Emma Forstenhausler is a dancer, choreographer, and aspiring dance/movement therapist from Westfield, New Jersey. Currently in her junior year at Gallatin, she is developing a concentration around the idea of how dance can be “affective,” whether thinking about an audience viewing dance, or as the individual moving through space. Emma believes dance can communicate through the body that which the mind is often unable to process. Diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at eleven, Emma has assimilated her own experience with chronic illness into her studies, taking on a particular interest in the all-too-familiar physical, psychological, and social implications of living with a painful, life-long condition. While she does not want her diagnosis to define her as an artist, Emma acknowledges that it inherently informs her relationship with dance.
Pain in Motion
“Pain in Motion” may evoke discomfort but it is in this discomfort that we can come to understand our perception of pain as a human experience in its various degrees, forms, and facets. What does pain look like in motion? How do we move through pain? How does pain affect the body physically, emotionally, and socially? Does pain create strength or weakness? While this project is partially derived from my personal experience living with Crohn’s Disease, the piece is in no way exclusive to my story. We all experience pain in some way or another, as mortal humans made of imperfect flesh. While “Pain in Motion” may challenge the audience to empathize and abstractly confront pain they have never experienced, it welcomes all those who feel.