"The Tail by Erin Mei-Ling Stuart, certainly deserves wider recognition when it premieres next year.
Telling you this piece addresses the connection between primates and prayer --
itself a fascinating proposition -- wouldn't describe the allure of this excerpt's construction...."
- French Clements, SF Weekly Blog
"Creating spare but incisive characters and relationships is something at which choreographer Mei-Ling Stuart has become masterful. You laugh and weep with these people even as you recognize yourself in them
- Rita Felciano, San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Site-specific works are not exactly the newest kids on the block. But few can claim to be as utterly charming and finely wrought as Erin Mei-Ling Stuart's Keyhole Dances."
"quirky, intimate and unexpected
[...] "Keyhole Dances" is a bittersweet little slice of life."
without being erotic, the dancers pressed themselves together, piled on top of each other, and rearranged limbs in order to find space for themselves. This was dancing about mass and weight but also softness and yielding. "
- Rita Felciano, San Francisco Bay Guardian
"Erin Mei-Ling Stuart is a young San Francisco choreographer worth keeping an eye on; whether her dances are wacky or eloquent, they're usually engaging and well structured."
- Rachel Howard, San Francisco Chronicle
"[Stuart] has sharp eyes for looking through facades and punching holds into cardboard defenses. She also has a good grasp at working crisp gestures into amusing vignettes with characters that stop just short of stereotypes. The frumpy high school outcast sneered at by a bevy of glamour pusses. The dowager and the rocker caught in an elevator. The ugly duckling that metamorphoses into a still awkward Odile. Because Stuart has a flair for inventing telling movement, a good sense of timing and handles comedy with a light touch
, the pieces are not quite as sophomoric as they might sound."
"this energetic romp
about life in the classroom (Grade 5, Iíd say) for four "students" (Christine Bonansea, Courtney Moreno, Erin Okayama, Noel Plemmons) and one vulpine, hassled "teacher" (the very adept Ann Berman) should win many admirers after Stuart incorporates it into her own companyís repertoire. The structure isnít complex, but the choreographer proves herself superior in characterizing through movement (thatís no minor accomplishment)."
"[EmSpace Dance] demonstrated the sublimely heady heights to which contemporary dance can raise oneís spirits
. Songs for You
was a dazzling ensemble work [...] Street scenes, domestic disputes and internal monologues received eloquent delineation, thanks to Stuart's aptitude for capturing a moment and letting it resonate. Songs for You
burned with relevance and glimmered with the hope that these, and all dedicated artists, might find creative fruition."
"Stuart's thoughtful and unexpected choreographic choices were refreshing and unique."
- Rebecca Hirschman, criticaldance.com
"Stuart is a gifted choreographer with an eye for theatricality
- Rachel Howard, In Dance
"Since coming on the scene as a dancer less than a decade ago, Erin Mei-Ling Stuart has stood out. When she moves she looks silken, molten and boneless
, a mythical fish girl/woman, or a shapechanger who slips between the real world and the archetypical, the human and the animal. Part of Stuart's magic is that she projects a sexy emotional availability on stage that flows out of a viscous physicality."
"Quirky, cute, and shot through with a refreshing sense of humor, the unusual pieces Stuart has crafted for her company, EmSpace Dance, are built around such widely disparate inspirations as high school bullies, political glad-handers, and desperate people trapped in an elevator."
... suffused the performance space with irrepressible energy
... The crisp decisiveness of the trajectory commands attention on its own. The title alludes to Christopher Keyes's score, which makes music from the sound of a typewriter and provides an unremitting pulse. The joy here is the absence of logical transition; the choreography makes much of its discontinuity and is paced so cannily that when the dancers line up in a unison, you breathe a sign of relief. Stuart blithely mingles vocabularies. Pedestrian moves jostle with bits of parody; surely the crowned arms refer to a ballet class long ago. The whole is more than the sum of the parts in Type/Set
, but those parts are impressive in themselves."
"Choreographer and EmSpace founder Erin Mei-Ling Stuart has a flair for the dramatic, but her works ring true, evoking realities we may not like to admit."
"One can only hope that the new Between Floors #1 and #2 will have more progeny. The short sketches of people trapped with one another in an elevator were high comedy; they were clever, economical, and funny
... Stuart's timing was first-rate."
"[And Everything Nice] effectively traverses a vast landscape of emotions"
- Susan Knecht, Posthoc.com