Find Events Find People Find Jobs Find Sites Find Help Index


October 29, 2001

Dance hits 'Crescendo' Nov. 9 & 10

By Deb Hammacher


The Emory Dance Company’s fall concert, “Crescendo,” overflowing with varied dance offerings from classical ballet to modern choreography, will be held Nov. 9 and 10 at 8:15 p.m. in the Performing Arts Studio.

The show features five works by guest artists and new Emory dance faculty members, the highlight being a restaging of Doris Humphrey’s classic modern dance work, “Water Study.”

George Staib, who joins the Emory faculty after teaching at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, brings his “Frontier” to the stage. Using a score by John Adams, Staib marries his interest in spatial pathways to musicality. The subtext of this work for 13 dancers examines the theme of conquering a new territory and theatrically brings forward ideas of ownership, boundaries and community.

Another work, “Smooth and Free,” comes from Tara Shepard Myers, the new jazz dance specialist in the Emory Dance Program. Myers has a strong background in jazz plus experience in modern, hip hop and African and Spanish dance. “Smooth and Free” reflects her diverse underpinnings.

Three guest artists’ works will be spotlighted this season. Nicolas Pacana, who began dancing in the Philippines, is the co-artistic director of Festival Ballet Company and School, a professional company in South metro Atlanta. He presents a technically challenging ballet work for nine dancers set to music by Gustav Mahler.

Guest choreographer Hilary Benedict creates dances primarily in collaboration with other artists from dance, theater, music and the visual arts through her company, XFactor, co-founded with Valerie Midgett in western North Carolina. Benedict’s new work for Emory students was created with mother-daughter stories that the performers themselves contribute. Benedict shaped the performer’s information through movement, text, song and an original score by Atlanta composer Klimchak.

Recent Emory dance alumna Blake Beckham contributes the new work, “becoming.” Currently an intern for the University’s new Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, Beckham was the recipient of the 2001 Sudler Award, Emory’s award of distinction in the performing arts. Through a vocabulary that embraces full-bodied and gestural movement, Beckham’s work for three dancers investigates what it means to become a woman. The work is informed by memory, concepts of gender and sharing narrative, as well as body stories.

The fall concert is completed by “Water Study,” choreographed in 1928 by Humphrey, considered a seminal American modern dance figure. Founder of a dance technique based on fall and recovery of the body, Humphrey experimented with non-metric rhythms in this piece. The natural rhythms of the chosen movements created the effect of the ebb and flow of the sea in storm and in periods of calm.

Dance critic Marcia Siegal wrote, “This work danced in silence is still one of the most stunning achievements in abstract dance.” The work has been restaged for Emory dancers from a Labanotation score (a system that records movement) by Odette Blum, past director of the Dance Notation Bureau Extension for Education and Research and dance professor emerita at Ohio State University.

Tickets are $8 general admission and $6 for Emory students, children 12 and under, professional artists and senior citizens. The Nov. 9 performance is a benefit for the Emory Friends of Dance Scholarship Fund and will be followed by a reception.

For more information, call 404-727-5050 or send e-mail to


Back to Emory Report October 29, 2001