Teal Darkenwald, assistant professor at ECU ‘s School of Theatre and Dance, always creates imaginative pieces that are among my favorites at the department’s dance showcases. I missed this year’s spring performance, but I got to enjoy Darkenwald’s piece, Quantum, while editing the video for the Greenville Guardian. With original music by Erich Keil, a lighting and sound technician in the Theatre and Dance department, and costumes by student designer Allyson Mojica, it’s a beautiful collaboration. I admire this all-around collaborative approach to creating new work.
Darkenwald was insistent that any good production should be a synthesis. “If all the components of costume, lighting, choreography, music etc. don’t come together,” she said, “then you’re not doing your job.”
Darkenwald extended this mentality to her audition and rehearsal process as well. “I didn’t have the dancers audition with a phrase from this piece because I wanted to give them the opportunity to shock me out of my own creative biases for what the dance should look like.” Similarly,Darkenwald describes how “when you’ve been choreographing for a while, it becomes more process oriented.”
She described how accidents and mistakes often help develop the dance from a concept to the final performance. “When you’re younger, you want to plan everything, but I do better work when I let the dancers inspire me.” (Spencer Bennington, Greeville Guardian)
Read Spencer Bennington‘s feature, Darkenwald’s Quantum: Dancing the Unseen, in the Greenville Guardian to learn more about Darkenwald’s Quantum as well as her approach to creating art.
Here’s the three minute sampling of highlights from the approximately nine minute dance. Enjoy!