Department of Theatre

EDraves Photo ADeran TNP030CREmma Draves

Instructor of Professional Practice
Director of the Dance Program

Emma is a dance artist and educator navigating intertextual spaces of identity. Drawing from trainings in modern, bharatanatyam, ballet, jazz, and ethnography, to weave work of kinesthetic narrative derived through colliding multiplicities of physical effort, idiosyncrasy, and emotional landscape. 

 Emma holds a Graduate Laban Certificate in Movement Analysis from Columbia College Chicago and an MFA from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her work has been show internationally in Edinburgh, Scotland and Vancouver, BC as well as at New York University, Danceworks Company (WI), Hamlin Park, High Concept Labs, Links Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, Columbia College Chicago, Comfort Station, and Harold Washington Library Theatre.

 As a performer, Emma has worked with several companies and as an independent artist in the Chicago-area for over ten years. Notable experiences include Mordine & Company, Hedwig Dances, Jonathan Meyer, and Archana Kumar; and theatrical productions at Victory Gardens and Lookingglass Theatre.

 Trained in bharatanatyam under Guru Hema Rajagopalan, Emma has enjoyed a long association with Natya Dance Theatre as a performing artist - participating in several national tours and international collaborations with Yo-Yo Ma & Silk Road Project, NanJombang (Indonesia), and Astad Deboo (India) - grant-writer and archivist.

 Emma has served on faculty at Columbia College Chicago, College of DuPage, Northwestern University, and Carthage College.

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