Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Emory Dance Company Conert Photos

These are just a few of many beautiful photos taken by Lori Teague of the fall Emory Dance Company Concert, November 18-20, 2010. A larger selection can be found on our Facebook page.

"Shakers" by Doris Humphrey

"miles to the left" by Lori Teague

"After the Curtain" by Tara Lee

"Chimera" by Gregory Catellier

"Off Main, Veer Left" by T. Lang

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Working with a Guest Choreographer: A Student's Perspective

This post was written by junior dance major Kala Seidenberg, about her experience working with Emory Dance Company guest choreographer Tara Lee, principal dancer with the Atlanta Ballet. The Emory Dance Company performs at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts November 18-20, 2010. Click here for event details.

Opening night of the fall Emory Dance Company concert is one day away, and I am feeling sad that rehearsals are ending. I have to admit that this year’s EDC concert is very distinct from past shows. Working with Tara Lee turned out to be very different from what I anticipated. Back in August, hearing that a principal ballerina would be coming to choreograph at Emory immediately grabbed my attention, and I saw working with Tara as an opportunity to improve my technique and work on ballet performance. I have been pleasantly surprised however, that the work is not really ballet, but more contemporary in style.

Working with Tara, her assistant Jessie, and the other dancers has been a huge learning experience for me in so many ways. First of all, watching Tara and Jessie move with such an organic and spineless quality has shown me the importance of versatility. Here are two dancers who constantly train and perform in classical ballet, but are diverse enough dancers to step away from that and do less bound movement when called to do so. Rehearsing with them has proven to me the importance of training and technique in all dance forms, and that the more you train and study, the more eclectic and versatile dancer you can be.

Similarly, it was interesting to work with their choices of music and its relationship with their movement. They included four different songs from the artist Beirut in our piece. Seeing how they match their movement with the music through musical visualizations has been a new experience for me. The other choreographers I have worked with at Emory have taken a different approach in which the main focus of the piece was the movement, not necessarily connecting visually with the music.

Please join us  to see Kala and the other students from the Emory Dance Company perform works by Doris Humphrey, guest choreographers Tara Lee and T. Lang, and Emory faculty members Gregory Catellier, George Staib, and Lori Teague.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Dance for Reel, October 14, 2010

Image from the film "Cinetica" by Ana Cembrero of Spain
On Thursday, October 14th, the Emory Dance Program partners with the Department of Film Studies to present Dance for Reel, a screening of dance for camera works taking place at the Performing Arts Studio (1804 N. Decatur Rd.), at 8:00pm. Now in its third run, this free signature series brings contemporary, international works from The Dance Films Association in New York to campus and community audiences. Emory Dance alumna Blake Beckham (01 C) curates and helps coordinate the event. “This is one of several ways“ says Beckham, “that the Dance Program makes cutting edge work accessible to diverse audiences, and takes part in an interdisciplinary dialogue to move our field forward.”

This year’s program features five short films that range in length from 2 to 30 minutes. Each artist adopts a unique approach to how choreographic framing intersects with filmic devices. They artfully manipulate time and space to create evocative imagery that resides in a variety of locales – amongst them a rolling hillside, a desert, a cave, a bathtub, bedside, bridge. Several of this year’s films share a meditative quality, unfolding like a dream in which graphic elements merge, meander, and collide.

Dance for Reel’s dynamic line up of films should appeal to a wide variety of patrons, artists and students – from visual artists, to film buff, to dance-goers. “Rather than relying heavily on formal, choreographed sequences, most of the films adopt a subtle approach to movement” explains Beckham. “Constructed more conceptually, these works ask us to re-imagine how we see the moving body and place it in the context of performance. As a choreographer, I am always inspired by an experience that challenges my practices of looking and habits of visual design.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Photos from Arts Soiree and Friends of Dance Lecture

Here are a few photos from our September events, the Arts Soiree on September 10 and the Friends of Dance Lecture on September 14. At the Arts Soiree, dance musicians Kendall Simpson and Klimchak improvised music outside the Schwartz Center, while in the dance studio Bridget Roosa of Agnes Scott College led a rehearsal of Doris Humphrey's "Shakers." Emory and Agnes Scott are teaming up to present "Shakers," using dancers from both schools, at a concert in October at Agness Scott, and at the Emory Dance Company concert in November.

Kendall Simpson and Klimchak making music outside the Schwartz Center.
Bridget Roosa leading a rehearsal of "Shakers."

