Emory Dance Company's Spring Concert is Greater than the "Sum of its Parts"

photo by Lori Teague

April 3, 2012

ATLANTA (April 2, 2012) ¿ Five student choreographers merge a variety of concepts and movement forms to create a series of works performed by student dancers in the Emory Dance Company Spring Concert, ¿Sum of its Parts,¿ April 26-28 in the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Juxtaposing individuals against the community, balancing pedestrian gestures with technique, observing relationships between dancers and more, this spring¿s concert presents an evening of inquisitive new work. This season¿s choreographers include College seniors Alice Chen, Hannah Frankel and Megan Sypher, and College juniors Julio Medina and Lauren Kaplan.

Chen, who is inspired by finding beauty within what is typically perceived as negative, aims ¿to use movement technique in an untraditional way to demonstrate the idea that what may not be classically beautiful is in fact aesthetically pleasing.¿ Her work revolves around the interworking of a quintet; varying group work against solos, duets and trios. 

In exploring the relationship between ¿compact, task-based movement¿ and ¿wild, raw movement¿ Frankel says her choreographic process is about ¿putting movement on seven different bodies.¿ Her choreography layers driving movement qualities over light-hearted choreography and small pedestrian gestures over larger dance movements, ultimately celebrating dancers as choreographic collaborators and movers. 

Sypher¿s work examines how individuals exist within a community and ¿if a sense of self is inherently influenced by relationships with others.¿ Dancers travel in and out of groups with movement demonstrating what changes when people are together or apart. Sypher says she is ¿fascinated by the relationship between movement, music, and time,¿ and explores these facets by manipulating all three aspects with and against one another. 

Also investigating community is Medina, who focuses on ¿the rise and fall of members within the community.¿ The work begins with a sense of camaraderie in a utopic world before taking a ¿heavy dip into a darker realm of anger, fright, and ferocity.¿ Medina¿s movement style follows this evolution, beginning with relatable, pedestrian motions before becoming more athletic, chaotic and powerful. 

Finally, Kaplan plays with the idea of ¿outsiders and alliances¿ in her piece as she observes how people react when they work together, turn their backs on one another, leave someone behind, or stand entirely independent. A combination of rounded, fluid movement qualities with aggressive yet internal focuses occur as a result as dancers perform permutations of a series of phrases. 

Emory Dance Company presents ¿Sum of its Parts,¿ April 26-28 at 8:00 p.m. and April 28 at 2:00 p.m. at the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $10 general admission; $8 for discount category members; $5 for students. For more information call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050 or visit www.arts.emory.edu.

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Emory Dance Program

The Emory Dance Program provides a curriculum that interweaves both the practical and theoretical to foster students¿ creative, intellectual, and communicative powers in the field of dance