Monday, December 21, 2009

Q&A with Dance Program Costume Designer Cyndi Church

In September 2009, Cyndi Church joined Emory as Costume Designer and Coordinator for the Dance Program and Costume Assistant for Theater Emory. She answered a few questions for us about her background and about designing for dance. (image above: costumes designed by Cyndi for the November 2009 Emory Dance Company Concert)

What did you do in the costume design field before beginning your job at Emory?
Prior to Emory I was designing for a company, LEA Sports, that outfits color guards, percussion ensembles, competition dance teams, and ice skaters.

Tell me a little about your background - how did you decide to go into costume design as a career?
When I was a young girl I envisioned that some day I would design window store fronts. Of course being a dreamer I only envisioned doing this for huge fabulous stores in major downtown areas. I am not sure when or why I saw myself designing these store fronts but it seemed to be a good fit for me because I would be able to design and control the space.

I was involved in the color guard activity since a very young age and began to give my opinion on what the designers had us wear for performances. Later I began to choreograph for high school color guards so as a part of that I was able to be the one to design the garments for my own productions. Early on I had some really grand ideas and some big flops but it was all a great experience for me. After a few years I started getting asked by other directors to design for their groups. I worked on a project along with a company called LEA Sports and by the end of that collaboration I was hired by them to design for a national clientele.

Why did you choose to design for dance rather than theater?
I enjoy the freedom that designing for dance allows because most projects are about creating a whole new design rather than re-creating. How garments fit the moving body is always a fun challenge. I also believe that where costuming for dance is going is exciting right now. There is a real wave of innovation and creativity that seems to be elevating the whole dance concert experience for the audience.

Tell me a little about your work for color guard (and explain what color guard is for those who don¹t know). (image at left: color guard costumes designed by Cyndi)
Explaining color guard is always a challenge; many have the old military style with high boots girls marching in back of a band image in their head when they hear the term color guard. The color guard activity has really grown over the years and taken a much more dance based approach. What is now called "Winter Guard" are groups, either high school age or collegiate, performing/competing in indoor arenas across the country. There is an organization called Winter Guard International that hosts contests around the world and each year in the spring hosts the World Championships. Groups from all over compete over a week long competition. Most spectators not familiar with Winter Guard are amazed at the depth of creativity and excellence that these groups are producing.

I began at the age of 9 years old with a independent color guard group and stayed with it as a participant for 13 years. At age 21 the participants "age out" so I moved on to choreographing for groups. I have been doing this ever since. Currently I am the Director of the Color Guard program at Walton High School in Marietta. I have been there for 14 years. The group is competitive on a national level and back in 2001 won the WGI World Championships. When designing a production for the group I always start with the costume and set design; everything else comes after. I have to see the look of the production in my head first.

What are the challenges in working with choreographers and designing for dance?
Challenges are fun to work through for me; I get energized when the project requires a lot out of me. Many times a choreographer may not think they know what they want but in talking with them I can usually hear what they are wanting even if they don't actually realize it.

What inspires you when you are designing costumes? What do you try to convey to audiences through your designs?
So much inspires me that it is hard to really say, but fashion, all forms of the arts, environment, and architecture all come into play. When there is a piece of work that has my costume designs as a part of it I want it to be just that, a part of the whole aesthetic. In most cases I wouldn't want it to pull focus or disrupt unless that was the objective of the project, maybe intellectually. I have had opportunities where I was able to design the costumes first and then the body of work comes to life.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Olé! Q&A with Flamenco Instructor Julie Baggenstoss

Julie Baggenstoss is on our faculty this year, teaching a course called Dances and Dance Forms. This course features a different dance form each year (past forms include West African dance and Kuchipudi from India), and this year's form is Flamenco. Julie (pictured) answered a few questions for us about her experience and about Flamenco as a dance form.

How long have you been involved with flamenco dance and what drew you to it?
I have been involved with flamenco dance for 13 years. I was first drawn to flamenco by chance. After dancing all of my life, I wanted to try a different form when I was in my early 20s. I opened the Yellow Pages and saw a choice of belly dance or flamenco. I chose the latter, most likely because during my teenage years, I had been introduced to “Spanish tap,” the men's footwork portion of Mexican folkloric dance. The rhythms and use of the feet were interesting to me, initially.