Teena Marie Custer leads a master class in house dance. 

Custer demonstrates during begining breaking master class.

Students demonstrated various hip hop dances styles during Custer's Friends of Dance lecture.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Staibdance/Vega String Quartet/William Ransom

Get your tickets now for "Staibdance, the Vega String Quartet, and William Ransom: In Concert." Choreographer and Emory faculty member George Staib is presenting his second collaboration with the Vega String Quartet. The musicians will be performing live on stage with the dancers. And this time, Emory faculty member and renowned pianist William Ransom will also perform live.

For tickets, call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050. This concert promises to be a sellout, so get your tickets in advance! Join the performers for a reception following the Saturday, September 25 concert. For more details, please see www.dance.emory.edu/events.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Hip Hop Lecture Tonight, Sept. 14, 2010

Tonight the Emory Dance Program welcomes Teena Marie Custer, who will present the Friends of Dance Lecture, "B-Girling: A Herstory of Hip Hop Dance and Culture." Custer will explore the journey of women in hip hop dance and culture in various hip hop dance styles. Emory student dancers will provide live demonstrations!

Custer battles and perofrms internationally with her crew, Venus Fly Trap, an all female street dance crew. Her solo show "The Be-Girl Diaries" performed at the Breakin' Convention in London, England in 2007. In addition to theatrical works, she has won underground freestyle dance battles and was featured on an episode of MTV's MADE. Custer holds a BA in Dance from Slippery Rock University and an MFA in Dance Performance from The Ohio State University, and has been on the faculty at both schools.

Emory students took advantage of two master classes presented yesterday by Custer, one on house dance, and the other on beginning breakdancing. Custer is a wonderful, high-energy teacher; we anticipate her lecture will be just as fabulous as the master classes were.

Lecture details:
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Dance Studio, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
1700 N. Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322
FREE! No tickets required!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beginning the Year

Students arrived back on campus last week, and classes started last Wednesday. It's hard to believe the summer is over already! We welcome both our returning students, and new students just begining to get involved in dance at Emory.

Our faculty spent the summer in various places, and we hope to have some posts from them soon. Greg Catellier was technical director for the Bates College Dance Festival, Anna Leo journeyed to India with several Emory colleagues (highlight: audience with the Dalai Lama), George Staib taught a workshop in Italy, Sally Radell worked on a research paper for publication, and Lori Teague taught several local workshops and attended some professional development workshops/conferences.

Six of our students received funds from the Sally A. Radell Friends of Dance Scholarship Fund, and studied at the American Dance Festival, Bates Dance Festival, and Boston Conservatory over the summer.

This year we welcome some new faculty members. Emily Yewell Volin will be teaching jazz for us this semester while Tara Shepard Myers is on maternity leave. In the spring, alumnae Blake Beckham and Kathleen Wessel will be filling in for George Staib while he is on leave. We also welcome back Omelika Kuumba, who is teaching West African Dance for us this year.

Our 2010-2011 season has many exciting events; check out the complete schedule on our website: www.dance.emory.edu/events.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our 2010-2011 events are now on our website: www.dance.emory.edu/events! We have a great line-up for next year, including:
  • Friends of Dance Lectures: hip-hop artist Teena Marie Custer speaks on women in hip hop dance styles, accompanied by a demonstration (fall) and Brenda Dixon Gottschild speaking on Africanism in modern and postmodern dance and American ballet (spring).
  • An evening of dance on film
  • Faculty concerts by George Staib (with live music by the Vega String Quartet) and Gregory Catellier featuring professional dancers
  • Alumni Concert featuring work by Emory Dance Program alumni
  • Emory Dance Company concerts (performed by Emory dance students):
    • Fall, choreography by Dance Program faculty and guest artists
    • Spring, choreography by Dance Program students

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Alyssa Bruehlman 10C on Combining Dance with Pre-Med

Alyssa Bruehlman '10C, a dance and movement studies major from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, talks about studying dance at Emory while also on a pre-medicine track. This summer, Allie is attending the American Dance Festival at Duke University, thanks to a Friends of Dance Scholarship. After that, she plans to move to New York and continue working in dance, while also tutoring or working in a clinic/hospital. Eventually she plans to attend medical school and become a family physician.

Why Double-Major?

In this video, students from various arts disciplines at Emory (including dance) discuss the benefits of their interdisplinary studies.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Congratulations to our Graduates!

