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.

No comments:

Post a Comment