Where and with whom did you study flamenco? Are you still studying?
My first teacher was Teresa Romero Torkanowsky, in New Orleans. I've also studied with Ulrika Frank in Atlanta, as well as a number of teachers in Spain. Some of my most influential teachers in Spain are Manuela Reyes, for her outstanding technique class, and Soraya Clavijo for her edgy style and instruction in improvisational dance. I currently study with teachers who offer workshops in the United States. I am studying flamenco singing now more than dance, but I am still studying dance. Most recently, I've been learning from New York-based dancer La Meira; Antonio Hidalgo, who does everything in flamenco, from dance to direct music to produce; and Marija Temo, who teaches singing, guitar, and dance as a whole flamenco package.

A few years ago, you were featured in People magazine as someone who made a career change to “follow your dream.” Tell me a little more about your life before your flamenco career and why you made the switch.
I was a television and Web writer, producer, and manager. The hours were long and often demanded my holidays. As I got older, I wanted more flexibility with my schedule. Trading full-time work for contract work gave me the opportunity to travel to Spain to develop my ability in flamenco. The more I learned, the more I realized that it would be possible to pursue a passion and make a living, albeit on a lower salary level then my previous career.

How does flamenco benefit your students—what do they gain from learning the art form?
Flamenco is beneficial on several levels, because it is deep and wide. There are the usual benefits, such as physical activity, mental exercise, and personal confidence. Much of flamenco takes place in the Spanish language, and students learn at least some Spanish vocabulary to communicate in class or understand song lyrics. Then, there is exposure to cultural differences. Flamenco is flamenco because of its influences: Spanish, Jewish, Indo-Pakistani, Moorish, and African cultures, all tied together by the gypsy lifestyle and its values, which are in opposition to many mores in the United States of America. Despite the cultural differences, many people who study flamenco realize that the emotional expression on which the art is based, transcends the gypsy experience that first gave rise to songs, dance, and music hundreds of years ago. Through this, students relate the experiences of people in another part of the world to their own lives. They learn about themselves, their own emotions, and perhaps get to express them through art.

How are you involved with flamenco in the Atlanta community (teaching, performances, etc.), and how can people interested in learning flamenco find classes or local performances?
I am involved in a number of projects and small businesses in Atlanta that produce and promote flamenco. I am a member of AIRE Flamenco, a live flamenco cuadro that performs throughout the Southeastern United States. I teach classes to the public at Several Dancers Core in downtown Decatur. And, I present national and international flamenco artists in workshops and performances in Atlanta. Information about the events that I organize and others can be found at Atlanta's flamenco website,

Are there any interesting facts/trivia about flamenco that you can share?
At its root, flamenco is an improvised art form. It began when gypsies sang out to express emotion hundreds of years ago when no one was recording history in a journal. It wasn't until the late 19th century that flamenco was presented on stage, and the public, non-gypsies that is, became introduced to this fascinating art form. Since then, flamenco has evolved and exists in two arenas: the original form of flamenco that is still improvised and takes place only at parties and private settings; and, the public presentation of flamenco on stage, with costumes, lights, and lightning-fast footwork. No matter in which setting you experience flamenco, you'll hear the performers and audience members shouting “Olé,” “Toma que toma,” “Vamos aya.” These are what we call a "jaleos," cheers of encouragement that are part of the exchange of emotional expression. So, when you're attending a flamenco performance, listen for these cheers. And, if they come from the person sitting next to you in the audience, don't worry; shouting at the performers is proper theater etiquette for flamenco.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Emory Dance Company performances start tonight!

The Emory Dance Company's fall concert, "Muscle Memory," featuring choreography by faculty of the Emory Dance Program, starts tonight! All of the concert pieces involve the theme of memory and are performed by Emory students. Ticket proceeds from the Saturday night performance will benefit the Sally A. Radell Friends of Dance Scholarship Fund.