Emory's commencement was Monday and the Dance Program is saying farewell to six dance majors and one dance minor this year.  In addition, we say good-bye to dozens of other students who have participated in the Emory Dance Program by performing with the Emory Dance Company and taking our classes. Post-graduation plans for our majors and minors include careers in dance performance, graduate study in dance, medical school, and jobs in business.

We had several awards and honors presented to our students during the spring semester. See below for details. Congratulations to all the graduates!

Majors: Alyssa Bruehlman, Audrey Christiansen, Tiffany Greenwood, Leigh Ann Kabatra, Kaitlyn Pados, and Lindsay Reich
Minors: Acantha Abdulla (BBA students Cara Dorfman and Tiffany Soo also completed requirements for the dance minor)

Honors and Awards:
Pioneer Award, given to a senior who is “breaking new ground,” this award recognizes creative application and creative potential in the field of dance. The 2010 award was presented to Alyssa Bruehlman and Kaitlyn Pados.

Sudler Prize in the Arts, given to seniors who have made the most significant contributions to the arts at Emory. Alyssa Bruehlman was one of the winners of the Sudler Prize for 2010.

Honors in Dance: Alyssa Bruehlman and Kaitlyn Pados both received highest honors for their honors projects in dance.

Sally A. Radell Friends of Dance Scholarship, a scholarship for summer dance study, was awarded to six students this year, all of whom will spend part of their summer at prestigious dance programs:
Nicole Blumenkehl, '13 - Bates Dance Festival
Alyssa Bruehlman, '10 - American Dance Festival
Kaitlyn Pados, '10 - American Dance Festival
Lindsay Reich, '10 - American Dance Festival
Alexandra Ross, '13 - Bates Dance Festival
Kala Seidenberg, '12 - Boston Conservatory

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Rally to Protest Arts Funding Cuts

On Monday, April 19, artists from around the Atlanta area, including Emory dance faculty, students, and alumni gathered at the Georgia Capitol to protest the elimination of the Georgia Council for the Arts by the state legislature. This cut would make Georgia the only state in the nation without an arts funding agency and would affect hundreds of arts organizations across the state.

The photos below are of dancers at the protest. Photos are by Joeff Davis of Creative Loafing.

Links below to more photos and articles about the proposed elimination of the GCA.
Creative Loafing Photos from the Protest
Atlanta Journal Constitution Photos from the Protest
Atlanta Journal Constitution Article about the Rally
Atlanta Journal Constitution Article about the elimination of the Georgia Councils for the Arts

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Flamenco Showing

Today our Dances and Dance Forms class (DANC 127R) had a public demonstration of their flamenco skills, learned this semester under the tutelage of instructor Julie Baggenstoss. See the photos below for photos of students showing their skills with zapateado (footwork) and palmas (rhythmic clapping). We posted a Q&A with Julie Baggenstoss last fall; click here to read it.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Emphasizing Individual Beauty and Power

This is the last in our series of posts by Emory Dance Company choreographers, who have been blogging about the inspirations for their choreography for the spring concert. This week senior Sanet Steyn describes the piece she has developed for the spring Emory Dance Company concert, I Prefer to Call it a Nudge. Buy your tickets now for the concert, April 22-24 (box office: 404-727-5050).

I was not born a dancer. I always found the extension of my limbs bit baffling. In fact, even with four years of dancing at Emory I still seemed to be unable to move elegantly. I have always been described as very athletic, but never quite graceful. Instead of having my lack of lithe movements hold me back from committing to dance, I decided to explore it as a source for inspiration. In my piece for the EDC spring show I explored my strong, athletic style to create a martial arts-jazz fusion influenced piece. I investigated the balance between strength and grace in the female form; with a cast of ten girls, I have the perfect opportunity to express the unique distinctions that define every woman. No girl has the same character or style of movement and in those differences my dance is embodied. Though each girl is different they are all elegant and graceful, but also strong and confident; my piece is the expression of those two seemingly contradicting ideas unified into a singular theme. I’m hoping to draw the audience into the ebb and flow of physical and mental rhythms I experience when dancing. By representing those movements through bodies other than my own that perform it in their own personal style, I hope to emphasize the universal, individual beauty and power of each person.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Get your tickets for the Emory Dance Company Spring Concert

The spring Emory Dance Company concert is coming up soon, so buy your tickets now--this concert always sells out! Call the box office at 404-727-5050 or click here to purchase your tickets.

