As we rapidly approach the Emory Dance Company Spring Concert, we have the opportunity to hear from more of our student choreographers about their works in progress. They will give us some insight to their choreographic process by detailing their challenges, triumphs, and aspirations for their pieces.
This semester, I have strayed away from my typically science-heavy course load and have immersed myself in the arts. While choreographing for the Emory Dance Company spring concert and dancing in other choreographers’ works, I am also taking History of Western Concert Dance, choreography II (required for first time EDC choreographers), and modern IV with George Staib. I think that being immersed in the dance world has helped me generate many ideas for my piece and hone my choreographic process.
My experience choreographing has been full of surprises. My biggest struggle so far has probably been generating too many ideas and needing to narrow my focus. The feedback I am receiving from the Emory dance faculty and eight other choreographers has helped remind me to keep the focus of my piece clear and allow my ideas to fully develop.
I am working with a cast of three very talented and hard-working dancers. Unfortunately, I lost my fourth wonderful dancer to an injury a couple of weeks ago, but I wish her a speedy recovery, so she can come back to dance in the fall! Due to this change in the size of my cast—I have found that working with three dancers is spatially and conceptually much different than working with four—I've been struggling to solidify a concept for my piece. At the moment, I am inspired by idea of relationships and interactions between the different elements (energies) in nature. This is a relatively new idea, so I’m curious to see how it will evolve. Though I’m not married to the concept of different elements in nature, I know that I want to highlight each of my dancers’ natural movement affinities. I love the way that each member of my cast has her own strength and energy that she brings to the choreography. Hannah moves with a sense of quiet strength; her movements have a soft, breathy quality, but can also be very powerful and sharp. Julia turns with a sense of seamless fluidity. Movement flows continuously through her body; even when she’s still you can sense that something inside her is still growing. Julianna is a firecracker. She’s full of spirit and has no fear when it comes to taking risks and trying new things. I didn't want to suppress these unique strengths. Instead of trying to teach each of my dancers to evoke the choreography in the same way that I do, I want to celebrate their individual movement qualities.