EDC Choreographers '14

This week's celeb is a little different--instead of featuring one or two people, we are featuring 9 people. That's right, a whopping 9 people! Meet this year's Emory Dance Company (EDC) choreographers, Nathalie Angel, Lu Arechiga, Sarah Beach, Mary-Rose Branch, Natalie Eggert, Sarah Freeman, Kevin Huang, James LaRussa, and Luna Vorster! These dancers have put in a lot of hard work into this year's show and it's definitely not one to miss! Read up on their hobbies and how each dancer developed his or her piece!

Name: Nathalie Angel
Year: Senior/2014
Major: Anthropology and Human Biology
Minor: Dance
Hobbies: Salsa dancing, cooking/baking, exploring Atlanta
Describe your piece in 3 words: Wait for it.
Her Campus Emory (HCE):Where did you come up with the concept of your dance?
Nathalie Angel (NA): I actually thought about this dance about a year and a half ago after I had sprained my ankle badly and ended up on crutches for two weeks. In the weeks that followed, I found myself on the phone for hours trying to reach the billing department at the hospital, the insurance company, the doctor’s office etc. It was frustrating being put on hold one call after the other and being subjected to listen to awful call waiting music, which really only made the wait worse. 
Name: Lu Arechiga
Year: Senior
Majors: NBB & Dance Double Major
Hobbies: Dancing, reading, hanging out with friends, going for walks
Describe your dance in 3 words: Definitive, present, strong
HCE: What was the inspiration behind your dance?
LA: Individual strength in movement and in stillness.
Name: Sarah Beach
Year: Junior
Majors:  Dance and Sociology 
Hobbies: Does guacamole count? 
3 Words: Fluid, continuous, full-bodied
HCE: Was your piece anything like you anticipated?
SB: Yes and no. I started with an entirely different concept than what I ended with, and I think that would have shaped the structure of the piece differently had I stuck with it.  In terms of style and quality, I know my affinities and tendencies so I had a relatively good idea of what the actual movement would look like.  
Name: Mary Rose Branch
Year: Junior 
Major: Neuroscience and Behavioral Biology 
Minor: Dance and Movement Studies
Hobbies: besides dancing (of course),  I also do kickboxing at x3 sports and spend most of the rest of my time doing research in a neuropharmacology lab. It sounds nerdy, but I actually really enjoy it and love the people I work with. 
Describe your piece in 3 words: Mysterious, raw, connection/isolation (sorry that was 4)
HCE: What are your hopes for your piece?
MRB: Aside from the fact that I hope my piece runs smoothly and no disasters occur on stage, I hope that my dancers truly connect to the movement and each other. If they own the piece, invest and just live in it, then I'll feel like I've succeeded. 
Name: Natalie Eggert
Year: Junior
Majors: Anthropology/Religion joint major; Dance major
Hobbies: Besides dance: Running, Cooking, sleeping
Describe your piece in 3 words: Playful, familiar, innocent 
HCE: Is there any meaning behind using just two dancers?
NE:  Working with two dancers allowed me to focus more on the interactions between the two rather than the spatial composition of bodies.  
Name: Sarah Freeman
Year: Junior
Majors: English/ Dance and Movement Studies
Hobbies: Shower singing, grocery shopping, writing for Creative Loafing, reading bad poetry, reading good poetry, thrifting
Describe your piece in 3 words: Outlandish, excessive, decisive
SF: I created my bizarre movement before choosing a sound to set it to, and encouraged a lot of individuality in my dancers, so I wanted a piece of music that had just as much of a kooky personality but wouldn't flatten all those pre-exisiting nuances. Meredith Monk is this crazy dancer/choreographer/filmmaker/musical artist whom I've been obsessed with for a while, so when our teacher George Staib suggested I use her vocal piece "Double Fiesta" I immediately tried it out. Her ridiculous yodeling worked fantastically with the movement of my dancers, but I wanted to feel a little more of their individual choice and personality in the sound, so I asked them to learn the music and randomly add their own voices to hers. They MAY or may not hate me for making them sing onstage, but I think the result is both personal and hilarious, two things that the piece is to me. I was also interested by that kind of tuning out, frustrated reaction you have when you're listening to Pandora or Spotify and a commercial comes on, so there are some radio commercials scattered throughout the piece as well. Basically it's a lot of unexpected noises, but what I want most of all is for the movement and my dancers to take centerstage, and the music just supports all that!
Name: Kevin Huang
Year: Senior
Major: Biology
Minor: Dance
Hobbies: Tennis, cooking :)
Describe your piece in 3 words: Elegant, flowy like the wind through butter, calm
HCE: How was your choreographic process?
KH: I started off by creating movement around the word “plunge”, which was the original source of inspiration for my piece. As the movement evolved and as I started experimenting with different structures, the work veered away from the idea of “plunge”, but retained most of its movement qualities. I soon realized that the soft quality and flow of the movement became the unifying aspect of the piece, after which my choreographic process was focused on rearranging movement to highlight these qualities of the movement. 
Name: James La Russa
Year: Sophomore
Majors: Biology and Dance
Hobbies: Soccer, Super Smash Bros. Champion, Dancing for Professional Ballet Companies
Describe your piece in 3 words: Tormenting, aggressive, manipulative
HCE: What types of movements did you include in your piece?
JLR: I incorporated aggressive throwing movements along with sensitive embrace to embody the different feelings an individual experiences during intense, emotional manipulation.  The piece creates a dark atmosphere with the dim, isolated  lighting, distressing music, and abandon within the movement.
Name: Luna Vorster
Year: Senior
Majors: Biology and Dance
Hobbies: Spending time with friends and family, swimming/hiking/camping (being outside), travelling
Describe your piece in 3 words: Calculated chaos, organized intricacies, mathematical

HCE: How do you feel about the outcome of your piece?

LV: I am really excited about the outcome of this piece. It's been amazing to watch my ideas come alive in dance, and to see how this piece has developed from a few inspiring ideas into a complete product. It's been an awesome collaboration and I cannot wait to see it in performance!

Make sure you check out EDC this week!!!