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November 15, 2004
Fall Dance Concert explores 'Bigness of Small,' Nov. 18-20
BY Anna Leo
Four prominent artists from the New York and Atlanta dance communities, along with an Emory faculty member, all choreographed work for “The Bigness of Small: Contemporary Dance Works That Open the Mind,” the 2004 Emory Dance Company Fall Concert, scheduled for Nov. 18–20.
Jawole Willa Jo Zollar, founder and director of New York’s Urban Bush Women dance company; Tara Lee, principal dancer with the Atlanta Ballet; and Atlanta-based choreographers Susan Eldridge and Suyenne Mulatinho Simões highlight the guest choreographer roster. Gregory Catellier, Emory faculty member and lighting designer for the dance program, also will present work.
Zollar, along with Urban Bush Women member and assistant Maria Bauman, recently engaged in a monthlong Emory residency as Coca-Cola Artists-In-Residence. Their residency included teaching advanced technique to students and staging a work for the dance concert using students in the dance program; “Are We Democracy?…We The People” was specifically tailored to 11 students for the performance.
“I create from a collaborative process with who is in the room,” Zollar said. “The dancers, composer and [faculty member] Lori Teague all have a voice in this work. The dancers’ thoughts, movements and feelings are reflected in the choreography.”
Teague, associate professor of dance, is directing rehearsals of the piece. Klimchak, accompanist and composer for the dance program, created and will perform an original score for the work.
Lee’s work is a contemporary ballet piece for eight dancers to the music of Estonian composer Arvo Part. Atlanta Ballet’s only current member who has created works for the company’s repertoire, Lee is bringing her choreographic talents to Emory for the first time. Her interest lies in “taking the form and clarity of classical ballet technique and blending it with the quality and soul of contemporary movement.” The work is inspired by Part’s music and presents images of women as strong and grounded, as well as ethereal and angelic.
Atlanta-based choreographers Simões and Eldridge have a history with Emory Dance, as they have participated as guest teachers and artists in the past. Simões’ work, “200g = 7.05 oz,” designed for seven performers, reflects “the sentiment of people who migrate,” she said.
Eldridge’s new work also will include new music by Klimchak. “I like to choreograph works that are reflections of real life,” she said. “I have taken this choreographic opportunity as a chance to see that the simplest moments of our everyday lives coexist with and create life’s vast greatness.”
Catellier will present “Take Off,” a work premiered by Atlanta dancers in September’s faculty concert. The piece’s November return will feature the Emory honor students who inspired its creation: seniors Rosanne Benavente and Lillian Ransijn. Set to music by the Accordion Tribe and Radiohead, the work “investigates the identity, friendship and competitive nature of relationships,” Cattelier said.
In conjunction with the fall concert and Emory’s “Art in Unexpected Places” series, Teague presented an outdoor performance near Woodruff Library on Nov. 8. Created at several specific sites on the Emory campus, Teague’s ongoing series of short pieces features 10 dancers.
“I find myself drawn to the storytelling of a place or an environment,” Teague said. “Each work will reveal a story through the juxtaposition of bodies, the way the movers frame the space, or the way the dancers add something to the space.”
Performances for the fall concert will be held Nov. 18–20 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 20 at 2 p.m., all in the Schwartz Center Dance Studio. Tickets are $8 for the public; $6 for Emory faculty, staff, alumni, students, professional artists, patrons over 65 or under 18, friends of the arts at Emory, and other discount groups. Proceeds from the Nov. 19 performance benefit the Emory Friends of Dance Scholarship Fund, and a reception will follow that night’s concert. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.arts.emory.edu or call