"[EmSpace Dance] demonstrated the sublimely heady heights to which contemporary dance can raise one’s spirits."
Founded in 1999 by artistic director Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, EmSpace Dance is a modern dance theater company dedicated to creating performances and films that are emotionally resonant and intellectually satisfying. We find beauty in the gestures of day-to-day life and endeavor to share a sense of the hidden depth and texture that exist in the everyday world. Our work is intricately crafted with a strong sense of theatricality that rubs up against authentic experience. Anchored by elements of life that are familiar in some way, we can also revel in aesthetic flights of fancy.
EmSpace Dance has presented shows in San Francisco at ODC Theater, Dance Mission Theater, CounterPulse, and Dancers' Group Studio Theater. We have also performed in galleries, lobbies, parks, and in a Victorian flat. The company has been seen in many Bay Area festivals and events including West Wave Dance Festival, The Yerba Buena Gardens Choreographers Festival, Kearny Street Workshop's APAture Festival, and The Hybrid Project at Intersection for the Arts. Beyond the Bay, EmSpace Dance has performed in The Rogue Performance Festival (Fresno, CA), The Monterey Dance Festival (Monterey, CA), and Artown (Reno, NV).
EmSpace Dance films have screened at American Dance Festival (Durham, NC), West Wave Dance Festival (San Francisco, CA), Reel Pride Film Festival (Fresno, CA), Tampa Bay Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (Tampa, FL), The San Diego Tijuana DanceOnFilm Festival, and Bernal Heights Outdoor Cinema.
Artistic Director Erin Mei-Ling Stuart began choreographing in 1997. Erin was in the first group of artists to receive a CHIME (Choreographers in Mentorship Exchange) grant in 2004, and she spent a year being mentored by June Watanabe. In 2007, she was an artist-in-residence at Djerassi Resident Artists' Program, where she first started working with video. The same year she received a STAND (Support Training and Access for New Directors) grant from Film Arts Foundation. In 2008, the San Francisco Bay Guardian honored Erin with a GOLDIE (Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery) award for dance.
Erin has also performed (dancing, sometimes acting, and occasionally playing viola) with many local companies, including Erika Chong Shuch Project, Lisa Townsend Company, Stephen Pelton Dance Theater, 13th Floor Dance Theater, Shotgun Players, Mugwumpin, Taylor Mac at The Magic Theater, Dance Elixir, Nancy Karp & Dancers, Deborah Slater Dance Theater, Lizz Roman & Dancers, STEAMROLLER, Kneejerk Dance Project, POTRZEBIE, Flyaway Productions, and OnSite Dance Company.