Performances are:
Thursday, Nov. 19, 8:00pm
Friday, Nov. 20, 8:00pm
Sat. Nov. 21, 2:00pm and 8:00pm

For tickets, call the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404-727-5050.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Holland Dance Festival

Professor of Dance Sally Radell had the opportunity to attend the Holland Dance Festival, which took place October 28-November 15 in The Hague, Netherlands. She shares some of her thoughts below.

I just returned from ten days in Holland where I attended several events at the Holland Dance Festival. This festival is the largest biennial dance festival in the Netherlands and included over 60 performances, one hundred workshops, and a dance parade with over 1200 dancers. The focus of this festival was a 50-year celebration of the Netherlands Dance Theater.

Of the several events I attended, by far the most powerful was the opening performance of the Netherlands Dance Theater performance on October 29. It was held in the Lucent Dance Theater, a stunning larger theater that was built and equipped for large dance events. As I approached the theater, I knew I was in for something special, as I viewed several dancers attached with ropes to the top of the building performing outside. They were dramatically illuminated and some were perched on stilt type walking devices that distorted their movement in a very compelling way. Their movements were somewhat agitated, yet smooth, slow and focused. It was mesmerizing.

The program consisted of three new premieres by Jiri Kylian, the English/Spanish duo of Paul Lightfoot and Sol Leon, and Swedish born Johan Inger. All three works had interactive sets and some degree of audiovisual effects which were seamlessly woven into the works. The dancers in all the pieces were of course superb technicians and all the choreography was some of the strongest I have seen. (Note: The Netherlands Dance Theater website currently has a video clip of Jyri Kylian's piece playing on the home page.)

Jiri Kylian has been a major artistic force in the Netherlands Dance Theater for years. His work “Memoires D’Oubliettes” was set to an original score by Dirk Haubrich, used impressionistic black and white film projections, and involved a forest- like elastic banded border around the stage. The dancers hurled, slithered and catapulted themselves in and out of this fabric with focused and sinuous energy. What was most striking about this work was the intuitive, kinetic logic that evolved seamlessly in the choreography as the piece transitioned into new sections that flowed with grace and ease. It was easy to get totally involved with this work; in fact, the choreographic intelligence totally drew me in.

The second piece by Lightfoot/Leo, “Studio 2,” was set to a score by Arvo Part. It involved a ramp where dancers seemed to rise while appearing like they were floating and a large mirror that was raised, lowered, and tilted with different relationships to the floor as the dancers moved around it. There were some particularly striking moments where the reflections in the mirror created apparitions of multiple dancers moving at odd angles. It was an in-depth look at the use of the mirror and levels of movement in dance class, but of course it took it all so much farther in abstraction than one could logically imagine.

The last work, “Dissolve in This,” by Inger involved circular lights on the stage that moved throughout the performance and a floor entirely covered in layers of torn up rubber that looked like grey snow. The bounciness and erratic qualities of the floor covering were reflected in the random and quick qualities of the movement gestures as the dancers darted around the stage with full abandon. The piece gradually accumulated throughout with larger and larger groups of dancers performing bigger phrases that covered an increasingly larger amount of space. The choreographically evolved masterfully and captured my total attention and fascination throughout the entirety of the forty minute work.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thoughts on Collaboration

Kendall Simpson, Music Coordinator for the Emory Dance Program, is working with two dance faculty members, Lori Teague, and Sally Radell, to create music for their pieces for the upcoming Emory Dance Company concert, Muscle Memory, November 19-21, 2009. For more information about the concert, please see: Kendall's thoughts on collaboration follow.......

No two collaborations are alike; they are invariably unique. The creative destination may be known to all involved, but the method of travel can be wildly divergent. As a composer for the Emory Dance program, I have journeyed many routes in creating music for dance. Some choreographers work out the complete movement before the music is ever composed while others like to create around a set piece. Some find the middle ground by letting both music and movement set the work.

To keep my head on straight, I embrace it all, allowing the challenges in collaboration to push me as an artist. Care and trust are important, for we artists are on tender ground throughout the process. I am so fortunate to work with such thoughtful individuals as faculty members Greg Catellier, Anna Leo, Lori Teague, George Staib, Sally Radell and Tara Shepard Myers. They are all so different in their methods but so similar in the support and respect they give to me and fellow composers like Klimchak.

