2016-17 Performance Series Choreographer: Emily Cargill


I started Emily Cargill and Dancers in 2013 after moving back to Atlanta from Jacksonville, Florida.  I was the co-artistic director of Braided Light dance Project in Florida, and that ignited the flame to start ECD once I moved back to Atlanta.  Choreography is something that just makes sense on my brain.  Some people are good with directions. Some people are good cooks. I’m good at making dances.  The shaping of the work, the arc of the piece, the movement of the dancers in space -I;m always choreographing.  I have a notebook in my purse that I pull out at least ten times a day to jot down ideas, inspiration… or my favorite times, when a transition or “I finally know what needs to happen next in the duet!” appears in my mind’s eye.  My dancers are sensational.  We have a very collaborative environment in the rehearsal process. I swear sometimes that can read my mind.  They inspire me to try new things, find a bizarre answer to a problem. take risks., be bold, be weird, be loud.  Choreographing allows my inner thoughts (however crazy they may be) to take shape and physically shape the internal images that are constantly floating around in my head.

My advice to emerging choreographers…  Meet people. Expose and promote yourself.  Go out and see EVERYTHING.  Care about others, and they will care about you.  Dance is such a small, networked community.  Use that to your advantage.  Find that group that wants to support you!  Talk to people; don’t be shy.  If you can’t talk highly of what you do, who else will?  Get support by showing support.  Give and you shall receive.  It’s the circle of life (and dance)!  Believe in yourself, always push boundaries, don’t play it safe, but still hone your distinct voice.  It’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.  Don’t make boring dances.  If you’ve seen it before, so has your audience.  Create a stir.  Make your audience uncomfortable and push boundaries, yet at the same time, make them feel as though they are at home.  And last but not least, a leap-roll to the floor does not signify loss, injustices, hope, or anger.  Find your own interesting and unique way out of the choreographic box!

A little about Emily…

slit-622This season, Emily’s Atlanta-based company, Emily Cargill and Dancers (ECD), is presenting work all over the east coast, from Atlanta to NYC, Detroit, and Tampa. Her work has been presented at the Art on the Atlanta Beltline, Dance Canvas’ 2016 Emerging Choreographer Initiative, New Grounds Dance Festival, New Seeds Festival, OneSpark Festival, Modern Atlanta Dance Festival, Detroit Dance City Festival and the NYC10 Dance Festival. Emily has also been commissioned to set work by Staibdance, Jacksonville Dance Theatre, Braided Light Dance Project, Kennesaw State University, Georgia College and State University and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts. Emily was the Choreographer in Residence at the 2013 Florida Dance Festival, where her piece, ‘they didn’t want to’, premiered. Last season, Emily was invited to set a work on James Madison University’s pre-professional dance company, the Virginia Repertory Dance Company, and she was also commissioned for a 1-week residency with Washington and Lee University’s dance department. Emily was a 2015 Small Plates Artist, a residency commissioned by Zoetic Dance Ensemble and the Atlanta Ballet, and last June, Emily was commissioned to teach modern technique and ECD repertory at the Georgia Ballet Summer Dance Intensive. Emily Cargill and Dancers just premiered “SHED” at the Rialto Center for the Arts in February 2016 as a part of Dance Canvas’ Emerging Choreographer Initiative, and they are extremely excited to be back in 2017!  In April, ECD presented SLIT, an evening-length work, featuring choreography by Emily Cargill, Erik Thurmond, Kathleen Wessel and Kelly Bartnik. Most recently, ECD was commissioned to create a new work for the 2016 Skwhirlhaus Performance Season and premiered ‘ghost ships’ this October. Please visit http://www.EmilyCargillandDancers.com for more information and performance season updates. 20151011_183815

Emily has danced with the Atlanta-based modern dance company, Staibdance, as well as in works by Gregory Catellier (Catellier Dance Project), Corian Ellisor, Kathleen Wessel, David Dorfman, Jacksonville Dance Theatre and Braided Light Dance Project.

Emily has her MFA in Dance Performance and Choreography from Florida State University and her BA in Dance from James Madison University.

Emily has taught as an adjunct professor of dance at Spelman College, Kennesaw State University, Georgia College and State University, and Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, located in Jacksonville, FL. Emily has also been on faculty at the Atlanta Ballet, Atlanta Academy of Ballet and Dance, Callanwolde Fine Arts Center, and the Performing Arts Center of Tallahassee. Emily currently teaches as a guest artist at Brenau University and the Galloway School in Atlanta.

She also has her 200- hour Yoga certification and is certified by the National Yoga Alliance.

Emily and her husband, Hudson, just welcomed their newest addition, Nora Hundly Cargill, to the Cargill fam this August 2016!


We are so excited to have Emily working with us again and loved hearing about her take on choreography!  Don’t miss her newest work premiering in our 2016-17 Performance Series at the Ferst Center for the Arts at Georgia Tech on March 24th and 25th!

Buy your tickets here!

Join the conversation! Comment, share, and subscribe! How do you approach choreography? Check back soon for our next exciting story!

Thanks for reading!



*All photos by Jennifer Clark, courtesy of Emily Cargill.


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