Emily Stein’s “Phantom Dance” is a reflection on how the ballet world always left her, a classically trained dancer, feeling “like a bit of a misfit intellectually.” Calling on her experiences as associate artistic director, choreographer and dancer for Michelle Kranicke’s Zephyr Dance for eighteen years, and with Deborah Hay in her Solo Performance Commissioning Project, Stein intends to use a blended choreographic approach as a way of forcing a critical realignment in the figure of the ballerina, as originated in the fairy-tale figures of “Wilis and sylphs, the supernatural incarnations of women that have become the underpinnings of the ‘ballerina’ identity.”
Using transitions from classical to improvisational methods and back again, Stein explains that she intends to demonstrate how these “self-images exist and consist in our bodily patterns and behavior. So, the mythology literally lives in the bodies of dancers who have learned it. I want to investigate what happens when we deliberately access those patterns while showing them in a context that also accesses other performance practices, such as improvisational scores. I know that there are many choreographers working with ballet dancers who work with improvisation, but I don’t know of people using performance scores in this way.” That scoring will doubtless have a lot to offer for both experienced dance-goers and newcomers alike. Performed with Katie Campana, Jess Duffy, Molly Hillson, Katie McCann, Chloe Michels, Jordan Reinwald and Stein, to Scott Williams’ live interpretation of Adolphe Adam’s score to “Giselle.” (Michael Workman)
Emily Stein Dance at Dovetail Studios, 2853 West Montrose, (773)844-8988. April 22-23 at 8:30pm and April 24 at 3pm. $15, $10 students and seniors.