On this episode of DLEW, I talk with Johanna Sapakie of Cirque du Soleil.
Good communication has had an incredible impact on Johanna’s career – in one case, it was the only thing that could appease the one and only Madonna! Being able to communicate effectively is imperative to any creative process. Join us on this episode to hear Johanna’s thoughts and experiences on the many ways to effectively communicate.
Johanna Sapakie ’s passion for dance and love for choreography have always played an important role in her life. Her diligent work ethic and dedication to the craft have gotten her far in the ever-expanding worlds of dance and entertainment. While coming from a strong ballet background, Johanna is an athletic dancer schooled in a variety of forms including contemporary, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, tap, modern, partnering, point work and aerial & pole acrobatics. She was trained from a very young age and has worked with such master teachers as Joe Tremaine, Debbie Allen, Liz Imperio, Marguerite Derricks, Wade Robson and Savion Glover.
More recently, on the performance side of her career, Johanna has been involved in many projects on stage and on camera including the newest Cirque Du Soleil shows in Las Vegas “Michael Jackson ONE” with Jamie King and “Viva ELVIS” with Vincent Paterson, Dancing With the Stars, the Arabesque Festival at the Kennedy Center, “One Love…” with Franco Dragone, “Songs of Soul and Inspiration” with, among others, Debbie Allen, Queen Latifah and Chaka Khan, MEIFF with Otis Salid, The Mexican Billboard Awards with Liz Imperio, The MTV Movie Awards, New Year’s Eve Live at Mandalay Bay, the first animated ring tone for “Boom di Boom di”, the lead female pole acrobat in That Rogue Romeo’s music video “Domino”, Jazz Dance World Congress 2001-2004 & 2007, “The Professional Dancers’ Society Benefit” with Dick Van Dyke, “Steps in Time” for Disney’s California Adventure, the grand opening of “The Highlands” with Alex Magno, Mental Head Circus with Terry Beeman, the Hysterica Dance Company with Bubba Carr, “NY’s Performance Outlet” with Dee Caspary, Gucci, Redken, Volvo and Tarbell Realty industrials, a Rhino Records Commercial, photography for the Dance Resource Center and much more. Johanna has been a member of Liz Imperio’s Instincts Live Media Dance Company which has toured throughout the U.S. and Europe and Mark Meismer‘s Evolution Dance Company.
With her choreography, Johanna Sapakie has worked on So You Think You Can Dance, “Miley Cyrus: Live in Concert”, “The Gioi Tinh Yeu” with ASIA Music Group, “Michael Jackson: A Tribute to the King of Pop” and “Michael Jackson at B.B. King’s Club”, Jean Ann Ryan cruise lines, “Viva Los Dodgers” at Dodgers Stadium with the cast of tv’s Q’viva, the Upper Manhattan Lounge, “Jazz Dance L.A.”, promotional showcases for EMI recording artist Oryon, choreography for professional dance companies, studios and schools around the world and much more.
Also, Johanna has been an associate choreographer for Madonna: The Confessions Tour and Madonna: The Reinvention Tour, “Q’Viva: The Chosen” with Jamie King for Fox and Univision, “Latin on Ice” for NBC, “Your Mama Don’t Dance” for Lifetime Television, Filippa Giordano: The Prima Donna Tour, Premio Lo Nuestro, the Latin Grammy Awards, the Riviera Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, the feature film “Dus”, industrials, burlesque shows, animated ringtones, showcases and performances for recording artists Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Sheryl Crow, Olga Tañon, Aventura, Jenni Rivera, Los Tigres Del Norte and routines for the Los Angeles Clippers, to name a few.
Along with performing and choreographing, Johanna takes much pride in her teaching. While always trying to expand her horizons, she teaches all forms of dance including contemporary, jazz, lyrical, ballet, hip-hop and tap. She has taught at studios all around the world for children and adults of all levels and abilities. Johanna also enjoyed teaching as part of the LADF and Hollywood Vibe convention faculties. She is currently sharing her knowledge and love for dance at Edge Performing Arts Center and The Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles and The Rock Center for Dance in Las Vegas, as well as many other places.
Johanna Sapakie is also an accomplished aerial acrobat and performs on many different apparatus including tissú, lyra, straps, hammock, pole, and cube. She also performs a one-of-a-kind aerial dance act on an apparatus specially conceptualized and designed by Ms. Sapakie herself called a double helix. She has already performed all over North and South America and the Middle East and is excited to add these new media to her credits. She can be seen as a featured acrobatic performer and dancer twice nightly in “Michael Jackson ONE” by Cirque Du Soleil at Mandalay Bay Casino in Las Vegas.
Dance Like Everyone’s Watching with Andrea Muhlbauer is the show that brings you inspiration and insight into the world of dance and choreography. Andrea and her amazing guests are saying the things that no one else will. D.L.E.W. will tackle the MAJOR problems facing dance and the arts: the diminishing of audiences, the rise of new technologies, and the loss of artistic purpose. Slightly controversial opinions and real talk are guaranteed.