Thursday, April 23, 2015

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

Tonight's the night! It's opening night for the Emory Dance Company Spring Concert, "Searchlight"! Read below about our eighth choreographer and what she's been working on this semester.

Taylor Madgett
History Major, Dance & Movement Studies Minor

My choreographic process has helped me to further understand my style of movement and to know that there are endless possibilities to what I can create. From the movement, to the mood, to the music, to characters in the piece, there are many different avenues that I can explore. This process has also helped me to further understand myself and what exactly it is that I am looking to create. I have the entire piece constructed in my head and in a perfect world I would be able to easily create the movement I have pictured. However for me, the difficult part about this whole process is manifesting the idea in your mind to perfectly match the movement you are creating and putting on the stage. Thus far, what I have designed does not exactly mimic what I have been visualizing, and although it isn’t the perfect embodiment of what I had in mind, it has become a pleasant surprise. I feel that what I have created so far matches the overall aesthetic and feeling that I have been seeing. I am happy that what I have created is not the exact replica that I conceived because I think the piece could evolve into something that I never quite envisioned, which could be exactly what the work needs. As a choreographer I find comfort in knowing that there are so many aspects to consider, because I feel that it gives my work a larger amount of potentiality.

Currently I have not decided on a particular theme or overarching meaning for my piece. Right now I would say it is dance for dance sake. At first I was going to explore looking at movement and its relationship to music. I wanted to look at the music as a catalyst for the movement. All of the elements in the music, the melody, harmony, rhythm, and tempo serve to manipulate the body to make forms and shapes relative to the music. I wanted to pose the idea of the body being a separate entity from the mind, with the body only being controlled by the music. I believe I may be moving towards a different idea, but it is still pretty early in the process to know for sure. Looking at what I have made so far I would say that I could possibly be veering towards exploring a community of people and their relationships towards one another through their movement. I am excited to see what unfolds as I continue to journey through creating the piece.

One thing that I am truly thankful for having in the creation process are the feedback sessions. Although the choreographer may not necessarily always agree with the feedback, it serves as a crucial element in the editing process. A pair of fresh eyes is able to see what the choreographer looks over or never realized was there. Having feedback from others can give you new ideas for the piece as well as ways to solve certain problems you may be facing with your choreography or concepts. It also gives choreographers a chance to see how the audience could react to the piece. Depending on the choreographer, knowing how the audience reacts can inform them of their progress during the creation stage. Critiques of the piece could send the piece in a different direction if the feedback did not match the response that the choreographer was looking for or vice versa. I personally think it is valuable to know how your work is being perceived, because it allows you to really decide if the perception matters to you and your work, and how it influences it.

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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