Spark and Echo Arts Artistic Advisor Emily SoRelle Adams explored scripture through dance at our recent event, Reflections on Water: New Works of Music, Dance, and Spoken Word Poetry. Curated by Emily Adams and Emily Ruth Hazel, the event was held on Governors Island, the perfect place to explore the theme of water as part of Metropolitan Water Alliance’s City of Water Day.

Choreographed and Danced by: Emily SoRelle AdamsPoetry: Emily Ruth HazelSound Scape: Skip SoRelle, Filmed by: Michael Markham

This work was a collaborative piece choreographed to the poem “Cycles”, written and spoken by Emily Ruth Hazel. It was based on the verses of the Lord’s Prayer, specifically Matthew 6:10 (in italics): “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

Emily SoRelle Adams, on her process: Being inspired by Emily Hazel’s thoughtful poetry, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and take on the challenge of choreographing to the spoken word for the first time in my professional dance career.

I ended up using the rhythm of Emily’s words as my music and used the rich imagery in the poem inspired by scripture to create movement that has hopefully added another layer of insight to her work and to the scripture it’s based on. As a final element I asked sound designer, Skip SoRelle, to create a simple sound backdrop of rain falling on a lake to be played during the dance. It was the cohesive last piece that helped bring it all together. I am very thankful for the artistic growth I experienced through working on this project, and for the opportunity to have been able to engage with scripture in such a tangible way.

The piece also responds to Emily Ruth Hazel’s poem of the same name, which explores how the nature of water mirrors the natures of God as God is described in the above passage. Read more about the poet, Emily Ruth Hazel, and see her newly commissioned piece, Word of Mouth.

Emily SoRelle Adams is a freelance dancer and teacher based in NYC. She studied dance at S.M.U.- Meadows School of the Arts in Dallas, TX before dancing professionally with Ballet Austin and the Washington Ballet. Since moving to the city Emily has had the opportunity to perform with companies including the Metropolitan Opera, New Chamber Ballet, Connecticut Ballet and Rebecca Kelly Ballet. She has also had the chance to share her love of dance to students of all ages and levels. Emily currently lives in Brooklyn with her husband Kenyon and continues to seek out new artistic endeavors here in the city and beyond.

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