(2021) Rendered via experimental video, improvisational dance practice, written archive, and photographic still, and accompanied by costumes designed by Latina-futurist, Larissa Almansa, MASCCHAOS imagines a choreographic microcosmos from beginning to vibratory end. With the shared knowledge of a cohort of women, queer, and non-binary co-authors from across the United States, Emadian chronicles the practice of seeing, watching, echoing, and of a shared experience of dancing alone together.
(2020) Directed by Latrelle Bright with musical direction by Dr. Julie Jordan Gunn. This joint production celebrating Krannert Center’s 50-year partnership with the School of Music, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, Illinois Theatre, and Dance at Illinois. In a historical moment marching toward unimagined horrors, a sexually free cabaret Emcee guides us on a journey through the lives of the naïve, the passive, the respectable, the nationalistic, the fervent, and the optimistic while exposing the hypocrisy of the Nazi party’s decadence before its power crashes down upon them in 1930 Berlin.
(2020) explores the exhaustion of queer existence through the dynamics of gravity and falling. Throwing into high relief questions surrounding singularness, the solo form, loss, and legibility, the work features original costume design, sound design, and lighting design in addition to choreography by Elliot Reza Emadian. Blurring boundaries of improvisational and set form, entropy fades into and out of focus on an energetic rollercoaster through hyper-saturated, hyper-physical phrasing, traversing the space of the dance and slingshotting the gaze of performance out through some "audience" into a future, looking back on the present.
Photos by Sara Dotterer
(2019) 0, 1, 2. 12:00. A trio of dancers swirl through a skittering investigation of time and transmission, as the mechanics of choreography uncover what exists beyond and between them. Created in collaboration with University of Illinois undergraduates Angel Anderson, Lindsey Jennings, and Mary Kate Ford, the work transects a stage space, exploring the trio form as a nonbinary exploration of relation. Featuring costumes, lighting, and sound created for the work and coordinated by Larissa Almanza, Adam Major, and Daniel Massey, respectively, the work premiered as part of Dance at Illinois' Studio Dance II 2019, concert director Tere O'Connor. It is a prequel to Elliot's culminating thesis work, Infinite Three-Way Possibility.
photos by Natalie Fiol
photos by Natalie Fiol
(2019) was born from the idea that a perfect performance of gender is as possible as licking one’s elbow. In a shifting jungle gym of popular culture reference, two dancers, Rachel Rizzuto (female) and myself (nonbinary), struggle to find stability in identity while clashing with exhaustion, repetition, and interruption. Judith Butler’s “Performative Acts and Gender Constitution” provides a theoretical underpinning to the work: Ideas of repetitive acts and gender formation are literalized and abstracted in a temporally compressed setting. Spatial organization becomes key to navigating impossible tasks, but ultimately fails to contain the kinesthetic and comedic unraveling of those impossibilities.
(2016) explores the performativity of stereotype. What does it mean to find queer community? How is that community mobilized by the hegemonic powers to to "other" us? MTB relies on the grammar of movement and the potential for change within repetition to expose the exhaustion of playing queer. Gestural languages and qualitative performative difference ground the work, while a mechanical soundtrack comprised of absurd signs of queerness recited by a robotic woman juxtaposes against Regina Spektor's "Music Box" to illuminate images of underlying machination, a system outside our control, a box within which we play.
photos by Kevin Remington
photos by Jacob Joseph Photography
(2016) challenges nostalgia and societally constructed conceptions of gender, strength, and conformity. A corps of eight dancers rigidly click through stilted unison, images of post WWII masculinity, idiosyncratic phrases punctuated by Jherek Bischoff's bizarre orchestration "The Secret of the Machines." Trios and duets appear, tracking through both the destructive dichotomy of the gender binary and the Goffmanian backstage of masculine passing, as Judd Greenstein's whirlwind "Clearing, Dawn, Dance" and Nico Muhly's "Pillaging Music" drive them toward an inevitable ending. Arms chop through the space, bodies whirl, lines and angle dissect dancer and stage. As the dance nears conclusion, we see the future is arriving, but cannot forget the past.
Photos by Kevin Remington
(2016) considers the place of femininity in a misogynist, patriarchal culture. Created in conjunction with a cast of 10 women in the Washington and Lee Repertory Dance Company, the work explores American understandings of gender as a highly personal area of cultural conflict. Seeped in the political wake of the 2016 presidential election, femininity rises as radically resilient way of being. Posed to illuminate the inequity of the femme, Bic lighters ignite the work with an inkling of the possibility of renewal. Underscored by Petri Kuljuntausta's ethereal "Canvas", something sacred arises as bodies slide on backs, hands gently swing, feet tread carefully, eyes glance, confirming that we're all in this together.