Concert dates and times:
April 22-24, 2010 (Thursday-Saturday), 8:00 p.m.
April 24, 2010 (Saturday), 2:00 p.m.

Location: Dance Studio, Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 North Decatur Rd., Atlanta, GA 30322

$10 public; $8 discount categories; $5 students

This concert features choreography by Emory dance students, performed by students of the Emory Dance Company. For the last couple of months, students have posted on this blog about their choreographic process, so check them out for a preview (click here to view all of these posts).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Before you did, I hadn’t in years

As part of our series of Emory Dance Company choreographer posts, this week junior dance minor Mohammad Zaidi (pictured below) describes the piece he is developing for the spring Emory Dance Company concert, I Prefer to Call it a Nudge.

The piece I am creating for the spring concert investigates the essence of performance and the undeniable connection a performer has with an audience member. My theoretical approach towards performance is grounded in the fact that two bodies that exist within the same space and the same time share an equal importance. This theory moves beyond the dancers on stage and compels the viewer to contribute as much to the experience as the performer does. My exploration of this concept to the dance stage met challenges, but after being inspired by a scene in Orhan Pamuk’s novel “Snow,” I found that rapid changes in perspective and fluid lines of interaction between the viewer and performer can make the experience equally exciting and invigorating for the dancer and those who are “viewing” the dance. In translating this to the stage, I found that reconstructing the space so that dancers and audience members are interspersed with each other would immediately destroy the artificial boundary that exists during performance. In regards to the movement vocabulary, I found that my movement is unapologetic, bullying, and demands immediate and unequivocal attention so that the viewer is pulled into performing with the dancers at once. The aggression that is present in the movement will hopefully be an undeniable experience for the audience members attending the concert that will draw out a visceral response that acknowledges the presence and importance of every individual present in the space.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Senior dancer Nirvi Shah is choreographing a piece for the spring Emory Dance Company concert (April 22-24). The post below describes her piece and the motivation behind her choreography.

Nirvi Shah’s “Palindrome” is a dance piece blending Indian Classical styles with modern dance. Being trained in both techniques, Nirvi has had to face a battle of postures, intentions and performance qualities while learning. Indian Classical dance is very rigid, structured, anecdotal, and presentational whereas modern dance has opportunities to be internally or externally focused and contains a wide breadth of dance movement. It is a challenge to fuse the two vastly different techniques together, which also symbolizes Nirvi’s challenge of being raised in America with a strong Indian heritage.

Although she was born in Atlanta, Georgia, her first language is Gujarati, a West Indian language, and she relates more to Indian culture. Growing up in an American school system and culture has been a constant compromise of values and ideals. Stereotypically, Eastern culture is more conservative and community based while Western culture is liberal and is focused on the nuclear family and self. Nirvi knows that there are other American born Indians as well as other second generation immigrants who also deal with the same situation of being part of two separate societies and are trying to bridge the gap between them while remaining true to both cultures. “Palindrome” is a piece that presents both dance styles and attempts to fuse them, while remaining genuine to both movements just as children of immigrants have been endeavoring to do so and are slowly able to find a fair compromise.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Images from "A Question of Character"

We wanted to share some images from Kaitlyn Pados' and Alyssa Bruehlman's fabulous concert "A Question of Character" (March 25-26). This was the culmination of their senior honors thesis work. See our March 25 post for a description of their work.

choreography by Rob Kitsos, performed by Kaitlyn Pados

"Solo for Pop Music #2"
choreography by Gregory Catellier, performed by Kaitlyn Pados

"Solo for Pop Music #3"
choreography by Gregory Catellier, performed by Kaitlyn Pados
"Here It Is"
choreography by Alyssa Bruehlman and cast

"On Falling"
choregraphed and performed by Alyssa Bruehlman (above and below)

All photos by Lori Teague

Friday, March 26, 2010

Accolades from the American College Dance Festival

Twelve Emory dance students and three dance faculty members spent part of their spring break earlier this month at the American College Dance Festival Association conference in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Students and faculty at the ACDFA conference.

Out of 47 adjudicated works from approximately 35 colleges and universities in the southeast, two pieces from Emory (one by faculty member George Staib and one by student Kaitlyn Pados) were chosen for performance as part of the gala, which highlights the close of the conference. There were only 12 dances selected for this performance, and Kaitlyn's work was the only undergraduate work selected.

