Ballet West's Emily Adams Gets Innovative

Emily Adams is having a spectacular year: The Ballet West soloist's fourth work for the company is being presented this week in its Innovations program. And, she's being promoted to principal this fall. Pointe spoke with Adams about developing her passion for choreography. 

What's the inspiration behind your newest work, Homage?
Last summer, I saw this Salvador Dali sculpture, "Homage to Terpsichore." It really spoke to me. It has two standing figures, a classical nude form and a cubist one. I thought it would lend itself well to movement.

What types of movement are you working with?
I have 10 dancers, split into two groups to represent the aspects of the sculpture. The "classicals" are pretty and have very square, smooth, beautiful lines. I'm kind of thinking of them like Greek gods and goddesses. But the "cubists" are disjointed, angular and twitchy. Compared to the classical dancers, they're very chaotic.

How do you hope to juggle being a principal and choreographing?
When I was a demi-soloist, I was doing principal, soloist and corps roles, so it was a very hard schedule. When you're a principal, there's pressure when you're dancing the big roles, but you have a little bit more time and fewer parts to keep track of. And, I think the status helps when you're choreographing on your peers. The first time I did Innovations, I was a corps member, and I was leading a room with principals and soloists. That can be a little intimidating.

 

 

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Above: Adams with Christopher Ruud in The Lottery. Photo by Luke Isley, Courtesy Ballet West.

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