Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Emory Dance Company Spring 2015: Inside the Choreographer's Mind

The programs have been sent to the printer and Searchlight continues to make its way from process to product! Read about what our student choreographers have been working on as they enter into the final stages of their rehearsals!
James LaRussa
Dance & Movement Studies, Biology

The concept of my work deals with complete loss of control.  I’m not referring to some sort of intentional, personal manipulation, but rather to the notion of someone losing her perception of self as a result of her devotion to another.  I came into this spring’s choreographic process with little more than this idea of unconscious loss of self-identity.  I don’t have any idea or expectations for where my work is going to end up at this point.  I’m enjoying the choreographic process and trusting that everything will come together the more time we spend with the choreography. 

The women in my work play an instrumental role in contributing their choreographic ideas, allowing us to mold together the quality of movement that I wish my piece to embody in order to reflect my indented concept.  Our first rehearsals together consisted of the dancers choreographing individual solos that they created using a choreographic phrase of mine as a template.  After compiling and molding their choreography, we created duos and trios to establish a backbone that we can build from as we rehearse throughout the semester.  This approach also gave me an idea of where their movement tendencies lie.  The duets and trios employ fluid movement in which the dancers constantly drop their weight into another’s body, establishing total physical dependency.  I plan to continue exploiting this idea of growing dependency leading to loss of self-identity throughout the progression of the piece.

Feedback sessions are always valuable when creating a new work.  Any different opinion brings up new ideas that can sway your vision for the work.  I also absolutely value my dancers’ opinions of the work I’m creating for them.  I do the best I can to create choreography that they enjoy performing but that still challenges their technical abilities.  Furthermore, I’d like to thank my cast for their dedication and support, the other choreographers for their constructive critiques, and George Staib for his choreographic mentoring and advice.  

Don't miss the Emory Dance Company Spring Concert, Searchlight! Click here for more details. For more information on the Emory Dance Program, please go to our website or check out our Facebook page.

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