I am pleased to announce that I am back in the dancer’s saddle choreographing a new work after months of trying to figure where my career is going in this time of COVID-19. Where is my career going you might ask? Nowhere...as in I will not be changing it anytime soon. Yes, being a dancer and choreographer is tough when you cannot bring your audiences together to experience the art of dance. Yes, it is tough not being able to jump into class in a studio with beautiful sprung floors, with your friends feeding you the energy needed for that one last shot at the combination. But also yes, it is enjoyable to pour a cup of coffee between barre exercises as I take ballet in my kitchen via Zoom. And frankly, I'm just so glad I can continue dancing while cooped up at home. I always feel better when I’m dancing.
And so I’m back! And not only is it a new work but a new medium: a dance film. I am charting new territory here but I have an amazing team of artists that are contributing to this project.
Joy Weaver: Musician
Josh Gooden: Videographer, Editor
Emily Marsh: Rehearsal Assistant, Assistant Director
Erica Johnston: Costume Design
This dance film, titled “Embodying Emily: Death and Letters” is inspired by the poems and letters written by Emily Dickinson. It is a creative imagining of a moment of self-reflection and illumination by Dickinson. The choreography explores her thoughts and emotions expressed in her poems, letters, and conversations. Particular emphasis is given to examining how her emotional state, heightened intellect and clarity of mind, and purported mental illness intersected in an overwhelming and powerful way.
Keep following this blog for updates on our rehearsal process and progress, filming, and post-film work! And be on the lookout for an Indiegogo campaign so that you can contribute as an audience member and support artists in a time of great uncertainty.
What is "Embodying Emily?"
Ellie de Waal
Ellie de Waal is a dancer and chroeographer primarily based in Virginia and NYC. Her works have been adjudicated and selected for several festivals including the Richmond Dance Festival in 2016. Her skill set as a choreographer has been sought out by universities, studios, and companies for both concert dance and musical productions, including "Beauty and the Beast" and "Shrek the Musical". She also choreographed an opera “Still More/More Still” in collaboration with composer Anna Heflin and coloratura soprano Melissa McCann as part of a song cycle reawakening. She was a primary choreographer in concorDance Contemporary for two major projects and has presented choreography in 12 shows put on by the Harrisonburg Dance Cooperative, where she continues to present work.