the Internet's a stage for groundbreaking dancer, choreographer
Special to Orléans Online
Orléans native and former Leeming Danceworks
student Emma Portner is gaining a large You
Tube following for her collaborative dance
videos with friend and partner Matt Luck.
up in Orléans, 17-year-old dancer and choreographer
Emma Portner always dreamed about leaving the suburbs
and moving to the big city.
summer, after spending her entire life in Orléans
and training at Leeming Danceworks, she packed her belongings
and moved to an 80 sq. ft. apartment in New York City
to broaden her artistic horizons
the moment she arrived in the Big Apple her life felt
different, she was forced to be more independent than
ever, a reaction experienced by many first year students
but amplified since her city of choice was New York. She
was taking dance classes amongst some of the best in the
world. Everything was new and everyday offered a new challenge.
searched for answers to the questions every eager artist
seeks How will I ever be able to shine in a city
that was more brilliant than any other? How will I showcase
my abilities and get recognized?
changed last October. when Emma met Matt Luck. The two
became friends and collaborators and soon began experimenting
with new forums of showcasing dance.
had been a lot of dance videos popping up on Facebook
and You Tube, but sadly it was hard to appreciate the
performance or the choreography because posting online
was an afterthought, not the purpose.
and Matt wanted to bridge the gap between what they loved,
the art of dance, and the forum they cant live without,
social media. They created choreography that catered to
an experience for on-line viewers, they conceptualized
angles to showcase details that would be missed if watching
live and used lighting and high definition cameras to
highlight the choreography.
merging of arts and social media was exciting. As Emma
and Matt uploaded their first collaboration Dancing
in the Dark they had no idea what the reaction would
be and they were unprepared for what came next. The video
went viral with over 50,000 views in the first 72 hours.
video now has over 300,000 hits on You Tube and Vimeo.
and Matt couldnt believe how many people were taking
the time to watch their video, or post commens such as
this from PaoloSLCoreographer: "Oh my god.... This
is DANCE! Amazing .... It's incredible ... I can't describe
how i feel when i watch this .... You are? my idol ...
could have ever imagined that a young girl with big dreams
from Orléans would be noticed for her dancing by
people all over the world.
posting their work online did open them up to criticism,
this paled in comparison to the positive feedback Emma
and Matt have received. Emma has been touched by the kid
comments made by complete strangers who say she is their
she knew it, Emma was being contacted by some of her biggest
dance idols in North America and being offered opportunities
that she once had only dreamed of.
releasing Dancing in the Dark last fall, her
videos have been featured on many blogs and on-line forums
such as Buzzfeed and Iwastesomuchtime.com. In addition,
Dancing in the Dark was picked up by an International
Short Film Festival in Paris and Amsterdam.
dancing was performed on a giant screen and its
hard for her to fathom the reach the Internet has brought
to her art. Since its release she has had the privilege
of travelling across the US and Canada performing and
dancing alongside some phenomenal teachers and choreographers.
has since continued to embrace the concept of creating
for social media with the specific intention of being
able to showcase her work to a broader audience. A simple
Google search of Emma Portner on You Tube and Vimeo provides
an array of unique dancing montages such as another dance
collaboration with Matt entitled Staring at the
Stars, or a solo performance in School Night.
fundamentally feels that dance will always be most suited
to be experienced live but recognizes the potential of
a virtual stage.
compares to the intimacy of sitting in a small space and
feeling the palpable energy of dance," says Emma.
"When it comes down to the essence of why I create,
its to share a part of who I am and express how
will never define success by the number of views something
receives on youtube or likes on facebook. I feel blessed
and privileged to be able to create and feel continuously
inspired by the talent and energy of those around me.
view "Daning in the Dark" visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlJfdk742Pw.
"Staring at the Stars" can be viewed at www.youtube.com/watch?v=wioqIdqOTiY.
being an exceptional dancer and choreogrpher Emma is also
an extremely talented photographer. A collection of her
work can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/EmmaPortner/photos.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business partners.)
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