet. (Photo by Joseph Guay)

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I was always sensitive to being different because I was the only Asian in my school until high school. But as an artist, I have felt empowered by my uniqueness. I have not experienced overt violence or hatred toward me. I always try with these tragedies [such as the violence toward Asian women] to focus on the best of what we can be, our potential. When I am creating, I admire and respect diversity. I want to see how we are connected, not what separates us, to see the truth of who we are in a profound way. I keep coming back to that theme. It’s an uncomfortable process. I try to put things in a broader, spiritual context, one of unconditional love. 

My strength is my family and the energy that I pray to. That’s what I find to be stable and unmoving when things are tumultuous in life. I moved my parents here from Connecticut in November. It was scary because it was in the middle of what was happening, but now I get to see them all the time. I want to be thankful for the basic things. Our health, checking in with those we care about, being present with each other. 

I hope there is refreshed energy and spirit when people come back into connection in a physical way. As artists, as dancers, we really miss the audience. The dialogue you have in a live show you can’t get any other way. I think it will be charged with thankfulness now. We recently did a live show in Hilton Head. I don’t think audiences realize how much artists can feel how loving they are, how artists accept the audience’s energy and bounce it back.

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