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

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