Performance: Soul Searching

Saturday, April 24 @ 6:00 pm CST
Monday, April 26 @ 6:00 pm CST

Choreographer: Bala Sarasvati (aka Shelley Shepherd)
Company: CORE Contemporary and Aerial Dance
Performers: Olivia Byers, Madison Calderwood, Baylee Davenport, Evann Guthrie, Brenna Hayes, Kristin Jaspers, Madeleine Johnson, Aviva Kasowski, Rachel Kelley, Claire Korfas, Alex Ozbilen, Regan Sadowski, Audrey Snow, Grace Weigel
Aerial Rigger & Light Design: Jacque Kibbe
Music: Tim McMorris

Artist’s Statement: In Soul Searching, I integrated contemporary and aerial dance, to represent the overall theme of a full-evening nonstop multimedia performance exploring personal, cultural, political, and environmental perceptions about current and immanent global issues. In this short film, use of intimate solo moments and mirror reflections of the performers are juxtaposed with moments of the aerial dance on silks, slings, lyras, trapeze, and bungee, creating a relationship between the two major themes – soul searching and aerial flight. In troubled and challenging times, that indeed unfolded in the year of the creation of this film and full-evening concert, soul searching is an obvious path.


Bala Sarasvati, Jane Willson Professor in the Arts at the University of Georgia, is a Certified Movement Analyst  (CMA) specializing in dance choreography and performance. Her dance choreography, film integration, and movement training approaches have been presented throughout the US, at international conferences, festivals and concerts including John F. Kennedy Performing Arts, Centro Coreográfico da Cidade do, Rio de Janeiro, Trinity Laban, London, Beijing International Arts Festival, National le Danse, Paris and WDA, Vancouver, BC. Bala served as graduate faculty for Nacionale Universidad de Costa Rica and dance specialist in somatic theory for Danza Universitaria dance company and for Programa Danza Abierta at the University of Costa Rica. She has developed and integrated film projection with aerial dance in contemporary dance production for 19 years, utilizing lyra, slings, silks, trapeze, and bungee. Bala serves on the board for the Laban/Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies.

An experimental company by nature, CORE Concert Contemporary & Aerial Dance creates events incorporating interactive computer, film, visual arts, literature, aerial dance and more into full-evening multimedia performances. Within this creative research lab, artists, students, professors and technicians collaborate to transcend science, technology and the arts. CORE has been invited to numerous festivals, conferences, and adjudicated gala events including performances for Piccolo Spoleto, National ACDA at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, NDEO national conferences, Choreografic Center of the City of Rio de Janeiro, 2010 WDA Global Event, NYC, 2013 WDA, Vancouver, Canada, Laban Bartenieff Institute of Movement Studies (LIMS) MOSAIC (2014-2016) NYC and throughout China including the Beijing International Arts Festival. CORE has performed several UGA special events including the Fourth Annual Regents’ Awards for Excellence and UGA Celebration of Support, Atlanta, GA.

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