The adjudicators described Kaitlyn's piece as "fluid, flawless, a truly sensorial experience" and George's piece as "creative, dynamic, inventive--in short, it was poetry in motion."

Three dances from the gala were chosen to go to the ACDFA national performance at the Kennedy Center. George's piece was chosen as first alternate should one of the three not be available.

Here are some images from the conference:
Kaitlyn Pados performing her solo.

Students rehearsing George Staib's piece.

George Staib taught a class for conference attendees.

Photos by Lori Teague

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A Question of Character

Tonight (March 25) and tomorrow (March 26), senior dance majors Alyssa Bruehlman and Kaitlyn Pados will present their honors thesis work. See our events web page for details.

Alyssa's work presents a melding of three perspectives--ordinary pedestrian, dramatic dancer, vulnerable self--and considers how each persona enters and exists within a performance.

Kaitlyn will perform four solo works that investigate the use of dynamics, exploring subtleties within a wide range of movement qualities.

These performances are FREE and not to be missed!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Working with the Narrative Dance Form

As part of our series of Emory Dance Company choreographer posts, this week senior dance major Lindsay Reich describes the piece she is developing for the spring Emory Dance Company concert.

My current project for the Spring Emory Dance Company performance is a duet with Jaqueline Woo and Stephanie Binkow. We are developing an abstract narrative dance to George Gershwin’s most famous composition, "Rhapsody in Blue." The choreography is inspired by black and white silent films, creating a humorous exchange between the two dancers. By rapidly manipulating the dancer’s role within the relationship, the audience is challenged to develop their own understanding of the characters and the constantly shifting narrative.

We began the rehearsal process discussing the complicated dynamics between female friendships. We asked a variety of questions including: How do friendships emerge? What do girls want or need from a friendship? What kind of arguments do girlfriends get into? What causes a friendship to end? Based on this information, we outlined a simple narrative that provided a structure for the dance. Once we completed a draft of the dance, we are now in the process of editing and elaborating the movement.

Currently, my biggest challenge is to find a balance between a literal narrative and abstract movement. I want to allow the audience to draw personal meaning from a non-sequential narrative rather than causing complete confusion! This project has been a challenging yet fun approach to the narrative dance form and I am looking forward to see how the work unveils.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Exploring the Decay of a Relationship

Emory Dance Company student choreographers are blogging about their choreographic process throughout the semester. This week senior dance major Leigh Ann Kabatra describes the piece she is developing for the spring Emory Dance Company concert.

My piece explores the decay of a relationship. At the beginning of the piece, the relationship is loving and healthy but quickly becomes tense and strained. The dancers’ movement alternates between elegant and sharp. Parts of the piece are very gentle and relaxed, while others are bound, athletic, and jagged.

I begin each section of the piece by creating a core phrase that all the dancers learn. After practicing the phrase with all the dancers, I manipulate the original phrase so that each dancer has a unique version. The dancers then perform their unique phrases at the same time, allowing them to move in and out of unison and indulge in parts of their phrase work without worrying about timing or cues.

My dancers have developed much of the piece’s movement themselves. We began one rehearsal with a structured improvisation in partnering, and the dancers developed such rich, natural movement that I had them continue partnering and improvising to create even more. The dancers developed more exciting movement with one another than I could create on my own, and we are still working with improvisation to develop more partnering phrases.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Aftermath from a Planetarium Performance

Klimchak is a composer, percussionist, and performer who also accompanies dance classes for the Emory Dance Program. We asked him to share his thoughts about a recent performance at Agnes Scott College.

Bradley Observatory at Agnes Scott College
Photo by Anne Cox

I recently did my first solo show in a planetarium. It was sponsored by Agnes Scott College's Dalton Gallery and was part of the art show Limitless, which featured some of my home-built instruments. When the curator, Lisa Alembik, approached me to be a part of the show, I was a little unsure, since I don’t really consider myself a visual artist. My instruments are built to produce sound first. Appearance always plays second fiddle.

She talked me into it by promising me a performance as part of the show. When she told me I could perform in the incredible acoustics of the new chapel, or in the planetarium, I jumped up and down like a 10 year old chanting “planetarium, planetarium!” You see, I've always wanted to make music in a planetarium. There's a natural bond between electronic music and the electronic sky of a planetarium light show. I dunno, maybe it has something to do with electricity. The total darkness and the comfy lounge chairs combine to give the audience a great set of tools to relax, look at the stars, and focus on the music.

