Monday, March 3, 2014

EDC Spring 2014: A Few Words from our Choreographers (Part 2)

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. 

Luna Vorster, Senior

My choreographic process has been rather eclectic. I drew inspiration from Wikipedia articles, finding descriptions and verbs that interested me. I then used this text to create movement, sometimes trying to stay as literal as possible and other times working creatively so that the movements barely show their origin. The topics ranged from describing the coloration of birds to mathematical equations that map 2D into 3D. A common thread is that the articles all aimed at describing how things in the universe work. This has informed the ideas in the piece, but I am trying to allow the piece to evolve organically, rather than force it to fit these concepts.

I created a few core phrases based on these descriptions, and my dancers have been manipulating them and drawing new ideas from them. I have a cast of six enthusiastic dancers who are willing to try my wacky ideas and contribute many of their own. The piece has definitely evolved into a collaborative work, and my dancers have taken the movement and morphed it into a series of interesting duets and trios. I have also taken some of the material they have manipulated, and used their new ideas to create further phrases. This exploration of the material is exciting for me, and I am grateful to have such a creative group of individuals to work with.

I am also incredibly lucky to be collaborating with my brother, Jean-Luc, who is creating the musical score for this work. He’s taken the same Wikipedia articles and is turning those ideas into a musical piece that will accompany my choreography.

My greatest challenge in this piece is to take these phrases and images that my dancers and I have created and assemble them into a cohesive work. We are currently playing with transition material and ordering the piece a hundred different ways. The feedback sessions are key to working through these challenges. George Staib (the course instructor) and the other choreographers all notice something different about the piece, and their comments help me understand what is working and what parts may need further attention. I’ve noticed that while developing the piece, I get so invested in particular aspects that I neglect to see other things. The feedback sessions help me see my piece through the eyes of others and point out the parts that I overlook.

I love working collaboratively so I’m excited to have a cast and group of fellow choreographers who are all willing to provide input and share their ideas. I’m excited to see how all these ideas come together in the final production.

Thanks, Luna!

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.

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