Evanston high-schooler makes choreography debut at art-inspired dance show

Anyone who’s seen Edgar Degas’ statues of ballerinas knows that dance can inspire art. But is the reverse also true? Can art inspire dance?

The Evanston Dance Ensemble’s new show, “Body of Work,” opening March 12, says yes, and has 12 dance pieces inspired by artists’ work to prove it, including one created and produced by a 16-year-old Evanston high-schooler.

Amelia Nawn, a junior at Evanston Township High School, was inspired by the Marc Chagall windows at the Art Institute of Chicago to choreograph her piece, which she describes as modern dance with jazz influences.

Nawn has been dancing since she was 3, and now spends more than 20 hours per week practicing with the Evanston Dance Ensemble. But she says choreography is a different story.

“Sometimes you know what you want, and it feels right for you, but explaining that to other dancers can be tough,” she says. “The entire process has definitely made me a stronger dancer and made me study dance more seriously.”

“Body of Work” runs March 11 – 19 at the Josephine Louis Theater at Northwestern University. More details and ticket information.

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