Wednesday, February 26, 2014

EDC Spring 2014: A Few Words from our Choreographers (Part 1)

What makes spring so special for the Emory Dance Program is that the works featured in the Emory Dance Company spring showcase are created by the students of the Choreography II class.  As the semester progresses, we'll hear from each of our nine choreographers about their processes, challenges, triumphs, and aspirations for their pieces.  

Natalie Eggert, Junior

I was hesitant to take on my first choreographic project. Creating an entire piece intimidated me; maybe it still does. But with every rehearsal, I gain more confidence in my choreography, my ideas, and the direction of the piece. Since this is my first choreographic project, I came into it with an open mind. I have discovered that letting the piece develop organically is much better than trying to fit it into certain expectations. I believe my most successful rehearsals have been the ones in which I go on a tangent unrelated to what I had planned for the day. I have decided not to prescribe how the piece should look; I want it to decide for itself. One of my peers referred to my choreography as “a series of pleasant surprises.” Believe me, no one is more surprised than I am when I watch the movement I created transform into something unexpected.

I was also lucky enough to snag the best cast. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make a duet. I was thrilled when Kim and Sarah signed up for my piece! The chemistry between these two is so tangible,they are a really playful duo and I always look forward to rehearsing with them. I believe that if they enjoy the dance, the audience will, too. I hope that the piece keeps the audience on their toes. I like that moments take the viewer by surprise and then in a flash are gone.

I was not prepared to feel so personally attached to this work. Showing my choreography to other people has been my biggest challenge thus far. I remember one day before modern class, I saw Kim and Sarah running through my phrase material. Most choreographers would be grateful to see their dancers practicing but I turned bright red. I think it was that feeling little kids get when they see their parents kiss in public. It’s like “stop doing that you’re embarrassing me!” Emily Hammond, a senior at Emory who choreographed for EDC last year caught onto my reaction and reassured me that choreographing is a vulnerable experience for everyone. However, as time goes on I feel more comfortable showing my work in progress to others, especially the other choreographers. I now look forward to the showings because their feedback always gives me a new perspective. Watching my piece develop has been really exciting and I can’t wait to see the final product in April.

 Thanks, Natalie!

Don't miss the Emory Dance Company Spring Showcase.  Click here for more details.
For more information on the Emory Dance Program, please go to our website.