A fundraiser is planned March 9 to begin the revival of Moving Poets, a dance company known for its innovative performances fusing dance and artistry in Charlotte from 1996-2006.
Bringing together some dancers and the artistic director from the old company, Moving Poets will again offer fusion performances of dance, theater, music, visual arts and multi-media performances. The fundraiser will help fund the start-up of the company and its first production in Charlotte.
Sarah Emery, former principal dancer in the Moving Poets Theater of Dance, will run the Charlotte location of the company as its artistic director. Till Schmidt-Rimpler, cofounder and artistic director, will collaborate with the Charlotte group from his home base in Berlin, Germany.
Moving Poets, Emery explained, will use different art forms to provide a fresh perspective on questions and themes in literature, the arts and humanities. It is based on an ancient Greek theater medium that used a confluence of dance, poetry and drama to tell the stories of their time.
“People loved what we did and our main goal is to stay along those lines but make it stronger,” said Emery. “I want to bring that back and make sure that dancing is at the center of it – the focal point – of our productions.”
“I’m going to concentrate on one show at a time and grow from there,” she said.
Emery said she wanted to resurrect Moving Poets because she is at a point in her career when she is doing a lot of choreography and is ready to lead a production company.
“When Till first left for Germany he asked me if I was interested in taking over Moving Poets but I wasn’t ready then,” said Emery, who since went back to school and finished a degree in graphic arts. “I needed time to grow and do other things. When Till approached years later about starting up the company, I felt ready to do it.”
Emery, who trained at the North Carolina School of the Arts, danced with Tulsa Ballet and NC Dance Theater, and expects to do some dancing in the new company. She recruited dancer Bridget Morris, a former dancer with the company, to return to Moving Poets, along with Skyla Caldwell who will act as a dance director.
The new company will have four dancers, and actor/performers, on a production-by-production basis. The collaboration with Schmidt-Rimpler’s German company will evolve. Moving Poets Berlin, said Emery, offers more of a performance workshop, inviting community and professional artists for art shows, concerts and joint performances.
The old dance company’s shows featured dancers and other artists, such as painters and musicians.
“I plan to bring back some of our old favorites – we were such a close-knit family – and add some fresh new innovative works by new artists and performers,” said Emery. “There are so many new faces in the arts community and I’m excited to get them involved with us.”