The show was performed to a full house and was incredibly fulfilling for me. I played theremin, my electronic Marimba Lumina and what I call electric water, in which metal objects are played, plucked and dipped into an amplified bowl of water. The flow of the music went hand in hand with the flow of the star-show. Naturally, this has me jonesing to do another planetarium show soon!

Playing the theremin at the planetarium
Photo by Victoria Campbell

Klimchak (center) in the planetarium lobby.
Photo by Terry Kearns

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Savage Beast within You

Continuing with our series of Emory Dance Company student choreographers (see Feb. 12 for the intro), this week senior dance major Tiffany Greenwood describes her choreographic process.

I find everyday events and people fascinating. What I find the most interesting is the subtleties that define these everyday events. So much information is given and received through simple gesture like a handshake, a hug, a look, or a touch. The brush against another person as you walk to class, the placement of another’s hands as they embrace you, or the looks you receive from a friend, lover, family, or an acquaintance are exchanges I want to bring to the forefront.

Using the previous idea mentioned, I want to explore these everyday subtleties the in realm of immediate impulses and reactions. I also want to explore the basic needs and desires of the humans and to investigate how we deal with them particularly when our conscience becomes involved. I would describe the movement as raw, animalistic, indulgent, and impulsive. For my piece, the process is more important than the final production. My dancers and I will use our own experiences, the good and the bad, to derive the movement quality for the piece. My goal is to make the movement and movement quality as raw and realistic as possible because I want it to be an enhanced depiction of everyday life.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Cedar Lake article in Creative Loafing

Emory dance alumna Blake Beckham, '01, wrote an article for this week's Creative Loafing about Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet. Click here to read the article.

Cedar Lake begins performances tonight at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, with subsequent concerts on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 25 and 26. All performances are sold out, but the Arts at Emory Box Office is maintaining a waiting list (404-727-5050).

Also tonight there will be a pre-performance lecture at 7:00pm on American and Israeli dance. This lecture will be broadcast live from Israel in the Chace Upper Lobby in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Concert tickets are not required to attend this free lecture. Click here for the full lecture description.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Continuing with our series of Emory Dance Company student choreographers (see Feb. 12 for the intro), this week dance major Kaitlyn Pados describes her choreographic process.

At the beginning of the semester, I started to brainstorm ideas for my upcoming Emory Dance Company piece. I found, however, that entering my piece with an already established meaning was incredibly limiting for me. When I tried to choreograph, I immediately questioned every movement idea and took everything far too literally. Instead, I decided to restart my process from a different entry point. I created some movement material in the studio on which I wanted to base my work. I did not trouble myself with what this movement might “mean” to an audience, I was just attracted to the mood it generated as I performed it. Since teaching my six dancers this new phrase material and working through a month of rehearsals, we have discovered thematic elements which are allowing a potential meaning to emerge on its own.

My piece is now examining the line between dependence and independence. I am very drawn to fleeting interactions between the dancers, and finding where trust is built and tested in both physical and emotional senses. In rehearsals, I like to alter the timing and groupings of the dancers to explore how these components shape the relationships on stage. Currently, I am trying various music options to see how it affects the dancers and their performance. We are discovering that there is a fine line between feeding emotion to the audience via music and letting the movement speak for itself, the latter of which is my ultimate goal.

-Kaitlyn Pados

Monday, February 22, 2010

Staibdance Summer Intensive

My dance company, Staibdance, has an exciting opportunity to present a two-week summer intensive on the luscious Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy. During the two-week program, dancers at the intermediate to advanced levels will study Pilates, Ballet, Contemporary Jazz, Modern, and will learn repertory material for a public performance in the Historic Teatro Armida in Sorrento. The project is designed to be an annual event that will feature diverse faculty every year (hopefully I can lure my colleagues!) and will bring modern dance to a hungry audience in Italy. The intensive serves to unite dancers from the US and Italy, and will be a great opportunity to experience a new culture from the inside out. Jessica Moore and Judy Raggi-Moore (Italy natives), along with the gracious staff at The Grand Hotel Hermitage, the mayor of Sorrento, cultural dignitaries, and many others have put their time and energy into making this event a reality. If you are interested, please go to http://www.staibdance.com/ for more details and information on the program!

