Bloomington, IN – The IU Contemporary Dance Class of 2019 takes center stage in New Moves, a concert of choreographic capstone projects. The concert will feature choreography by contemporary dance seniors, as well as guest artist works by Allysen Hooks and Noa Shadur. New Moves is directed by adjunct instructor Stephanie Nugent.
Presenting contemporary dance senior choreographers are Cameron Barnett, Marina Bradley, Corey Boatner, Diamond Burdine, Emma DeLillo, Amanda Hoover, Meredith Johnson, Savannah Lucas, Celine Oberholzer, Julianne Rice, Fiona Schlegel, Elaine Welch, and Elise Young. The company of New Moves includes student dancers for IU’s Department of Contemporary Dance.
Student choreographers share their thoughts on theme, inspiration, and collaboration:
Alors on Danse Choreographed by Elise Young
"Alors on Danse revolves around overcoming tedium to find the joy in both life and dance. Student artists can often experience a period of monotony and lack of inspiration that accompanies art for an academic stage. As I prepare to graduate, I wanted to remind myself, my audience, and my dancers of the power of dance: joy, energy, and social community. Stromae's song, “Alors on Danse,” personifies this idea. The lyrics talk about the various tasks we are assigned in life, and the standards of success we are expected to meet. Trying to meet these expectation can create extreme levels of pressure, stress, and confusion. The chorus repeats, "Alors on Danse," or "so we dance," as a way to escape these pressures, if even for a moment.”
Royal Procession Choreographed by Emma DeLillo
“My inspiration for Royal Procession came from the music that I am using. The majority of the music in the piece is seventies rock n’ roll, a favorite genre of mine. I am interested in the juxtaposition of the movement and the music in contrast to movement that follows the music in terms of tempo and intensity. My piece begins with the dancers exuding an air of regality, which changes over the course of the dance guided by several pieces of music. The dancers demand the attention of the audience much as a queen would of her court. The history and artwork of these albums have informed my work as well and have inspired the costume and lighting designs.”
Water to Boil Choreographed by Fiona Schlegel
“Water to Boil came out of our Senior Summary course, were we made vision boards about our senior pieces. I didn’t really have any specific ideas at the time, so I just looked through magazines and found pictures or words that were interesting to me. I arranged them in a random way on my vision board. I have used that vision board as inspiration for movement and costumes.”
“I used a very collaborative process and included my dancers in the decisions I made about music and costumes. This piece also uses a little bit of improvisation.”
Among the Bits and Pieces Choreographed by Marina Bradley
“Among the Bits and Pieces is inspired by the idea of memory: the events you remember, the people that impacted you, and the attached emotion. Also, how imagery can draw associations and form ideas, based on your memory of past experiences. This in a sense is tactile memory. These two different ideas of memory inspired the two sections of the piece. The movement was predominantly my own creation with the exception of a short series of movements that each dancer created for themselves based upon a positive memory, a negative memory, and an event from the past week.”
Ou- mī- ɡäSH Choreographed by Amanda Hoover
“Ou- mī- ɡäSH is inspired by ants; their movement patterns and how they interact with each other. Originally, I didn’t have a specific inspiration for the piece. I just wanted to make a dance that was fun and energetic. After watching the music video for the song and seeing the massive group of people moving as a single unit, I thought the people looked like an ant colony. I decided that would be something interesting to work with, especially due to their movement patterns. People in large numbers performing the same tasks eerily represent the repetitive motions of everyday life. Seeing this, I began to get business-y vibes. So, I guess this piece is about business ants.”
In Squad We Trust Choreographed by Savannah Lucas
“In Squad We Trust was inspired by my group of friends from back home. We have been a tight knit group for many years and remain close despite being at different schools. Every time we link up, it’s like no time has passed. Our chemistry as a group is unmatched. This dance is an ode to my "squad." I choreographed most material on my own, but asked my dancers to share stories about their friends, in order to find more inspiration and attempt to make the piece more personal to them.”
Secondhand Choreographed by Meredith Johnson
“The idea behind Secondhand is how a person's beliefs and opinions are heavily influenced by the beliefs and views of those around them. My inspiration for this piece stemmed from the current political climate. I feel as though there have been many acts of extreme discrimination based in race, gender, and religion. I challenged myself to think about how and why some people are so biased, and it struck me that these views are probably all they've ever known. There has also been a lot of talk about "fake news" lately, which also got me thinking about how people are influenced and start to believe things, because that's what outside sources are telling them to believe.”
Metamorphosis (A Working Title) Choreographed by Céline Oberholzer
“The theme that developed through this creative process is, in simple terms, an exploration of change. At the beginning of the process, I had two seeds that I wanted to grow. The first was geometry and angularity. I am fascinated by shapes and the human form. I wanted to explore the removal of "humanity" from dance, concealing the human shape within angular and geometric postures. The second seed was the potential for “humanness” in rigid structures. The first part of the piece embodies the traps that we often find ourselves in, the second part explores the identification of our restrictions and the shedding of our self-imposed limitations: graduating from school, a dead-end job, an unhealthy relationship, etc. I choreographed the piece in collaboration with my dancer, Carly Liegel.”
That Awful Sound Choreographed by Cameron Barnett, in collaboration with performers.
“That Awful Sound depicts the ways in which a single moment of tragedy can echo through a lifetime. The piece saturates the entire space with movement and sound, evoking an inescapable memory. I knew from the beginning I wanted the sound of a live drums to be a large component of the piece. Although we are still figuring out his role in the work, musician Shane Meredith has been a really thoughtful and generous collaborator. In rehearsals, we’ll work fairly independently and then come together to discuss how the sound and dance support each other. Collaboration in the choreographic process can mean a multitude of different things. I knew that I wanted to incorporate a lot of partnering material and physical contact. The dancers have created nearly all of the actual material, and I have taken a role more akin to a director by shaping their material into a cohesive work.”
Body Talk, Then It Was Over, and several as of yet unnamed projects will also be performed during the concert.