Emily Barasch is a Los Angeles based choreographer, intimacy director, performer, and educator. As an interdisciplinary artist and scholar she works across mediums of dance, performance, film, and text. Emily believes that the ways our physical bodies move through the world are reflections of our past encounters and rehearsals for our future encounters. When we perform in dance, theater, and film our past, present, and future selves conjure and converge into one another. In her choreography and performances, Emily is obsessed with the difficulty of performance making. She is excited by the challenge of building a new world with its own set of spatial, temporal, and linguistic logics with every piece. Emily believes the heightened frame and ephemeral container of performance allows us to experiment with alternate ways of being in the world, attempting to access alternate possibilities that are not able to be expressed in dominant notions of time, space, and identity. In the words of Jack Halberstam,
"...we cannot say what new structures will replace the ones we live with yet, because once we have torn shit down, we will inevitably see more and see differently and feel a new sense of wanting and being and becoming”.
Performance making for her is an attempt to rehearse these future possibilities in real time and space.
Emily has received support and residencies from Atelier Real and Forum Dança in Lisbon, Portugal, Ponderosa Art Centre in Stolzhagen, Germany, and the PReS Residency in Kassel, Germany. She is the recipient of the James A. Doolittle Award and the Fine Arts Trust Award from UCLA’s department of World Arts and Culture/Dance. Her choreography has been presented at Highways Performance Space, The Electric Lodge, Eden’s Expressway, BAX, Triskelion Arts, as well as internationally In Kassel, Germany at the Halle 2, the Gulbenkian Museum in Lisbon, Portugal, and at the Stockholm Fringe Festival.
As an educator Emily worked as a Teaching Associate teaching courses in: dance composition, improvisation, world dance history, and art as social action at UCLA's department of World Arts and Culture/Dance. Emily has also developed and given workshops in Writing for Dance, Improvisation, and Intimacy for the Apocalypse in Germany at Sozo Visions in Motion school, the online platform FreeSkewl, and at the Dance Studies Association Conference (DSA). Emily holds a Bachelor of Arts in both Dance and Sociology from Tulane University as well as an MFA in Choreography from UCLA’s World Arts and Culture/Dance. She currently teaches dance classes through Everybody Dance LA.
In addition to Emily's choreography and dance teaching, she works as an intimacy director and Coordinator for film, television, and theater. Emily gives workshops in intimacy directing and consent for actors and directors. She currently serves as the intimacy director at Cal Arts School of Theater.