Drawing inspiration from the ancient, communal art of folk dance, critically-acclaimed contemporary dance company Staibdance presents "Name Day," a new work premiering at Emory University's Schwartz Center Dance Studio, February 2-4.
The evening promises a highly physical, theatrical and emotional voyage through time and geography. Artistic director George Staib – an Iranian-born, Armenian-American – says of his latest endeavor, "Multiple movement languages will be spoken, yet The Common denominator remains the same: in an exclusive world, there is room for inclusivity."
The term "Name Day" refers to the Armenian tradition of naming a newborn after a saint, and thereafter celebrating the saint's unique day of the year rather than the child's birthday. With a cast of 16 dancers, Staib delves into highly personal subject matter: the joys of birth and self-discovery, the art of mourning so uniquely perfected by his relatives and ancestors.
"Name Day" was born from a visit to the ancient Armenian communities in Jerusalem and an intensive study of Israeli contemporary dance. An ambitious tribute to the old and new, this collection of dances and theatrical interludes seek to unearth a curious Middle Eastern artistic sensibility: the love of opulence is posed next to the threat of repression.
Several sections of "Name Day" were originally created as individual dances, of which two were recently performed in Sorrento, Italy as part of the Staibdance Summer Intensive.
Tickets are $15 and are available through the Arts at Emory box office at 404.727.5050 or by visiting www.arts.emory.edu. Performances are February 2 - 4 at 8 pm in the Schwartz Performing Arts Center Dance Studio located at 1700 North Decatur Road, Atlanta, GA 30322. A champagne reception and gala will follow Saturday's performance.