Emerson SPRING TO DANCE® Festival 2022

  - 05.29.22
May 29, 2022

RKDC will be performing Emoticons at the Emerson Spring to Dance Festival 2022 in St. Louis on May 29 at 7:30pm.

About the work:

Emoticons (2011)

Choreography: Regina Klenjoski

Music: David Karagianis

CostumesDenise Lichter

LightingOriginal Lighting Design by Eileen Cooley

Dancers:  Aviance Battles, Elleigh McClelland, Timothy Portwood, Rile Reavis, Rhiannon Vieyra

Emoticons is a reflection of our growing dependence on technology and its impact on interpersonal relationships.  It examines how the digital world alters our daily lives and asks, “is technology enabling or disabling our ability to connect?”  

“The Regina Klenjoski Dance Company oozed, pulsed,
undulated, bounced, glided and sailed through the air in
their fearlessly athletic and original “Emoticons”, under
the sure artistic direction of choreographer Regina
Klenjoski. ” – The Daily Fitchett, Lisa Fitchett

“Beautiful partnering and athleticism complemented the motif of communications in an electronic age.”
-Setting the Dancer Within Free, Vanessa Adelman

Emoticons Artist Statement:
Emoticons is a personal interrogation of technology’s infiltration into our social fabric. At the time of the creation process in 2011 I had three small children and was becoming increasingly concerned at how much screens had become part of our, and their, daily lives.  It was and still is difficult to know if our technological ways are enabling or disabling our ability to connect with one another. On one end,  I was able to reconnect with relatives in Macedonia, where my family emigrated from, through social media platforms and digital communication tools that made it easy and affordable to stay in touch, but on the other end, I noticed at times my own family would be separated, each sitting alone staring at an electronic device.

Additionally, the work explores the theme of addiction, specifically the way necessity transforms into unchecked desire. Emoticons has been performed in Los Angeles, the midwest, New York, and this spring, St. Louis. Audiences respond strongly to this work because its subject is universally understood.  As technology continues to “improve” our lives and our work, Emoticons has remained relevant since its debut in 2011.

I collaborated with composer David Karagianis because I adore his music and found it pulsing, driving, and relentless at times. Much like the electrical energy that powers our tech habits.  He developed a beautiful score that was both impersonal and humanistic, juxtaposing this futuristic cold tech world with moments of humanity and warmth.  In collaborating with costume designer Denise Lichter and lighting Designer Eileen Cooley, we used the image “plugged in” as a creative theme in our discussions. Denise chose the color grey for the costumes to represent the cold feeling of steel and hand-designed symbols on the costumes as code, language, and distilled communication.  Eileen developed a circuit board design through an intricate gobo design for the stage floor, creating the digital world Emoticons lives in.  The original cast was instrumental in the development of Emoticons and included Anna Bowden, Deven Brawley, Danae McWatt, Sam Propersi, and Erin Smith.

ABOUT THE FESTIVAL:

The Midwest region’s most celebrated dance festival returns for the 14th year! 18 companies from coast to coast flock to St. Louis to bestow their artistry. It’s an unmatched buffet of dance, featuring three days of nonstop bright, beautiful dance from a wide array of nationally touring professional companies. We are extremely excited for Emerson SPRING TO DANCE® Festival 2022 to return to its longstanding home at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, with performances in the 1,500-seat Anheuser-Busch Performance Hall.

FRIDAY, MAY 27 • 7:30 PM
Dance Kaleidoscope (Indianapolis, IN)
Helen Simoneau Danse (Winston-Salem, NC)
DIAVOLO – Jennifer Olivas & Omar Olivas (Los Angeles, CA)
Owen/Cox Dance Group (Kansas City, MO)
– Intermission –
Dancing Wheels (Cleveland, OH)
Philadelphia BalletOksana Maslova & Sterling Baca (Philadelphia, PA)
Tristian Griffin Dance Company (Kansas City, MO)

SATURDAY, MAY 28 • 7:30 PM
Aerial Dance Chicago (Chicago, IL)
Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater 1st Performance (Chicago, IL)
DIAVOLO – Jennifer Olivas & Omar Olivas (Los Angeles, CA)
Collage Dance Collective (Memphis, TN)
– Intermission –
Chicago Dance Crash (Chicago, IL)
Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater 2nd Performance (Chicago, IL)
Wylliams/Henry Contemporary Dance Company (Kansas City, MO)

SUNDAY, MAY 29 • 7:30 PM
Newsam Aerial Dance (St. Louis, MO)
Regina Klenjoski Dance Company (Torrance, CA / Wichita, KS)
DIAVOLO – Jennifer Olivas & Omar Olivas (Los Angeles, CA)
DCDC (Dayton Contemporary Dance Company) (Dayton, OH)
– Intermission –
Eisenhower Dance Detroit (Detroit, MI)
Pilobolus – Casey Howes & Jacob Michael Warren (Washington Depot, CT)
Chicago Tap Theatre (Chicago, IL)As one of the region’s must-see festivals, SPRING TO DANCE® offers something for everyone, from modern, ballet and contemporary to tap, aerial, hip hop, flamenco and more, with a distinct, dynamic program each night.

 

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