Emory Dance Company Presents Spring Concert, "What Once Was"

March 29, 2017

Emory Dance Company presents their spring concert, “What Once Was,” April 13-15, 2017 in the dance studio of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. “What Once Was” boasts elegant works produced by an all-female group of student artists. Each choreographer is a veteran of the Emory Dance Company process, bringing unique experiences, wisdom, and a distinct choreographic voice. The students’ committed investigation of their material produces a body of exceptionally thoughtful movement research, culminating in an eclectic evening of work.

As a Psychology and Dance and Movement Studies double major, Ruchi Ahuja’s work “soft animal” reflects her interest in psychoanalysis. The work physicalizes the vast capacity and dynamic unpredictability embedded within the ambiguous vessel of the unconscious.  Using impulse-driven experimentation, Ruchi and her dancers explore what it means to control and be controlled. The resulting work is an exposition of the many layers of the inner self that seep into art: guiding every step, every toe curl, every bend, in ways that are far beyond perceptible recognition.

Senior Emma Buckland Young’s piece, “too small for angels,” investigates the interaction between individual movement languages by exploring the dialogue between the distinct emotional and physical worlds of each of her five dancers. In the process of creating this work, Emma and her dancers examined the fragility of relationships and the inherent frustrations in communication. Emma’s work asks the questions “How can they [the dancers] interact while remaining separate and distinct?” and “In what ways can they understand each other?”

“What Holds Us Together,” a work by senior Talia Gergely, explores the way memories are shaped and how they impact our journeys while questioning the effect of an outside witness when recalling a personal memory. Her detail-oriented and intimate work transports the audience to a place far away from here and now, blending fragmented moments in time to bring the audience back to the present. The deep emotional bond between her four dancers is evident in the way they connect through movement and in space. 

Guided by poetic samples, senior Clara Guyton’s piece, “i think i promised you something–,” explores the intimacy in distance. Whether examining the distance of time between memories, a physical separation, or an emotional distance, this piece delves into the space between two end points—such as the emotional memory of what once was compared to what is now. 

Through the contact and connection between five strong, powerful female dancers, junior Katie Messina’s piece, titled “phase one,” investigates what it means to feel alone within a large group. The work compares feelings of isolation to the power that is harnessed by dancing with one another. 

Junior Maggie Vail’s work researches the idea of minimalism and how it relates to dancing bodies. The process of this piece focuses on exploring what is intuitive to the body versus what is programmed and, perhaps, no longer necessary. Maggie is especially interested in exploring the effects of gravity in the forms of falling and suspension. 

Emory Dance Company presents “What Once Was” in the dance studio of the Schwartz Center for Performing Arts Thursday, April 13 through Saturday, April 15 at 7:30 p.m. with an additional 2 p.m. performance April 15. Tickets are $10 general admission, $8 discount category members, $6 Emory students and are available at the Arts at Emory box office at 404.727.5050 or arts.emory.edu. For additional information visit dance.emory.edu.