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Meet Emily Aust

Today we’d like to introduce you to Emily Aust.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
A brief story
A brief story

I was born and grew up in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. I moved to San Diego almost twenty years ago. I became a mother early in life. I can tell you that I make art because I need to. I work intuitively, with other people and alone. I live, and value practice. This question is about history. I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without acknowledging all of the people who work hard at what they do; who have dedicated their lives to something meaningful. There are so many talented people, collaborators, who share themselves through their disciplines, through their history. I feel fortunate to live with the gifts of their generosity. An artist told me once that everything she makes is attempting to work out her history, her childhood memories, and relationships, some kind of continuous reflective process with its own logic. I am also working, creating and trusting the logic that comes through my system, observing, reflecting, and making. I believe I have always engaged in artistic and aesthetic practices. In college I studied art, design, and performance, I found Modern dance, Ballet, Postmodern and Contemporary dance. In 2007 I found the form of Contact Improvisation, and it shifted everything. It informed the other dance and performance training I was involved in. I began to sense connections in my body from the inside out. This practice continues to inform much of my performance making and teaching. In 2016 I completed my Master of Fine Arts degree in the Theatre & Dance Program at UCSD. My primary dance and performance background includes Contemporary dance techniques; Improvisation and ensemble collaboration, Contact Improvisation. Writing and Classical and Contemporary Theatre performance techniques. My current research is linked through embodiment practices and community interaction. I make dance and performance that serves to cultivate a relationship between place, people, and their environment.

Please tell us about your art.
I practice.
I am a maker.
A person who researches through the body.
I am a dancer.
A writer.
I make performance – live and recorded.
I am a teacher.
I create experiences.
I am interested in the evolution of moments.
I am interested in people and how we move through the world together, the functions of language.
I am interested in performativity; the intersection between disciplines, collaboration, and negotiation of spaces.
I wonder about capacity and potential, physics, physical interaction, relationships.
I am inspired by small things, details, body systems, subtlety, nuance, and movement in 360 degrees.
I am interested in form as a question.
I am interested in how shifting perception changes how a person understands information and how this works inside of performance.
I am interested in what constitutes performance in all its formality and casualty.
I am interested in choreography and the many complex, faceted layers it offers.
I am interested in theatricality.
I am interested in empowering people to empower themselves through the modalities of teaching and performance.
I am interested in work that transforms and takes me with it.
I am interested in what bodies know and how they learn.
I believe movement research is vital to the world we live in.
I want to create a larger container for performance context; I am actively working to create more space in the world for this research.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
Has the role of the artist changed? Certainly, the role is always evolving, If we do not allow for change, we are no longer present and no longer relevant in our changing world. The role of the artist in society is a person or entity that provides opportunities, allows places for questioning and reflection, serving to build culture and awareness.  The amount of information and crossing of influence is happening at an increasingly accelerated pace. Keeping up with what is going on and how that filters through people and cultures around the world both fascinates and confounds me. We experience this every day through the immediacy of digital culture. There are more and more social expectations built on the quickness at which you process and respond to digital information. I wonder about how we are adapting to this part of daily living in the Western World. The ways and the pace of information that we are asked to digest is shifting our sense of time. Our perception of time is changing. How much are we able to process and at what capacity are we understanding this change?

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I perform in San Diego and surrounding areas. Visit my website for details on upcoming shows and projects. People can support my work by connecting, coming to performances or taking a class. Currently, I teach a public Contact Improvisation class at Stage 7 School of Dance in North Park on Monday Nights. Other public classes and workshop offerings are listed on my website. I welcome collaboration. Get in touch. Donations of support are always appreciated.

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