Monday, April 11, 2016

Emory Dance Company Spring Concert 2016 "undertow": Choreographer Spotlight

With just a few days left until opening night, read below about a few of our choreographers and their choreographic process!

Allison Carr

Senior, Neurobehavioral Biology and Dance Double Major

My original idea was to create choreography inspired by the music. This piece explores the dancers' relationship between both the music and between each other on the stage. As the piece progressed, another theme emerged - the power of moving as an individual compared to the power of moving as a group. The piece also explores movement's strength and meaning when dancers move in groups of different sizes.

Virginia Spinks

Junior, Dance & Movement Studies/ Religion & Anthropology Double Major

This work, really began with an idea; the idea of resistance to change. I knew that I also wanted to make a piece with emotional impact. I have learned form my time in the department that often the impact is created in a more effective way when a mover can fully embody an idea or emotion, and pour their intention into their physical performance, rather than focussing on an emotional performance. I then had to figure out how to embody this idea, and I translated it into the physical wish to not want to be moved--to remain stable. Thus, I started with the movement vocabulary, creating it from thinking about a force outside of my body that I was resisting, which created really bound and uncomfortable movement. I did not want the first part of the piece to be aesthetically pleasing--I wanted it to fully embody what it feels like to want to stand your ground despite so much force trying to pull you away. For me, form was secondary--I let the movement create the form. 

Additionally, I knew that I wanted the piece to follow a loose narrative structure that showed what it is like to just accept change--without emotion or judgement. So I decided that the second part of the piece would use the same movement vocabulary as the first, just with a different physical intention in the performance of it. The process of setting this work was challenging at times because I was asking myself and my dancers to work in ways that none of us have worked before. I wanted us to stray away from craving to create a dance that is pleasing to the eye, and to fully invest ourselves in this one particular idea. It was difficult to teach movement vocabulary that was sometimes foreign to the body knowledge and experience my talented dancers have, but through much deep physical work and imagery work, I think we have arrived at the place I intended. I am excited to see how it will all come together this week and to see how the work will be received. The piece is entitled "After It Expires."

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