Emma Bigelow is a first-year student at Gallatin from West Orange, New Jersey, studying social justice and the arts. She has been training since the age of three in tap, jazz, ballet, contemporary, hip hop, musical theatre, street stilettos, and acrobatic dance. In her junior year of high school, she became part of Maurice Chestnut’s tap company, Dance Therapy, which raises awareness against gun violence in schools. Since then, she has performed at locations including Harlem’s Faison Firehouse Theater, the Salvatore Capezio Theater, the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, and the Brooklyn Dance Festival, and has trained and worked with artists including Savion Glover, Shirlene Quigley, and Cartier Williams. Currently, Emma is an intern at the DC Tap Festival as well as a dance teacher and choreographer. She will be performing at the Apollo Theatre April 21-22, 2017.
If I’m Butter
She falls. He sharpens. She becomes butter. He slices. There are two, three, four of her. The sliced bits of her psyche enter her consciousness as she tries to escape what is left of her mind. It was Nirvana, but the turbulence of vulnerability has left her unhinged, unraveling under the pressure of his distance. Through heavy percussion and layered vocal and dance phrasing, “If I’m Butter” presents a narrative that makes individuals feel everything from fragile to deranged to animalistic. It incorporates visuals and sounds as well as tap and contemporary dance to infuse a sentiment of tension within the piece. By the end of the performance, onlookers will feel as if they, too, have been turned to butter and sliced through with a hot knife.