Now that I think about it, working with someone is my preference. I like to have a partner when I dance.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Local Atlanta Blogs of Interest

Check out these two local blogs.........

Atlanta Dances, a community dance blog about the dance scene in Atlanta, started by Claire Horn of Several Dancers Core. The sidebar of the blog has a helpful list of links to Atlanta dance companies, dance classes, and university dance programs. covers the Atlanta arts scene with reviews and news. It features several writers, each covering an area of the arts. Several of the contributors were formerly arts critics for the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The site lets you choose posts by discipline, or you can browse through all of them.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Dance Truck at Le Flash Festival

Images above (l to r): Allie Bruehlman, Kaitlyn Pados, Sophie Slesinger performing in the Dance Truck during the Le Flash Festival.

This post was written by senior dance major Allie Bruehlman about a recent choreographic project.

On the evening of October 1, Atlanta's Castleberry Hill neighborhood was host to the second annual Le Flash Festival. I had the opportunity to choreograph for the festival's Dance Truck project, the brainchild of lighting designer Malina Rodriguez. Malina's idea was to bring dance into a public, urban environment by renting a twenty-six-foot Ryder box truck and presenting different choreographers' work made specifically for that space. Sophie Slesinger (class of '09), Kaitlyn Pados (senior dance major), and I performed in a piece I entitled "Primary Cares." The piece dealt with the implications of moving within the truck's spatial confines. We investigated how the space affected not only our individual movement but also our physical and emotional interactions and how such close spatial boundaries are analogous to our personal boundaries as well. Though in many ways I wish I could revisit and improve upon the material I presented, I am still very happy to have been a part of the proejct. The performance experience was unlike any other I have had before, and I am truly grateful to have participated in such a unique event.

Photos by Lori Teague

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Art and Science: Evolution or Inspiration?

This post was written by Emory Vice President Rosemary Magee, who moderated "Where Dance and Science Meet: A Creativity Conversation," which was held on October 15, 2009. For more information about Emory's Creativity Conversations, please click here.

Art and Science: Evolution or Inspiration? What is the role of the imagination in our work as scholars and researchers as well as artists? How can the University help to develop the imagination for individuals as well as the community?

These are some of the questions pursued in the discussion with New York-based choreographer David Neumann, Emory Chemistry Department Chair David Lynn, and myself.

What struck me were the commonalities in the process of discovery. These shared approaches included the importance of special tools, the centrality of collaboration, and the focus on process. What pleased me was how engaged the audience became--especially students who are double-majoring in art and science disciplines--in helping us think about the tensions as well as the commonalities.

If evolution is one of the dominant paradigms of our time, then both science and art are essential for discovering its meaning and implications. This conversation was an exploration of these ideas.
Photos by Lori Teague.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Q&A with Dance Alumna Ellen Lyle

Recent Emory dance alumna Ellen Lyle is preparing to present a new site-specific piece at a labyrinth Emory Presbyterian Church (see below for more information about the performance). We asked her a few questions about her experience at Emory, her current work, and future plans.

What have you been doing since graduating in May?
This summer I studied at the American Dance Festival, thanks to the Emory Friends of Dance. I took three classes most days in modern technique and composition (with Jesse Zaritt) and hiphop (with LaShawn Jones and HeJin Jang) as well as anusara yoga a few days a week. I also had the opportunity to create and present the beginnings of a new work in the ADF Student Concert and receive feedback from students and working professionals.

Currently I am in Atlanta working independently as a choreographer. I am collaborating with a number of Emory students and alumni as a part of a new arts collective, ellen lyle / open collision dance, which will be presenting work for the first time this weekend.

I am also working at the Atlanta Ballet and the Woodruff Arts Center and teaching ballet and young children's classes.

What are your future plans in dance?
I plan to continue creating new work; that I know for sure. Beyond that, I am letting things take me where they will. I am still figuring out what role I want dance to play in my life, but I will likely continue to choreograph and perform as long as I am able.

