September 16, 2010

The expressive world of 'Staibdance'

Dance and live music are rarely paired this way. Gone is the orchestra pit, the fixed chairs and music stands, the space designated for moving separate from the space designated for sound. Masterfully played music inspires unexpected images and unlikely reactions between contemporary dancers and classical musicians.

Staib dance dancer

Credit: Jacques Polanco

This is the premise behind Emory Dance Program faculty member George Staib’s second collaborative venture “Staibdance, Vega String Quartet and William Ransom: In Concert” premiering Sept. 23 at the Schwartz Center Dance Studio.

Joining the talented group of artists is Emory’s own Kendall Simpson who will debut an original composition created in equal measure to highlight Staib’s choreographic approach and Vega’s technical mastery. Inspired by the previous Vega/Staibdance collaboration, Simpson’s piece delves into the groups’ stylistic similarities.

“George and the Quartet are both at home in a very expressive world,” says Simpson.

Celebrated pianist William Ransom, Mary Emerson Professor of Piano at Emory, is also new to the collaboration. Known for his expert blending of technical prowess and musical expressivity, Ransom will play the works of Chopin to accompany a parade of quirky solos and Schumann for a rousing tribute to family dysfunction.
Virtuosic and edgy, Staib’s choreography embodies, juxtaposes and sometimes satirizes the wide range of musical selections from the haunting melodies of Samuel

Barber to the rock-inspired rhythms of Richard Einhorn.

“Music was my first love, making every aspect of this collaboration a gift,” says Staib.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Sept. 23-25 with a 3 p.m. performance on Saturday, Sept. 25. Tickets ($25 public; $18 discount category members; $10 Emory students) are available from the Arts at Emory box office (404-727-5050).

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