Dancing with BenU

By: Tatanisha Wooley


Chicago’s very own choreographer, Emily Stein, is coming to Benedictine University will perform her new work titled “Corps/Corpus” tonight at 7:00 p.m. on the fifth floor of Kindlon Hall. The Artist-In-Residence sponsored event is free to the public, including Benedictine University students, but seating will be limited.

Benedictine University’s Artist-In-Residence was established by the college of Liberal Arts, and their mission statement is to draw innovative artists to campus to serve and enrich the experience of the entire University community.

Stein will perform a solo piece and then a group of professional dancers will present a piece she choreographed for five dancers. The dance was inspired by the “Rule of St. Benedict” and will explore the idea of “community as body.”

According to Stein’s website the performance will include excerpts from her show, “Secret Experiments in Ballet #2,” which premiered at the Visceral Dance Center in Chicago in May 2013. “Secret Experiments” will play at the intersection of improvisation and the ballet vocabulary. Stein was interested in learning the meaning of the ballet tradition in contemporary dance world, including who, where, and how the vocabulary is used, according to her website.

According to Stein’s website, she had been dancing, teaching and creating dances for over twenty years.  Stein is currently a faculty member at the Dance Center of Columbia, the Joffrey Ballet Bridge Program and Northwest Ballet Academy.

Throughout her career, she has produced her own choreography and has taught choreography to several students throughout the country. Her website also shares that she has taught dance to every age group there is and teaches ballet and modern-dance throughout the Chicago area to students, ranging from beginners to professionals. She is also the co-founder, along with Paige Caldarella, of the Ballet Lab Chicago.

Issues that involved exploring writing and choreography help change the direction the dance she was performing. Her dancing evolved until she became the dancer she is today. Stein questioned what the art form of dance does and means to her and to audience members according to information found on her website.

Her website also expresses that she has a love for the close proximity to the performers and the deep investigation of the body that are important to modern dance.  She is a classically trained dancer in ballet, something she has never forgotten.