How did your education at Emory help prepare you for a career in dance?
My education at Emory gave me room to explore the field of dance both independently and under the guidance of its supportive faculty. The Dance Program helped me to think creatively and openly about the purpose of dance, as art, service, commentary or whatever its role may be. My education as a whole at Emory strengthened my critical mind and broadened my knowledge and awareness in a number of fields that play a vital role in the work I create.

How did you get the idea for a site specific dance at a labyrinth? Would you like to share anything else about the development of this piece?
I began attending Emory Presbyterian, where the labyrinth with which we are working is located, my freshman year at Emory. Over the past few years I've seen and visited a number of different prayer labyrinths, and I've been intrigued by their use and how people view them. Many people think of a labyrinth as being a maze—with dead ends and many different paths—something that is confusing. A prayer labyrinth, however, has only one path. There are no tricks to finding your way through. You begin at the outside, and work your way to the center, as a means of centering, meditating, or connecting with God. The path is a journey, spiritual or otherwise.

From an aesthetic point of view, the labyrinth is a very interesting space to work with—offering a circular foundation, with designs laid out in its path and with a central focus. The stones offer a unique, grounding texture. For me, working and performing in this space is a means of looking at what it means to be on a journey, to walk through life and accumulate new experiences, create memories, and leave marks along the way. To alter the journey for the future. The movement of these dancers in unison or in harmony in this space create for me a sense of travelling, sustaining community.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

David Neumann Events this week!

Please join us this week for two events featuring choreographer David Neumann. First up, a creativity conversation with Emory Chemistry Department Chair David Lynn. Then, the following two nights, performances by Neumann's company advanced beginner group.

Full details are on our website: (click on "Events").

October 15, 2009, 4:00 p.m.
Emory Friends of Dance Lecture Series: Where Dance and Science Meet: A Creativity Conversation

Dance Studio, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
No admission charge

October 16, 2009, 8:00 p.m. and October 17, 2009, 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m.
advanced beginner group
Dance Studio, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
$15 public; $10 discount groups; $5 students (box office 404-727-5050)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Study Abroad in Italy

This post was written by current senior and dance major Allie Bruehlman.

This past spring I studied at the Accademia dell'Arte in Arezzo, Italy. The program is housed in a beautiful sixteenth-century villa amdist olive groves and wineries on the outskirts of the city. For four months I was lucky enough to eat, sleep, breathe, dance, and learn with thirty-six other students in this picturesque Tuscan locale. The Accademia's dance curriculum focused on teaching Western technical forms such as ballet and modern alongside the rich movement traditions of Italian tarantella. These classes in tarantella were especially enlightening and enjoyable because they unveiled parts of the Italian identity that I would never have seen through mere tourism. As the semester wore on, as I travelled more, as I learned to truly speak the language, I grew to love Italy not only for its food and its history but also for its culture and its people. I am so happy to have had the opportunity to travel with my love of dance into a new setting and to see the power that movement can have both on and off stage, both at home and abroad.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Bates Dance Festival: A Student Perspective

Emory dance student Kaitlyn Pados attended the Bates Dance Festival this summer. This is Kaitlyn's reflection on her experience there.

This summer I attended Bates Dance Festival at Bates College in Maine with the help of the Sally A. Radell Friends of Dance Scholarship. The three week experience involved four daily classes for me: Modern V with Michael Foley, Jazz IV with Cathy Young, Modern Repertory with Bebe Miller, and Yoga with Ashley Crawford. It was an amazing experience by itself, but in was even better sharing the hard work and exhaustion with fellow Emory dancers Alyssa Bruehlman and Kirsten Cooper, in addition to having Greg Catellier there as a supportive faculty member.

I have done other summer dance programs in the past, but this festival in particular challenged me on a daily basis, and pushed me out of my comfort zone which I really appreciate as an aspiring dancer/performer. The festival culminated in a finale performance in which we performed Bebe Miller's repertory work.

