Contemplating the Current Moment - Christine McMillan choreographs for artÉmotion

21 July 2020 Published in News and Announcements
Photography by Joshua Whitehead Photography by Joshua Whitehead

The School of Dance’s Christine McMillan choreographed a piece for artÉmotion's Choreographic Workshop this summer. The workshop is a five week, invite only program consisting of Ballet West Academy’s first three week session followed by a two week choreographic workshop. Just 45 dancers are accepted to the program, and the workshop is offered to dancers aged 16 and under.

The artÉmotion Summer Intensive is directed by Ballet West first Soloist Allison DeBona and Ballet west Principal Rex Tilton. This year, the dancers auditioned for roles for three choreographers, Rex Tilton, Peter Merz, and the U’s Christine McMillan.

McMillan is worked with 14 dancers for her original piece At This Moment, which she says is a contemplation of the current moment. “Although not overtly political, my work usually reflects some aspect of my personal experience, and part of this piece focuses on the sense of isolation alongside the build up of pent up energy many of us have experienced recently during the Covid-19 crisis.”

Without a formal performance possible, the choreographers chose to find creative options for videoing the pieces and McMillan says she relied in part on what she learned from our own Ellen Bromberg in a Screendance intensive during her graduate studies at UW-Milwaukee.  In addition to portions being filmed in the studio, McMillan chose locations within and around the Ballet West building including the roof. In the next phase of the project, McMillan will work with Beau Pearson who filmed the work to create a final film edit of the piece.

Photography by Joshua Whitehead