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.