Teens@Graham, The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, Photo: Melissa Sherwood
Teens@Graham, The Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance, Photo: Melissa Sherwood
The Dance Enthusiast
MFA in Dance at Rutgers

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IMPRESSIONS OF: EmmaGrace Skove-Epes in "Rounds"

IMPRESSIONS OF: EmmaGrace Skove-Epes in "Rounds"

Published on December 4, 2011

A Choreographer Emerges in Brooklyn

IMPRESSIONS OF: EmmaGrace Skove-Epes 

ROUNDS Presented by Spoke the Hub @ Gowanus Arts, Brooklyn, NYC- November 17th, 2011

Concept and Choreography: EmmaGrace Skove-Epes in collaboration with performers

Performers: Sunder Ashni, Karesia Batan, Daniel Bieber, Dasha Chapman, Joel Clark, Rachel Goldstein, Gyrchel Moore, Rhiannon Murphy, Jesse Phillips-Fein, EmmaGrace Skove-Epes, Ian Turner, Nadia Tykulsker

Lighting: Diana Bayne

Costumes: Ronnie Yoked


©Tara Sheena 2011 for The Dance Enthusiast


EmmaGrace Skove-Epes-Photo Courtesy of the Choreographer
“I’m not actually all that sure how I feel about starting the piece this way, but I’m going to go with it,” EmmaGrace Skove-Epes informs us. We are the audience during Skove-Epes’ first evening-length dance production, ROUNDS, a product of a 50 -hour space grant awarded to her through the Brooklyn-based arts organization, Spoke the Hub
 
The emerging choreographer presents work that is humorous, direct and ethereal.  

In Run On, a solo Skove-Epes choreographed and performs, she shares a glimpse of her inner monologue --breaking up quirky, hoppy phrases with bits of narration. At one point, she wonders aloud, “Am I performing this idea of who I am onstage?”  Pondering feelings commonly shared by performers, Skove-Epes effectively draws us into her questions. She is at times timid, at times vulnerable, but determined to be entertaining.
 
A Lesson In French finds a trio of ale “non-dancers” reading didactic English descriptions of traditional French ballet terminology. As the performers recount basic ballet terms such as “plié”, “tendu”, and “frappe” they depict, quite literally, the translations: to fold, to stretch, and to strike. The men express “plié”(to fold) by actually taking off their white t-shirts and folding them. This novice dancer cast gives their alpha-male all to the performances and, by virtue of their wide-eyed discoveries, we learn while giggling. In a medium where humor is often satirical or grating, Skove-Epes gives us a piece that is laugh-out-loud funny.
 
A Lesson In French-Photo Courtesy of the Choreographe
The focal point of the evening is the 45- minute opus, ROUNDS, a dance for eight women. As the performers blow into glass bottles filled with water of varying levels, gossamer vibrations fill the space. Grychel Moore’s languid arm gestures mirror the atmosphere in a stunning opening solo. Phrases of movement dictate the sounds produced by the bottles as much as the sounds produced by the bottles dictate the movement. Though the musical score lends a celestial tone, the choreography is grounded by Skove-Eypes’ dynamic rhythmic structure. As ROUNDS concludes, I find myself immersed in this community of women.

Rounds -Photo Courtesy of the Photographer

The Dance Enthusiast

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