Crammed into those three busy weeks were challenges, exhaustion, and quite frankly, severe soreness. But the exposure to new movement and the personal growth I underwent as a dancer and performer made it an experience I will forever remember and appreciate.

Friday, September 25, 2009 so much nearer home

Faculty member Anna Leo's concert so much nearer home starts tonight, Friday, September 25, at 8:00 p.m. Other performances are Saturday, September 26 at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 27 at 3:00 p.m. For tickets ($5), call 404-727-5050.

For an interview with Anna Leo and more information about her inspiration for this concert, please click here.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Writing the Poem "Voice"

Please join us for the upcoming concert " so much nearer home," featuring choreography by faculty member and Dance Program Director, Anna Leo. The concert has three performances from September 25-27. Please see our website and click on the Events link for more details. One of the unique features of this concert is that each dance will be introduced by a poem. The post below is written by Lynn Thompson, who composed one of these poems.

Writing the Poem “Voice”
by Lynne Thompson

When Anna Leo invited me to compose a poem for a solo dance entitled Warrior Woman Pantoum, I assumed the Malayan form (originally, pantun) would provide the structure for the poem. When I received the DVD of a rehearsal of the piece, however, it struck me that Anna’s choreography and Steve Everett’s feral musical score had fractured the regularized expectations that are a necessary aspect of that form. Traditionally, the pantoum is comprised of repeated, rhyming lines that create an echo in the listener’s ear; a feeling of taking four steps forward, then two back. However, Anna’s Warrior Woman earns her status by eschewing this expectation; by exploring the previously-unexplored so as to discover and establish her own way in the world. Thus, in writing "Voice," I wanted to develop a pattern by repeating the active verb say while marrying that repetition to the dancer’s unpredictable curiosity and insistence on becoming.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Summer at the Bates Dance Festival

For the faculty and students in the dance program at Emory, summer break is a chance to delve deeply into art making, dance training and to reconnect with the larger dance community. For students this often happens at summer dance festivals where they take class daily and attended dance performances. However, this summer I was lucky enough to be the lighting supervisor at the Bates Dance Festival, (BDF) in Lewiston Maine. There were five fully produced performances from established and emerging choreographers. The production manager and I worked with four interns to ensure successful performances.

I found the reward of attending a summer dance festival was the opportunity to engage with individuals who, like me, are committed to dance as an art form. At the BDF teachers, students, performers and staff come to together three times a day to refuel and exchange at the college’s commons. This creates a palpable sense of community.

At each meal I would look for the Emory students (Kirsten, Kaitlyn and Ali) attending the BDF—sometimes to say hi, and other times to discuss how classes were going. I take such pride in the fact Emory dancers are out there representing our field and bringing it the respect it deserves.

Gregory Catellier
Senior Lecturer

Image: Emory Dance Students at the Bates Dance Festival

Friday, September 11, 2009

Reflection on Dance at the Arts Soiree

Last night was the second annual Arts Soiree. In the dance studio, we started off with inventive, intentional, dynamic phrases created by the Choreography I class (solo compositions). The opportunity to collaborate in the moment, with a Balinese sound score and their classmates, moved each choreographer/performer's phrase into a fully realized physical state. Later in the program, an audience member chose Mohammad Zaidi and Sandra Chan's phrase as a duet experiment in the space. The new selection of music pushed them more intensely through their material, while sensing the new musical landscape. The audience got to experience dynamic contrasts.

Lilli Ransijn, an Emory dance alumna and President of Emory Friends of Dance Board, took our next group of visitors into the dance student lounge for a special viewing of dance faculty member Gregory Catellier's "Disrepair" and Sally Radell's "Car Talk" and "Double Exposure." Both works are designed and created for the camera.

The last sessions in the dance studio had wonderfully inquisitive audiences who asked, "Is there a way to record dances?" "Could you do the dance again?" and "What does it mean when the dancers all fall to the floor?" Blake Beckham, Jade Poole, George Staib and Lori Teague performed exerpts from Dance Program Director Anna Leo's quartet, "Good Graces." This is one of four works in her concert much nearer home, which will premiere September 25-27 in the Schwartz Dance Studio. The evening of dances are all inspired by Leo's family. Teague shared descriptions of Leo's choregraphic process as well as the inspiration for this work, Leo's daughter Vita. "Good Graces" also moves through ideas taken from Fran Castan's poem, "First Month's Blessing." The cast creates a community who embraces, restores, shields, adapts and connects in a metaphoric space of circles, squares and diagonals.