-George Staib, Senior Lecturer

Friday, February 19, 2010

Reflections on "The Dance Project"

On Tuesday, February 16, we posted a reflection by Greg Catellier on his recent collaboration with George Staib. George's thoughts on the collaborative concert follow.

The journey off campus for a collaborative concert proved to be memorable, exciting, and rewarding for me. Working with my colleague Greg Catellier was just as inspirational as ever and having his expertise to ease the transition into a new space was tremendously valuable. The Dance Project brought together so many new and exciting dancers under one roof. I met gifted choreographers, danced with lovely dancers, and explored new choreographic methods in my own work which became an incredible learning experience for me.

Greg and I have produced four concerts now and the excitement never gets stale, the discoveries are always fascinating, and the motivation to continue working gets stronger. This in a sense was a debut for my dance company, Staibdance, and I have to admit that this added to the excitement. I am lucky to have an ensemble of tireless, dedicated dancers who give so much of themselves. Having them with me every “step” of the way gave me the safety net I felt I needed, to make something that felt so risky, feel so liberating.

-George Staib

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Continuing with our series of Emory Dance Company student choreographers (see Feb. 12 for the intro), this week we hear from senior dance major Allie Bruehlman.

I am currently working with a cast of five dancers for my piece in the Emory Dance Company concert this spring. I originally envisioned this piece as a narrative about my relationships with a group of friends from my hometown. As the rehearsal process began, however, I quickly grew tired of attempting to adhere to and to portray such deep friendships in any sort of literal way. Instead, I began to work with the cast as merely a group of people. Since then, the piece has become more about the relationship possibilities between individuals within a group, about the joyous and all-encompassing energy that can be created when people come together.

Though the work is still in its beginning stages, I am already in awe of the raw vitality my cast delivers to the studio. The cast is extremely diverse in terms of movement affinities and training, and each dancer brings a unique personality into the rehearsal process. Thus, my most powerful creative impetus stems from the energy of my talented dancers. As the semester continues, I hope to delve into the seemingly endless challenges and possibilities of creating a cohesive group dynamic from such powerful individual forces.

-Allie Bruehlman

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Two Great Tastes

This week we'll post some reflections from Emory Dance faculty members Gregory Catellier and George Staib. In January, they presented a collaborative concert at 7 Stages Theater in Atlanta. Greg shares his thoughts on the collaboration below; look for George's blog post later the week.

Recently my colleague and friend George Staib and I presented our fourth collaboration, I, at 7 Stages in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. We each premiered three pieces. Simultaneously we produced I.C.E.: Independent Choreographers Exchange, a showcase of works by emerging and recently transplanted Atlanta choreographers. All in all, it was a successful endeavor.

The collaboration George and I enjoy is happily multifaceted. It does not center on our dance making processes, although we ask and give each other advice on choreographic predicaments. I also design the lighting for his work, another traditional collaboration.

I would claim that we collaborate more profoundly through the structure of our process leading to the performance. We share space (the theater), resources, and some dancers. We plan the show order, select stage settings, and choose the postcard and program design. We divide some of these tasks and trust each other to make the appropriate decisions. While they may seem mundane, it is these decisions and hundreds of others that craft the show.

I would also contend that the choosing of each other as partners constitutes a critical component of the collaboration. By sharing a performance with George, I assert that I admire his choreography and want my work to be seen with his. It is also significant that by placing our pieces next to each others, the dances change. This is the peanut butter and chocolate effect of our collaboration—two great tastes!

-Gregory Catellier

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Coconut and the Peach: Choreographic Inspiration

Each week for the next couple of months, Emory dance students choreographing work for the Emory Dance Company spring concert (April 22-24) will blog about their choreographic process and inspiration. First up is Sandra Chan, a junior in the Business School, who is also completing the requirements for a dance minor.

Coming from Hong Kong, I have experienced how different two cultures can be at Emory.

I got my inspiration for my choreography during the international panel at the Goizueta Business School last semester. Dominic Wang, a current MBA student from China, has an interesting and insightful observation: Americans are like peach, while Chinese are like coconut. Americans are very friendly to you, they will say hi whenever they see you, but it is very hard to penetrate their life in a deeper level, like the middle of a peach. Chinese always seem to be in closed groups that are hard to penetrate, as it is very hard to break the shell of a coconut to get the juice. But once you are in the group, you are extremely close to everyone else in the group.

