Meet the Artist: Renay Aumiller
December 12, 2011 § 2 Comments
Renay is an independent dance artist–a performer, choreographer, and teacher. Currently, she is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Dance at Elon University, and also teaches at NC State University and Arts Together in Raleigh. She has performed with a number of companies and choreographers, including Renée Wadleigh, Linda Lehovec, Kirstie Simson, and the Chicago-based Thread Meddle Outfit. Renay’s choreography has been shown internationally and across the Midwest and Eastern United states. She recently received the NC Dance Alliance Choreography Fellowship in 2011 for her choreography, Burrow, the dance she will present at NCDF Community Day.
A work for 5 dancers, Burrow researches movement from the inside out, incorporating both aggressive physicality and awkward fluidity to focus on the delicacy and fragility of our bodies. The work “revels in the contradiction of control and chaos,” as Renay describes it.
Renay recently shared with us a little about her dance background and her choreographic process.
Dance Project: When did you first begin dancing?
Renay Aumiller: I started dancing when I was 5 years old because I wanted to be like my older sister who took ballet and jazz lessons. Within a year we were both in a Childrens Ballet Company up in Pennsylvania and got to travel the world together. She probably doesn’t know how much I still look up to her. She’s taller than I am.
DP: How did you become interested in choreographing?
RA: My interest in choreography came much later in life. I was always much more interested in performing. It wasn’t until my final year of my undergraduate studies that I started to dabble in movement composition and then once I graduated I created dances just to keep dancing. I enjoy the rush of sharing my thoughts and research studies with the world. It’s exhilarating and frightening at the same time to let yourself be open and vulnerable. Yet, the more I create and share, the less I want to shut myself off and the more risks I choose to take.
DP: Can you tell us a bit about the process of creating Burrow?
RA: “Burrow” is an experimentation in body work and internal investigations. The dancers and I began each rehearsal with body work blending into prompted improvisations. The dance seemed to evolve on its own from there. “Burrow” was created with the support from the North Carolina Dance Alliance Choreography Fellowship, which allowed us the time and freedom to experiment and research movement initiating from deep inside the body. The atmosphere and final “product” simply grew into itself and what you will see at the Community Day Showing.
DP: Are you working on any new projects right now?
RA: In January I will begin creating a new work on 5 dancers from Elon University. I’m collaborating with a digital artist and the entire structure will be based around the notion of design. The performance will be held in May at Elon University.
DP: Besides choreographing, what other activities are you involved in?
RA: I am on faculty at Elon University and also facilitate classes at NC State University and Arts Together in Raleigh, NC. I do my best to maintain my yogini-ness, and am either knitting, cross-stitching, or sewing in my spare time.
Thanks to Renay for sharing a little about herself with us! Check out her work, Burrow, at the NCDF Community Day showing, Saturday, January 28 at 3:30pm at the Greensboro Cultural Arts Center (200 N. Davie St.).
Up next on the blog: Meet another of the choreographers for Community Day, Justin Tornow!