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.