Mentor: Paul Bernhardt
Torre Edahl graduated cum laude from Carleton College with a BA in both dance and sociology/anthropology. While at Carleton, she studied closely with Judith Howard, Jane Shockley, Jennifer Bader, and Daphne McCoy. As a member of Semaphore, Carleton’s modern repertory company, Torre had the pleasure of performing pieces by Minneapolis dance companies, including Black Label Movement and TU Dance.
In 2013, Torre recieved a scholarship to attend the American Dance Festival, where she studied modern technique and composition; this experience fueled her desire to explore experimental choreography. Following this passion, Torre has set many pieces on Semaphore, as well as on Carleton’s Experimental Dance Board, of which she was a founding director. Her work has been performed at Carleton and at the 2014 American College Dance Festival in Milledgeville, GA.
Informed not only by the studio but also by her studies in sociology/anthropology and art theory, Torre’s work is often interdisciplinary, utilizing everything from video and audio to paint and mud.
I am interested in crashing the virtual and the physical against each other. My work questions how we can force the virtual worlds we have built on the Internet (social media, multiplayer games, interactive sites of every variety) into a physical existence and examines how these virtual worlds have already forced themselves on our physical habits.
As people, we spend our lives within our own bodies, learning from the inside out how they work, how they move, and how they respond to the world around them. As a dancer, I have learned techniques, practices, and schools of thought that have changed the ways my body moves, but always with one ultimate goal: to fully embody an idea and understand it. Dance is not pretending, is not mimicking, but instead taps into our physical experiences. It asks the body to mediate the communication of an idea.
With technology, our meaningful experiences don’t always engage our physical bodies anymore. We can participate in entire worlds without leaving our desk or couch; we reach out across countries and continents to talk with other bodies sitting on other couches; we take recommendations from strangers about which media to view, and we listen to their opinions and type our own. With image-based social media, we have begun to reengage the body through “selfies,” but even here we mediate ourselves with little regard for the physical self; we are more interested in seeing bodies on a screen rather than living in our own.
This is not a problem that needs to be solved. I’m interested in the point of intersection between our physical bodies and the not-so-physical experiences we have every day online. Does mirroring the movement that you see on a screen create a different understanding of it? Can you create a physical community over the Internet? Viral dance fads or other tasks (such as Soulja Boy, the Harlem Shake, planking, and the Ice Bucket Challenge) give people throughout the world a common physical experience. Does this matter? Does this change anything? My art seeks to answer these questions, with the understanding that more will always arise.