Meet Your Local Artists: Greensboro

October 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

Greensboro performances of the NC Dance Festival are happening soon, November 1-2!  Here is a chance to meet the local artists and the works that were chosen to join the Festival for two magical nights of dance.  Christina Soriano will present work on Friday, and Cara Hagan is featured on Saturday night.

Christina Soriano

Christina Soriano is an associate professor of dance at Wake Forest University where she teaches classes in dance technique, improvisation, composition, dance and film history, and Movement and the Moleculara course she co-teaches with a colleague in the Chemistry Department.  Christina received her MFA in dance from Smith College and has danced for many inspiring choreographers, including Heidi Henderson and B.J. Sullivan most recently.  In addition to the new works she creates for the Wake Forest Dance Company each year, Christina’s choreography has been presented throughout New England, North Carolina and more recently in New York and Vienna, Austria.

Soriano and student Cynthia Huang embarked upon a 5-week research process to create, “For Cage,” a solo work performed by Huang to several musical selections by composer John Cage: “Perilous Night: Part 6 (1944)”, performed by Phillipp Vandré; “Winter Music: excerpt (1957)”, performed by Callithumpian Consort; “Two2: Part 35 (1989)”, performed by Laurel Karlik Sheehan and Rob Haskins.

Still of Cynthia performing "For Cage". Photo by Ken Bennett.

Still of Cynthia performing “For Cage”. Photo by Ken Bennett.

Huang’s describes their creation process:  “We investigated the life of John Cage, focusing specifically on his musical compositions. From the myriad pieces he composed we selected three disparate pieces that represented three distinct artistic genres that Cage embraced during his life. From there we engaged in an intensive choreographic process where we delved into movement working on one piece at a time to create a solo work. We developed different themes for each of the three sections that was reflected in our movement style. Based on our research on Cage, Soriano and I were particularly interested in using choreographic methods or movement styles that deeply engaged well known “Cage-ian” ideas.”

The work premiered last year during Cagefest, an event at the Start Gallery Opening celebrating the centennial of Cage’s birth.

Cynthia Huang is a senior Business and Enterprise Management major and a dance minor. She is originally from Chelmsford, Massachusetts, but currently lives in Cary, North Carolina. She is involved in various organizations on campus such as InterVarsity Christian Fellowship, WFU Dance Company, and Wake Saturdays. Over the past three or more years, Cynthia has been able to further investigate her passion of dance while continuing to grow both academically and spiritually. She had the wonderful opportunity of participating in an ImpluStanz, an international dance festival, and performing internationally in Vienna, Austria.

Cara Hagan.  Photo by Steve Clarke.

Cara Hagan. Photo by Steve Clarke.

Cara Hagan

Cara Hagan, multidisciplinary artist and faculty member at High Point University, also presents a solo work: “A Question of How.”  This dance, first premiered at the Pittsburg New Moves Festival in 2011, uses light, movement, and text to explore the web of memory, journey, and arrival.  Written observations into the nature of journeying and arrival provided the starting place for the work: “Do we ever truly arrive?  If we do arrive, what’s next?  How does memory serve us on the journey to arrival?”

The dance is performed in silence, an experience that Hagan says can be uncomfortable for some audience members.  But, she says, “for me, dancing in the silence was a way for me to explore the concepts in a very frank, fundamental way. Rhythm is now entirely up to me and my breath, and it is fluid. The length of the piece fluctuates depending on how the particular journey of the performance of the piece manifests itself. It is different every time.”

Hagan holds a BFA from the UNC School of the Arts and an MFA from Goddard College.  She created and directs the dance minor program at High Point University.  Hagan is also heavily involved in community arts projects.   She is founder and facilitator for The Wedding Dress Project, whose mission is to raise awareness for issues of domestic violence, gender relations, and gender stereotypes.  Hagan is also founder and curator for Movies by Movers, a festival now in its fourth year, dedicated to the celebration of human movement through the magic of film and digital media.

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