The Wind Ensemble’s Music in Motion concert is a creative production featuring collaborations with dancers, actors and other artists from throughout the conservatory. Eve Stanley ’22 (Bachelor of Fine Arts in Dance) and Christine West ’22 (Bachelor of Arts in Dance) are choreographing a piece and dancing in the concert. Both dancers worked closely with Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Professor of Dance Ting-Yu Chen ’19, Ed.D., and Director of Bands and Associate Professor of Conducting Tim Robblee, Ph.D., during the process and reflected on their experiences below.
What has it been like collaborating with the Wind Ensemble?
Eve Stanley: Collaboration with other departments is always an exciting learning experience that I love to do. My first time choreographing amongst musicians was this past fall for my senior capstone project. I got the chance to work with four incredible students who created an improvisatory, bluegrass ambience for my five dancers. After this experience, I knew I wanted to do it again! Thanks to Dr. Chen and Dr. Robblee, I was able to collaborate once more this year with various artists.
Christine West: The process of collaborating with the Wind Ensemble was one of constant excitement and growth. The process began solely in the studio with our four-member cast and a pre-recorded version of the piece we would be working with. We had met with Dr. Robblee and Dr. Ting-Yu Chen to discuss the timeline of the process and the goals of the piece; Dr. Robblee was very open ended with his vision for what the dance portion would look like, so it allowed for endless creativity for Eve and myself. The collaboration between the two departments was beautifully mutual. They were enthusiastic toward the work we were doing and we were in awe of how they brought it to life.
What have you found most rewarding about working on this project?
Eve Stanley: Hearing and dancing to live music, especially on this grand of a level, has been the most rewarding aspect of this project. The first time we heard our music in person, I couldn’t help but smile the entire run of the ensemble. The difference between a recording and live is massive, making a shift in the quality of movement for the better.
Christine West: I think the most rewarding part of this process was opening my eyes to music I would not typically use. It can be intimidating taking on pieces of music with ensemble-level scores because of the perceived intensity of choreography needed to match the beauty of the work. With that being said, it was rewarding choreographing to this piece of music because it showed me that there is extravagance in simplicity.
Have you had any unique experiences during this process or what do you think you’ll remember most from this experience?
Eve Stanley: This project was a very fast turn around; pushing out choreography every Tuesday night with Christine and our other two collaborators was such a fun and memorable experience. A unique moment of remembrance was the first time we ran through the dance live with the musicians on the Armstrong Concert Hall stage – we were a mess! We had a good laugh and fixed everything we needed for the performance. I look forward to the audience to experience this wonderful show!
Christine West: The part of this process that will stick with me is the first time we ran the dance with the wind ensemble. It nearly brought tears to my eyes being able to move among and in time with the musicians. The collaboration unveiling itself allowed for beautiful harmony to move through the concert hall.