The artists will present on Thursday, May 28, at 9:00 p.m. EDT
Joyce F. '20 and Yishan H. '20
We wanted to share Classical Chinese Dance with the Emma Community and to explore the connection between two dancers through body movement, eye contact, and emotions. Initially, our project underlined the progression of a mother-daughter relationship as the daughter grows up. Through partnering elements and props, we expressed a strong maternal bond and the conflicting emotions a mother feels as her daughter grows more independent. Given the limitations of confined space and social distance, we remade almost everything we created before. In our original choreography, partnering movements and props were core elements portraying the relationship. These are no longer feasible. Since the original structure of the piece was dependent on the progression of the relationship, more than half of the dance was cut. Our goals for the project were redirected.
Our new goal for pursuing this project as a video is to push our limits in this difficult situation. Staying connected is hard when we can only see each other through a screen. As dancers, physical interactions and connections are especially crucial when we dance with one another. Moreover, our different time zones only made the project more challenging. By continuing our project, we overcame these obstacles with creative solutions, hoping to inspire people to stay connected. With this video, we walked out of our comfort zones of traditional choreography and rehearsals. We learned how to use the available space and resources more efficiently. Moving forward with this project, we are interested in making the transitions between sections as smooth as possible and editing the video in a way that suits a new aesthetic.
Macy M. '21
“Are We Alone?”My artist project, titled “Are We Alone?” is a piece that represents what it feels like when I feel most alone. Initially, the dance started with four different segments, all representing different stages of what I go through in my head when I am feeling alone. I started with a segment called “Affection,” that captured the feeling of being trapped in my head and feeling like I’m too powerful for my own being. It captured a feeling of an almost euphoric high in energy, but was followed by a complete fall in energy, represented in the next segment, called “Don’t Forget About Me.” This segment expressed the feeling of being lost and alone and lacking the energy to do anything, feeling like you have no purpose. The next segment continued this lost feeling but introduced the idea of being “alone together.” I recorded a few people answering the question, “What makes you feel most alone?” I pieced all of these answers together to give the impression that you are in a room hearing all of these voices at once. The last segment represented an out of body experience, in which you begin to question reality. Because of the change in format for this piece, I kept the same feelings and sentiments of each part and worked to represent them through different lighting, angles, movement types, and other shots that were representative of different emotions.
The piece begins hearing various voices answering the question, “what makes you feel most alone?” Along with different shots of dancing in my bedroom, I included shots that show me looking in a mirror, as well as one of my hands in darkness with a singular spotlight. By cutting between these different shots, I created a visual representation of what it feels like in my head when I am struggling the most. In the dance shots, I cut between a shot in the daylight of me in everyday clothes in a clean room and a shot of me at night with red lights in a messy room. The movement in the clean room is slower and more controlled, whereas the movement in the messy room feels grittier. By switching between these two scenes I wanted to show the duality of myself in the way I present myself compared to how I feel on the inside. As the music moved from the voices into the song, “Nangs,” by Tame Impala, my intention was to express the sensation of feeling like my mind and body are separate. I stared into the mirror, but the video switched between blue lighting and strobe lighting. This captured, for me, the sensation of struggling with perceptions of reality. In these scenes, I incorporated the movement from the beginning segment, “Affection,” to show that all of these ideas/experiences are the expression of the question, “Are We Alone?”
I’m excited to share this piece because it is extremely personal, authentic, and raw. The format is different from any performance I have ever been a part of. I discovered in using this new format to share my piece, I could experiment with lighting, cuts, different shots; dancing and non-dancing, to bring together the central ideas of my piece. My goal in this piece was to create a visual representation of the different mindsets I experience when I am feeling alone. The feeling of loneliness is a universal feeling that is especially present at this time under these unique circumstances. With my piece, I hope to shed light on the topic of mental health that tends not to be talked about openly. This piece serves as a piece of art that can be interpreted to be the most meaningful to every viewer. I hope this resonates with everyone who watches it and gives a sense of hope that they are not as alone as they may think.
Fiona M. '21
In creating my piece, my goal was to use traditional Irish dance to create a routine that was both modern and engaging. Irish dance is known for its rigidity and precision—not its ability to be used in the context of a creative, modern piece—so this was definitely a challenge. At first, in choreographing my piece, I saw it necessary that I use a contemporary pop song, but upon further thinking, I realized that I could accomplish my goal just as effectively with the use of traditional Irish music. I worked with this traditional music to create a dynamic piece, and in doing so, learned a lot about the process of choreographing a dance routine meant for performance. Additionally, I really enjoyed working in video format as it gave me a lot more freedom to highlight different elements of the piece from different perspectives. I am so glad I was able to have this experience, as I was able to learn so much from each setback and challenge I encountered. I’m so excited to present this piece and share what Irish dancing is!
Leave a Note of Encouragement!