Magazine article Dance Teacher

Emerging Artists

Magazine article Dance Teacher

Emerging Artists

Article excerpt

Harlem's E-Moves dance series connects young choreographers with established mentors.

HMLEM STAGE'S ANNUAL E-MOVES SERIES, now in its 13th year, pairs ?-Merging" young dance artists with established choreographers who serve as mentors.

This year, the series features two ?-Volving" choreographers (artists with about five years of work under their beits)- Souleymane Badolo of Bennington, Vermont, and Sheetal Gandhi, from Los Angeles-plus eight early-career choreographers from New York City and Philadelphia and two dance films.

"The goal is to provide a forum for emerging choreographers, specifically for those of color, to realize their vision, to get themselves presented to their peers and to develop a sense of growth and community," says Brad Learmonth, director of programming for Harlem Stage and founder of E-Moves.

About 40 young choreographers apply and audition each year. The 10 selected artists are paired with a mentor based upon their individual strengths and weaknesses. Often, dancers of different genres are placed together as a challenge to push their work beyond their comfort zones.

Nikki Hefko of Brooklyn, New York, developed a ballet pas de deux. She was paired with Nia Love, a modern contemporary choreographer who originally started her career as a ballet dancer-and was once an E-Moves E-Volving choreographer herself. "It has been really helpful having someone to talk to who has been there and done that and is still in it," Hefko says. "She understands the process of not just creating the work, but communicating with your dancers. …

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