The UofSC Dance Program will venture into the world of virtual performance with the online presentation of its Fall Concert November 10-13.
Admission is free with an option for donation. Show times are 7pm nightly. To reserve a virtual seat to the show and receive a streaming link, click here.
Featuring original works by UofSC dance faculty Thaddeus Davis, André Megerdichian, Olivia Waldrop and Tanya Wideman-Davis, the concert promises to be a totally unique viewing experience, with each of the pieces conceived, choreographed and produced as individual short dance films.
In accord with university policy during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Theatre and Dance enacted social distancing measures for the fall semester, thereby affecting how productions could be rehearsed and performed. Rather than see these new limitations as an insurmountable barrier to their art, however, the faculty choreographers and student dancers chose to look for new possibilities of performance.
“The world has thrown us this curveball,” says assistant professor Megerdichian. “We might not be getting dance the way we want it, but love is an action so I will do everything I can to make this work. If I’m not doing something, that just means I’m not looking hard enough.”
Each of the works on the concert have been largely been created and filmed with dancers in separate spaces. The dancers themselves have taken on the additional task of filming themselves and, in some cases, each other. Indeed, the cinematography is as much a part of each dance work as the movement itself.
“Dance is, at the least, a three-dimensional event,” says Megerdichian, “but film is two-dimensional. So, when it comes to a filmed event, we have to create that third dimension and discover the perspective that makes the movement relevant. For every moment, it’s literally about what lens we’re viewing it through.”
Megerdichian’s work, titled (IN), is being created in collaboration with filmmaker Dustin Whitehead, assistant professor of film and media performance in the UofSC theatre program. Like all of the works in this concert, (IN) is a reaction to the times, portraying the isolation and yearning for connection many have felt during the pandemic.
Waldrop’s Alone Together, co-created with her dancers, juxtaposes the isolation being felt during the pandemic with the realization that we are all experiencing it together. Wideman-Davis’ Untitled similarly touches on concepts of connectedness, having been developed as a cross-generational communication between UofSC dancers and a group of middle school dance students based in Roanoke, VA. Davis’ work, DELTITNU, considers concepts of justice in America by questioning why images of black liberation aren’t representative of freedom for all. Guest artist Adrian D. Cameron, a multimedia artist based in NYC, is assisting with editing for these three choreographers’ works.
“Now is the time to address the humanity in the art,” says associate professor Wideman-Davis about creating dance during these restrictive times. “We’re in a situation where we’re going to have to figure out how we’re going to be with each other…[and] how we’re going to have human connectivity.”
“It’s opening up a new way of looking at the many ways that dance can be presented,” she adds. “We may go back into the theatre, but we’ll have this whole other realm we can experiment with as well.”
For more information on the UofSC Dance Fall Concert or the dance program at the University of South Carolina, contact Kevin Bush by phone at 803-777-9353 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.