Friday Film Break: Madison Elliott's "Empty Vessel," Part of The Future Dance Festival

When even a blink of the eyes is musical, you know the details of a work have been thoroughly thought through. In Madison Elliott's "Empty Vessel," directed by Taylor Yocum and set to Hobo Johnson's "February 15th," the camera only catches movement from the waist up, but every body part seen is strategically engaged—and every moment is timed for maximum impact. The choreography bounces between powerful phrases that reverberate through Elliott's body and unsettlingly quiet details like a tap of a finger.

This piece was my pick for the opening program of 92Y Harkness Dance Center's Future Dance Festival, which kicks off today. Out of 185 submissions, works from 21 early-career dancemakers were chosen for the online event by a panel of industry leaders: Kyle Abraham of A.I.M, Janet Eilber of Martha Graham Dance Company, Victor Quijada of RUBBERBAND, Taryn Kaschock Russell of Harkness, Jessica Tong of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Eduardo Vilaro of Ballet Hispánico and myself. The selections will be shown over the next three weekends, each introduced by the jury member who chose it.

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3 Reasons Dancers Should Delete Calorie-Counting Apps

Seeking control over the uncontrollable is a common coping mechanism we all use when we're stressed. For dancers, that can manifest as a tendency to overanalyze meals and obsessively monitor daily calorie burn: When weight and body-image anxieties lurk alongside the unfortunate encouragement of those behaviors within our culture, it's easy to say, "Hey, let me start tracking my calories to make sure I'm not eating too much."

But relying on apps to monitor our energy balance drives us further away from building self-confidence and trust with our bodies—two key components to optimal performance. So how should you think about fueling your body instead?

July 2021