Connecting Voices,” the Emory Dance Company fall concert,
Nov. 8 and 9, will be a program of diverse pieces, premieres and
historic works featuring choreography and direction by Emory dance
faculty and Atlanta-based guest artists.
George Staib, an award-winning choreographer who joined the Emory
faculty in 2001, and Tara Shepard Myers, formerly of the Sankofa
Dance Theater in Savannah, Ga., will premiere works at the event.
In Staib’s work, “Courting the Damned” for 16
dancers, he invites the audience to create a story line for themselves
as the piece moves from its dark and eerie beginning to frenzied
“My choreographic intention is guided by mood or feeling,”
Staib said. “I strive to create dances that are visually appealing,
viscerally evocative and open for interpretation.”
Myers’ new work incorporates tap, jazz, step and hip-hop,
and it investigates how these forms merge to produce a total experience.
The musical score for Myers’ piece has been engineered and
mixed here in Atlanta by Brian “Toronto” Baldwin.
Anna Leo, associate professor of dance, has restaged “Solitary
Dancer,” a work she premiered last season in collaboration
with the Emory Wind Ensemble. This work is inspired by Warren Benson’s
piece of the same name. The dance “deals with the quiet, posed
energy that one may observe in a dancer in repose, alone with her
inner music,” Benson said.
Guest artist and Emory dance alumna Blake Beckham will present a
duet that initially took shape through collaboration with New York
artist Camille Dieterle. Beckham said she crafted this movement
to explore “the human struggle to communicate and connect.”
Choosing the motif of hands lodged inside their pockets, Beckham
directs the dancers to fight, thrash, spin and spill, and then ultimately
to come together in what she refers to as “a rich connection
expressed through the sharing of weight, and support of each other’s
bodies.” The piece features live performance of a score by
Atlanta artists Adam Overton and Ben Davis.
The concert will be further highlighted by the restaging of excerpts
from an 1831 piece “Ballet of the Nuns” from the opera-ballet
“Robert le Diable.” The work has been read from a Labanotation
score (a system of symbols that records dances) and is directed
by guest artist Valarie Mockabee and choreographed by Romantic ballet
artist August Bournonville.
“This work is important to the history of dance,” Mockabee
said, “since it is the first time lighting, set design, choreography
and costuming functioned together to create the magical and otherworldliness
that would be indicative of the many Romantic ballets to follow.
It signaled new developments in ballet technique.”
Emory Dance Company regularly commissions choreographic works and
musical scores by local and national guest artists. Their performances
include annual concerts of faculty works as well as programs directed
and choreographed by students.
“Connecting Voices” will be performed Friday and Saturday,
Nov. 8 and 9, at 8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Studio. Admission
is $8; $6 for students, artists, seniors and children. For information
and tickets, call 404-727-5050, e-mail email@example.com
or visit www.emory.edu/ARTS.