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I don’t know Emery LeCrone personally, but I think this young dance maker is going places. At only 25, she’s already set work on reputable companies such as Colorado Ballet and Minnesota Dance Theatre, but, more notably, she strives to be organized by acknowledging that there is a business side to dance, she’s poised, and makes genuine efforts to enhance the art form we all know and love. As we like to say at DIYd, she’s a “mover and shaker.”

With that in mind, I was excited to attend the Sunday night performance of the Young Chorographers’ Showcase – an event curated by Ms. LeCrone that gives young, emerging choreographers a chance to show work to a NYC audience. In addition to a world premiere by Emery, this year’s event highlighted the works of Troy Schumacher (New York City Ballet), Kimi Nikaidoh (formerly of Complexions Contemporary Ballet), Nicola Curry (American Ballet Theater), and Daniel Mantei (American Ballet Theater).

Of the 5 works presented, Emery’s piece Untitled Transient, a solo danced fluidly by Max van der Sterre, stood out the most in my opinion. I’ve seen a few of her ballets before and always found them to have a nice quality of movement. Untitled Transient was no exception. The movement flowed nicely, used space, and was well-structured. I think she has a good body of work and is ready to take it to the next level. I don’t choreograph so I can’t define what that is, but I feel it’s time for her to push the envelope more. I’ll be interested to see the directions she takes in the future.

I applaud Troy Schumacher’s for collaborating with musicians; dance could use more of this cross-discipline process. Additionally, he’s ambitiously formed his own dance company in 2010 called Satellite Ballet. As for his movement, it displays a strong Balanchine influence – not surprising due to his NYCB background. However, I’d like to see Troy further develop his choreographic voice – one that is uniquely his own and reflects Troy the human being more than merely Troy the Balanchine dancer

I enjoyed Kimi Nikaidoh’s duet All Things New. It was dancing for the sake of dancing, full of joy and beautiful movement. Sometimes, that’s all I need to quench my thirst for good art!

The other two choreographers, Nicola Curry and Daniel Mantei, both presented balletic work with a contemporary flair. I am curious as to what the inspiration was behind each piece. Unfortunately, I found the costume choices to be questionable, but the dancers performed beautifully.

Upon the conclusion of the show, Emery invited all of the audience members to come onstage for a reception with the dancers and choreographers. She encouraged every one to share their thoughts and opinions with the artists. I loved this idea because it touches base on something we are working on here at DIYd – a process of creating conversation about the dance we see, what we like, what we don’t like, and how we can make it better. Opening up these channels of communication can be scary, especially for ballet dancers. It puts the choreographer at risk for getting some negative feedback. But, ultimately, the creative process is not about getting it right the first time . . . or maybe even the second or third . . . it’s about developing into better artists and building a community.

I offer these thoughts from dancer to dancer. Everyone has a right to his or her own opinion, as well as the right to disregard anyone’s opinions. Yet, I believe as artists we can help push and challenge each other to become better at what we do!

Written by Stephanie Wolf

Stephanie Wolf

An Atlanta native, Stephanie Wolf has performed professionally with the Minnesota Ballet, James Sewell Ballet, the Metropolitan Opera, and Wonderbound (formerly Ballet Nouveau Colorado). She has a BA in Liberal Studies from St. Mary’s College of California. Her writing has been published in national and regional media outlets, including Dance Informa, Indianapolis Star, and the Twin Cities Daily Planet. Currently, Stephanie lives in Denver, where she is a public radio producer and reporter. She loves bluegrass, cooking, Netflix, and owls.