Visionary Dance Theatre and Kidz Danz Kompany Welcomes International Choreographer and Director Emily Navarra


January 20, 2020 – SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA — Visionary Dance Theatre (VDT) and Kidz Danz Kompany (KDK) are excited to host international choreographer and Founder/Director of The Movement Kitchen Emily Navarra for a two week residency beginning January 14th, 2020.

During her residency, Emily will be creating a new dance work on the VDT dancers titled “Sounding the Center”.  This piece explores encounters, gatherings and the core of communities through kinship, solace and comfort.  Additionally during her residency Emily will re-stage her work “I’m Still Here”, which first premiered in Vietnam in April 2019.  It will make its USA premiere with KDK. Originally choreographed on adult dancers, this work has been entrusted to the talented dancers of KDK.  “I’m Still Here” is about being fully present with the experience. Common humanity is that reminder that we all suffer. We are all mortal, vulnerable, and imperfect. This suffering is part of the shared human experience. Although we all may stumble, we are also so powerful.

Emily is also the curator of “Holding Common Ground: Pathways to Cultural Exchange in Vietnam”.  Sponsored by the American Embassy in Vietnam, this one week seminar that brings together dance artists and scholars from the USA and Vietnam to participate in panel discussions, lectures, workshops and dance performances that celebrate diversity, inclusivity and our common vision of dance as a universal language. It focuses on the insight into the process and development of an educational, artistic and cultural dance seminar between Vietnam, USA and other countries.  This year’s installment will be held at the Soul Music and Performing Arts Academy in Ho Chi Minh City on April 5th, 2020 through April 11th, 2020.

VDT and KDK are invited to participate in this year’s event.  VDT and KDK will each present a dance work as part of the performance portion at the end of the seminar.  They are the only dance group representing California at the event.  KDK will also be the only childrens group participating.  Additionally, as part of workshop and lecture portion of the seminar VDT Artistic Director Spencer John Powell will be teaching a workshop title “Collective Choreography”.

“I had the wonderful opportunity to meet Emily at last year’s ‘Holding Common Ground’ event.  We immediately connected artistically.  From this fortunate stroke of serendipity, we formed the start of a long-lasting friendship and partnership that lead into this residency.  We are very excited to host Emily this year at our studio home.” – Spencer John Powell, Artistic Director of Visionary Dance Theatre

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Emily Navarra is a B.A. Dance Studies graduate from the University of South Florida. She has worked under various choreographers such as Iñaki Azpillaga and Wim Vandekeybus (Ultima Vezand Lloyd Newson (DV8 Physical Theatre) as well as presented her work in the United States, Europe, Southeast Asia, North Africa and the United Kingdom.

She formed Standpoint Theories in 2012, a collaborative project which began as an experimental multimedia performance. From 2013-2015, it transformed into its next installation – “Legends of Vietnam” which retold six Vietnamese legends through dance, visual art, text and live music featuring singer/songwriter Le Cat Trong Ly. In 2015, she founded The Movement Kitchen which offers creative experiences and movement based workshops in a welcoming environment by spreading knowledge about movement as a therapy, bringing cultures together and encouraging self-expression.

Emily was also a TED Talks key note speaker in 2016 speaking on the topic of The Importance of Collaboration in the Arts. She is the recipient of two Civil Society grants from The Department of State and the United States Consulate of Ho Chi Minh City. She resided overseas for the past decade in North Africa, Europe and Southeast Asia – and recently moved back to Chicago with her better half and their cat named Chicken.

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