April 19, 2004

Spring dance show

By Sally Corbett

The Emory Dance Program will unveil "Voyeur," this year's spring performance showcasing the Emory Dance Company's student dancers and choreographers, with four shows, April 22-24, in the Schwartz Center dance studio.

The diverse themes reflected in the program's offerings range from Christianization to tango, gender to hip-hop. For example, senior Meg Baker based her work on her history thesis about pagan conversion and Christianization in the late Roman Empire. Baker's goal was to apply societal principles--such as support through structure and assimilation of practices and values--to individual relationships through a movement vocabulary of modern, jazz and ballet techniques.

Sophomore Keisha Calderon, the youngest of the participating choreographers, is influenced mainly by hip-hop and classic jazz. Calderon let movement guide the direction of her piece, and her goal was to create a "stimulating, aesthetic work."

Junior Rosanne Benavente is the only choreographer who also is performing. The working title for her piece is "Namaste." She is creating an original score for her work with Phil Sims, a composer and music theory lecturer in the music department. Benavente is interested in breaking gender and relationship stereotypes through her piece, which is a blend of theater and modern dance.

Lillian Ransijn, a junior dance and movement studies major, believes that "everyone moves, therefore everyone is a dancer." She finds beauty in the human body, and her piece will express the uniqueness of different bodies and personalities. Working with eight dancers, Ransijn focused on interaction in female relationships.

Junior Erin Miles' second work for the Emory Dance Company showcases the music of Taylor Jones, an Emory senior who will perform his compositions live for the concert. Miles believes "the choreographic process should challenge the brain as well as the body." Her goal was to explore the dynamic between dancers that manifests itself through a sense of rivalry.

Junior Maecy Spirito from Panama, the only international student choreographer participating in the show, has created "Momentos de Intimidad," a contemporary ballet inspired by Argentinean tangos. Spirito drew from passion, sensuality, suffering and other feelings involved in relationships. The piece will be performed to the song "Por Una Cabeza" by Carlos Gardel.

Emory senior Myisha Rodrigues-Scott connects the body, mind and spirit in her choreography, saying she is interested in "exploring the 'self' dancers present to others--and the ultimate acceptance of their spirit." Her piece is dedicated to James Rodrigues (1935-2003), who inspired her with his belief that "one's true acceptance of himself or herself would be achieved through the support of others, a deep spiritual foundation and the discovery of that which makes one truly happy."

"Voyeur" performances will be held April 22-24 at 8 p.m. and April 24 at 3 p.m. General admission tickets are $6, $4 for Emory faculty, staff, students, children and seniors. For tickets or for more information, call the Arts at Emory box office at 404-727-5050 or visit www.emory.edu/ARTS .