-Lori Teague, Associate Professor
Emory Dance Program

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Creativity and Arts Soiree

Please join us for the second annual Creativity and Arts Soiree on Thursday, September 10 from 4:00-9:00 p.m. at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 North Decatur Road. You can see live dance in the dance studio (see below), hear music by Emory ensembles, and preview theater, film, literary, and visual arts events.

In the dance studio, Emory dancers will improvise movement ideas and share material from their recent summer study at Bates Dance Festival and the American Dance Festival. In addition, Emory alumna Blake Beckham, faculty members George Staib and Lori Teague, and Jade Poole will perform excerpts from Anna Leo's “Good Graces,” which will close the program in Leo's upcoming concert …me so much nearer home. The open rehearsal format will allow audience members to ask questions and gain some insight into Leo's choreographic process. Outside the studio, guests will be able to view dance video work by Greg Catellier and Sally Radell (collaborating with Bill Brown of Visual Arts).

We hope to see you there!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Friends of Dance Scholarship Students, Summer 2009

Every year, our Friends of Dance organization awards scholarships to select dance majors and minors to help them study at prestigious summer dance programs around the country. For summer 2009, five students received scholarships.

Recent graduates Ellen Lyle and Caitlin Yuhas, and rising senior Tiffany Greenwood went to the American Dance Festival (ADF) at Duke University. Ellen wrote a wonderful blog about her experiences, complete with video ( Rising senior Kaitlyn Pados and rising sophomore Kirsten Cooper attended the Bates Dance Festival in Maine. Both programs offered an intensive experience for students, with daily classes in a variety of dance genres.

The unanimous response from the students when asked about their summer dance experiences? Amazing and transforming!

You can support our Friends of Dance scholarship program by becoming a Friend of Dance. Your contribution will also support our biannual Friends of Dance lecture and other programmatic initiatives. In return, you receive ticket discounts for Arts at Emory events and other discounts. For complete details, and information about how to join, please see:

-Anne Walker
Office Manager
Emory Dance Program

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What we did this summer

As the summer nears its end, and we start a new school year next week, we humbly submit our report on "What We Did This Summer."

Our full-time faculty were busy with a variety of things, from choreographing new works to working with local teenagers, to performing and writing a research paper. For a full report on faculty activities, please see "Where the Arts Go in Summer" at (scroll down to find the dance faculty section).

Kendall Simpson, our music coordinator, composed new music for choreography for Anna Leo, which you will be able to experience at her faculty concert, " so much nearer home" to be performed September 25-27 (see for more details).

Kendall and I completed a project over a year in the making, the redesign of our website. We have a completely new look, updated and revised content, and we added a photo gallery. This coming year we plan to add video clips as well. Check out the website for our schedule of 2009-2010 dance events! And feel free to send us feedback on the website to: And obviously we’ve also started a blog!

This week we are gearing up for the arrival of first year students, the return of other students, and for the start of classes on August 27. Stay tuned for our next post, about what our students did this summer!

-Anne Walker
Office Manager
Emory Dance Program

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Welcome to the Emory Dance Program’s blog. Our blog will give you an ongoing, ever-changing, up-close look at the program’s activities and growth. You can read, see, and hear about student, faculty, staff, and alumni activities. Postings will include profiles, event listings, first person anecdotes, as well as articles, and links to other blogs and sites.

Our 2009-2010 season will start in September and includes a variety of concerts by faculty, students, and guest dance companies. Please visit our website at for a full list of events for the upcoming year! To receive mailings or emails about our events, send your contact information to with a request to be added to our snail mail and/or email list.

We look forward to keeping in touch with you via our blog, and hope you will check back regularly for new posts! If there is anything you would like to see in our blog, please send us an email at:

-Anna Leo
Director, Emory Dance Program