A.I.D.A. and Hollywood
Eight years ago, the former ballet dancer Monika Schoepfer dancers agency A.I.D.A. The Company provides dancers to projects that go beyond the dance stage: in film and advertising productions and public events. The strategy pays off. Customers include Tom Cruise, meanwhile, the Cirque du Soleil and Mercedes Benz. Text: Tom Mustroph, dance and theater critic A scene from a movie: The phone rings. "Do not take it," asks one woman. "It's Hollywood," says the other. Just because Monika Schoepfer, founder of the dance agency A.I.D.A. (An International Dance Agency) picked up the phone, she learned that a film producer was looking for a dance coach for a scene from the 40s. When she asked about who should be coached, the names Tom Cruise and Carice van Houten were mentioned. She was already in the middle of "Valkyrie". Schoepfer organized a choreographer. And because the movie people expanded their schedule until the day at which the choreographer has had another commitment, Schoepfer jumped in herself as a coach. That she now has a foot in the door in Hollywood she will only say if such a call occures an second time. The work with Tom Cruise is a result of the contineous work Schoeofer has put into A.I.D.A. Eight years ago, Schoepfer founded the agency because she simply did not want to let go of the world of dance. "I never wanted to be the great ballerina. But to belong to this world was always important," she says. So the woman who stopped her ballerina carreer with the birth of her daughter at the age of 27 and started to work for a bank had the idea of creating an agency for dancers. "I wanted to give to others the support that I had wanted for myself at the beginning of my career. When I was going to Monte Carlo for ballet training I did not know how to care for a residence permit, where to find a good doctor and how to successfully apply", she explains. Because dance companies today are increasingly international, the dancers mainly come from abroad, Schoepfer already has a lot to do with the assistance of the basal organization of everyday life a lot. For an annual fee of 150 €, A.I.D.A. provides an all inclusive service. Most importantly she mediates jobs. Through the agency, Monika Schoepfer has successfully established herself in an area where artists and business people meet. Her advantage ist to feel home in both areas. "The dancers know that I am one of them. And as head secretary at a bank I have learned what is important in the world of business, "says Schoepfer. If the marketing department of the car manufacturer Mercedes searches one particular ballerina for a commercial who will dance with a bull from Pamplona Monika Schoepfer tracks down and finds the artist, even if only a picture of her is available and the dancer has retired to a small village at Lake Garda. When at an event of the technology group Honeywell the industrial equipment is brought to a rattling dance and human dancers move congenial to the music or when the building tools manufacturer Metabo is thinking about a Pas de Deux of fragile ballet dancers with wed drills and flexible devices then Schoepfers brings the artists and organizes the entire process . For film productions she organizes dancers and choreographers. For the circus Cirque du Soleil, she manages the casting. And if at the State Theater in Cottbus the prima ballerina of the current "Carmen" - production drops out Schoepfers organizes the perfect substitute. To ballet and other dance productions of state organisations Schoepfers mediates the 200-300 dancers who work with their agency rather rarely. Almost never to the independent scene. On the one hand one knows one another trough the various networks and on the other hand "they usually do not have the money to pay another agency for the audition," says Schoepfer. Requests from dancers she now receives daily. She selects those from whom she thinks they can be mediated. A classical ballet training and the will to "struggle daily with the body" is a prerequisite, she believes. Mutual trust is also important. And it certainly does not hurt when the dancers share the attitude of the agency head that dance is first born from the joy of movement.
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