Although this observation is a generalization of the two cultures that Dominic and I are familiar with, and people act so differently within the same culture, it is astonishing to find out how accurate this observation is. At the same time, I find a lot of similarities between a peach and a coconut. They are both fruits that are round in shape and juicy. I believe that we can apply the same logic looking at these two cultures. It really depends on the perspective(s) you have when you look into cultural issues. Through my choreography, I wish that my audience could have the experience to look at cultural issues from these two extremely dissimilar perspectives, and hopefully this experience will have an impact on their life.

-Sandra Chan

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Future of Arts Criticism Symposium at Emory, March 19-20

Registration is now open for an arts criticism symposium to be held at Emory on March 19-20, 2010. Details follow.

The Future of Arts Criticism and the Role of the Academy

Location: Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University, Atlanta, GA

Dates: March 19-20, 2010

Friday, March 19, 2010, 7:00 p.m.
Keynote address by A.O. Scott, national film critic.

Saturday, March 20, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Morning: Panel featuring metro-Atlanta arts administrators, artists, journalists, and representatives of the academy

Afternoon: Lunch, table discussions, reporting from the tables, and determination of next steps

Friday - free reservations for Friday are required
Saturday - paid $15 registration required for Saturday (at door if space is available, $20)

To reserve for Friday or register for Saturday or for more information, go to:

To be a part of the conversation before and after the conference, please join our Lens on Atlanta Future of Arts Criticism Group at http://www.lensonatlanta.org/grp.php?action=group&ID=84

We hope to see you in mid-March! Please write to creativity@emory.edu if you have any questions about registration.

This event is presented by the Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts in partnership with Public Broadcasting Atlanta's AtlantaPlanit and Lens on Atlanta with additional support from Emory's Hightower Fund and the Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Cedar Lake Tickets Going Fast!

Photo by Paul B. Goode

The world-renowned Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet will have its Atlanta debut at Emory's Schwartz Center for Performing Arts later this month. They will be performing Ohad Naharin's Decadance 2007. Tickets are going fast, so get yours now! Performance dates are February 24-26 at 8:00 p.m. For tickets, please call the Arts at Emory Box Office at 404-727-5050 or click here.

The Friends of Dance Lecture Series will present a pre-performance lecture on American and Israeli Dance February 24 at 7:00 p.m. (free; tickets to performance not necessary). For more information, click here.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Dance Project

Emory dance faculty Gregory Catellier and George Staib are showcasing their choreography this weekend with a concert called The Dance Project, presented at 7 Stages Theater in Atlanta. Here's the lowdown:

The Dance Project
7 Stages Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave., Atlanta 30307

January 21-23, 8:00 p.m.
January 24, 3:00 p.m.

$20 general admission
$9 students

Gregory Catellier and George Staib celebrate their fourth choreographic collaboration with The Dance Project, Jan 21-24. In keeping with their collaborative history, The Dance Project is intensely physical, tenaciously musical, and potently emotional. Both choreographers will premiere three new works that purposefully break from their previous methodologies of choreography. Staib's new work is marked by sensitive theatricality, juxtaposed with a movement vocabulary that is original and riveting. Catellier has chosen to work with a predominantly male cast and has taken on the challenge of J.S. Bach's Chaconne. This concert will not be what you expect from these two choreographers. This project is sponsored in part by grants from the Emory College Center for Creativity & Arts and the University Research Committee of Emory University.

For tickets call the 7 stages Box Office 404-523-7647

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Seven Little Dances for Three

Dance Program Director and Associate Professor Anna Leo's piece "Seven Little Dances for Three" was recently published in the online Journal of Family Life. You can watch the piece and learn more about her motivation in creating it by clicking here.
The piece originally appeared in Professor Leo's concert ...me so much nearer home, which celebrated the nature of family and community, and was performed at Emory in September 2009.  

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from the Emory Dance Program! Students will be back on campus next week, and we are looking forward to a spring semester full of exciting events. Check out our website at http://www.dance.emory.edu/, and click on "Events" for the full schedule.

We will be mailing our spring events postcard within the next week or two. If you are not on our mailing list and would like to join, fill out this form. You can choose to receive mailings via email, snail mail, or both.

If you are already on our mailing list, watch your mailbox for the spring event card (preview below). And remember, if you join the Emory Friends of Dance, you'll receive ticket discounts and other benefits.

We hope to see you at some of our upcoming events and concerts!